RCS Sport announced the 18 teams invited to the Strade Bianche over the weekend, and added to that each team's headlining riders that will take to the start line on March 5. Headliners include world champion Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Taylor Phinney (BMC) and defending champion Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep).
The 176km race will start and finish in Siena, and includes nine sectors of white gravel roads totalling 52.8km, where the world-class field will race through for the top honour. Sagan will hope to improve on his second-place performance in 2014 while Cancellara will look for a third victory after winning the 2008 and 2012 editions.
BMC's Greg Van Avermaet, who placed second to Stybar last year, will also be in the running for a victory. BMC will also start Phinney, who is back from a longterm injury sustained in 2014. One can never count out Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who has placed third in the 2014 and 2015 editions, and has recently shown top form after winning Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista del Sol.
Tour of Oman winner Nibali will no doubt want a victory in his home race, while Team Sky’s Mikel Landa and Orica-GreenEdge’s Esteban Chaves will challenge the specialists over the sectors of dirt roads.
UCI WorldTour teams
Ag2R La Mondiale - JanBakelants, Christophe Riblon
Astana Pro Team - Vincenzo Nibali, Diego Rosa
BMC Racing Team - Greg Van Avermaet, Taylor Phinney
Etixx - QuickStep - Zdenek Štybar, Tony Martin
Lampre - Merida - Diego Ulissi, Sacha Modolo
Lotto Soudal - Maxime Monfort, Bart De Clercq
Movistar Team - Alejandro Valverde, Giovanni Visconti
Orica Greenedge - Esteban Chaves, Ruben Plaza
Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo – Robert Gesink, Enrico Battaglin
Team Sky – Mikel Landa, Wout Poels
Tinkoff - Peter Sagan, Daniele Bennati
Trek - Segafredo - Fabian Cancellara, Giacomo Nizzolo
UCI Professional Continental Teams
Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec - Mirko Selvaggi, Marco Bandiera
Bardiani CSF - Sonny Colbrelli, Francesco Bongiorno
CCC Sprandi Polkowice - Davide Rebellin, Maciej Paterski
Nippo - Vini Fantini - Damiano Cunego, Grega Bole
Southeast - Venezuela - Filippo Pozzato, Manuel Belletti
Team Novo Nordisk – Kevin De Mesmaeker, Andrea Peron
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