The dirt roads or 'strade bianche' and the rolling hills of southern Tuscany will again provide a testing race route and stunning backdrop for the Strade Bianche race on Saturday March 7.
Despite only being created in 2007, Strade Bianche has become an iconic Classic with riders keen to win one of the most spectacular races of the season. Race organisers RCS Sport have also created a women’s version of the race for 2015, with a sportif event also set for Sunday, the day after the professional races.
RCS Sport has coined the slogan of "La classica del nord piu al sud di Europa" –the northern Classics at the most southern point in Europe.
The 200km route starts in the shadows of the iconic towers of San Gimignano and ends in the spectacular Piazza Il Campo in the centre of Siena. The ten sections of dirt roads, for a total of over 50km of racing, will test rider's ability and form, with the late sections of dirt roads expected to split the peloton and reveal who will fight for victory on the steep climb to the centre of Siena.
Michal Kwiatkowski and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo) dominated the final podium in 2014 after distancing their rivals with 20km to go. Sagan is arguably the favourite this year but will face serious competition from Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep), Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge), Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing). 2013 winner Moreno Moser leads the new-look Cannondale Garmin team.