18 teams announced for 2016 Strade Bianche

Three days after announcing the invitations to the Giro d'Italia, RCS Sport have unveiled the 18 teams who will make up the 2016 edition of Strade Bianche.

The one-day race, which takes place on March 5 on the iconic dirt roads of the Chianti hills near Siena in Tuscany, will feature 12 WorldTour teams along with six from the Pro Continental division. 

Last year there were 19 teams in the race, and the 2016 line-up sees Cannondale and Katusha absent from the WorldTour contingent, with Lotto Soudal coming back in. There is one change in the Pro Conti line-up compared to 2015, with CCC Sprandi Polkowice called up for their debut appearance, while Gazprom-Rusvelo drop out, which is, incidentally, the inverse of what happened with the Giro invitations. 

Bardiani-CSF are the only Pro Continental team to have been invited to every RCS race so far, with the Milan-San Remo and Tirreno-Adriatico wildcards dished out at the same time as the Giro, and those for Il Lombardia to be issued at a later date. Androni Giocattoli were a notable snub for the Giro but have been invited to Strade Bianche and the other two races. 

The 2016 Strade Bianche will take place over a 176-kilometre rolling route that features around 53km of gravel tracks across nine separate sectors. Last year's edition was won by Etixx-QuickStep's Zdenek Stybar. 

WorldTour teams: AG2R-La Mondiale, Astana Pro Team, BMC Racing, Etixx-QuickStep, Lampre-Merida, Lotto Soudal, Movistar Team, Orica-GreenEdge, LottoNL-Jumbo, Team Sky, Tinkoff, Trek-Segafredo

Pro Continental teams: Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, Bardiani CSF, CCC Sprandi Polkowice, Nippo-Vini Fantini, Southeast, Team Novo Nordisk


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