Chloe Hosking will lead Ale Cipollini at the Dwars door Vlaanderen UCI 1.1 event held on Wednesday, March 28. The Australian is hoping to take her first win during the team's spring classics campaign.
Gent-Wevelgem winner Marta Bastianelli will sit out this round of the classics, but Hosking will have support from Anna Trevisi, Karlijn Swinkels, Anisha Vekemans, Romy Kasper and Roxane Knetemann.
Hosking started the season with a stage win at the Santos Women's Tour and then won the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, both in January.
She came into the classics primed for victory but has come up short so far with second places at Omloop van het Hageland and Driedaagse De Panne, and third places at Drentse 8 and Ronde van Drenthe. She was also fourth at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
The 117.9km race starts in Tielt and finishes in Waregem. The parcours starts out flat but hits the bergs mid-race with Kluisberg, Knokteberg, Vossenhol and Nokereberg climbs, and the cobblestoned Holstraat and Herlegemstraat roads.
Ale Cipollini for Dwars door Vlaanderen: Chloe Hosking, Anna Trevisi, Karlijn Swinkels, Anisha Vekemans, Romy Kasper and Roxane Knetemann.
Siggaard, Guarischi lead Team Virtu at Dwars door Vlaanderen
It's been a month since Christina Siggaard took a surprise victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad for her Team Virtu squad. She hasn't quite found her winning legs since, but aims to get back on the top step of the podium at Dwars door Vlaanderen.
After her victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblaad, Siggaard had top-10 finishes at Omloop van het Hageland and Driedaagse de Panne, while teammate Barbara Guarischi was 10th at Gent-Wevelgem. The team has also had showings in many of the season's breakaways.
Siggaard and Guarischi line up with Kasia Pawlowska, Sara Penton, Claudia Koster and Katrine Aalerud, a selection of riders who also aim to continue the team's aggressive style of racing.
"We have to stick with what we have done in the last couple of races and being up front and making the selection," said the team's director Carmen Small.
"Everyone knows that it is the key for success in these races. For Katrine it is important to have some races under the belt before the Ardennes races. It's not the ideal race for preparation, but we are still developing riders."
With two top-10 finishes in the last two World Tour-races and multiple riders in the front split the team have taken a step up, Small thinks it will strengthen the team's performance in the coming races.
"I think they are getting more confident, and they start to understand that they are there for a reason. That's the biggest thing. They start to have the confidence that they belong and feel in control in the races, and that gives something extra when they go into the finale of the race."
Team VIRTU Cycling for Dwars door Vlaanderen: Christina Siggaard, Kasia Pawlowska, Sara Penton, Claudia Koster, Katrine Aalerud and Barbara Guarischi
Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo send young squad to Tielt
Top Girls - Fassa Bortolo will line up a with a young team at Dwars door Vlaanderen in Tielt led by their top climber Vania Canvelli.
The riders, ranging from ages 19-22, also include the winner of past editions of the Trofeo Hotel Fiera Bolzano and the Trofeo Prealpi in Rosa Nadia Quagliotto, Francesca Pisciali, Beatrice Rossato and Chiara Perini.
Many of the team's riders also raced for, or have come from, the Italian national team's successful junior women's development program. The trade team has competed in three UCI-sanctioned events so far.
Rossato was the team's best placed rider in the final classification (44th) at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. They team also competed at Women's WorldTour races Strade Bianche and Trofeo Alfredo Binda-Comune di Cittiglio.
G.S. Top Firls-Fassa Bortolo for Dwars door Vlaanderen: Vania Canvelli, Sara Mariotto, Chiara Perini, Francesca Pisciali, Nadia Quagliotto and Beatrice Rossato.
Duehring wins San Dimas Stage Race
Jasmin Duehring (Twenty20 Pro Cycling) won the overall title at the two-day, three-stage race in San Dimas, California. The Canadian track specialist won the title ahead of Emily Marcolini (Sudbury Cycling) and Krista Doebel-Hickok (Cylance Pro Cycling).
Twenty20 had a successful showing, winning all three stages as Duehring claimed victory the opening 6.8km uphill Glendora Mountain Time Trial and stage 2's Hospital Road Race, while her teammate Erica Clevenger took the final stage at the Old Town Criterium.
"The racing in San Dimas this weekend was a great way to test out my legs, both on the climbs and in the sprints. I'm encouraged with my form having just transitioned out of the track season and motivated to keep working hard before joining the team at Tour of the Gila," Duehring said in a team press release.
The team's general manager Nicola Cranmer spoke of Duehring's and Clevenger's success at San Dimas Stage Race.
"Jasmin is coming off a successful UCI Track World Championship with a good fitness level. This showed on the tough Stage 1 Glendora Mountain hill climb. The stage 2 road race came down to a sprint and with her Six Day sprinting, she comfortably took the win.
"Erica continues to develop as an all-rounder and she is coming off a solid block of racing. Just over halfway through the final stage, she attacked and built a 50-second gap to take the win."