Strade Bianche 2021

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After the UAE Tour and Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the 2021 WorldTour continues with the 15th edition of Strade Bianche. The one-day classic in Tuscany, Italy has attracted top-level fields since its inception in 2007, and the upcoming race, held on Saturday, March 6, is no exception.

A wealth of starry names will be present at the start line in Siena. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) and 2020 winner Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) will meet for the first time in 2021 as they resume their long-standing rivalry.

2019 winner Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) will also take part along with his teammate, 2015 winner Zdenek Štybar. Past podium finishers to take the start include Romain Bardet (Team DSM), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citroën), and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana-Premier Tech).

Other notable names set to race include Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Egan Bernal and Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers), Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange), and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo).

As for the route, it's largely unchanged from the past several editions. The course is 184 kilometres long, taking in the countryside around Siena and finishing in the famous Piazza del Campo in the hilltop town.

Eleven sections of the famous white gravel roads are dotted throughout the course, starting after just 17.6 kilometres. There's 63 kilometres of gravel in total, with the longest sections (5 and 8) measuring at 11.9 and 11.5 kilometres.

The route features plenty of hills, too, including Montalcino (4km at 5 per cent), 66km into the race, and the gravel Colle Pinzuto, which features gradients of 15 per cent and comes 17 kilometres from the line. The race finale sees riders tackle more double-digit gradients as they climb into Siena for the finish.

Weather during the race is expected to be cloudy with showers throughout the day, meaning it should be the first wet Strade Bianche since 2018.

Strade Bianche 2021

(Image credit: RCS Sport)

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