Strade Bianche 2022

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Strade Bianche 2022 - 16th Edition - Siena - Siena 184 km - 05/03/2022 - Tadej Pogacar (SLO - UAE Team Emirates) - photo Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Tadej Počagar of UAE Team Emirates used a solo attack 50km from the finish in Siena to win 2022 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Luca Bettini/SprintCyclingAgency)

Tadej Pogacar wins Strade Bianche with 50km solo attack

Strade Bianche Men - How it happened

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) exploded from a leading group of favourites with 50 kilometres to go and won Strade Bianche on Saturday, riding alone on the  narrow streets of Siena to Piazza del Campo.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) pushed ahead of Kasper Asgreen (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) on the final ascent to secure second place, 37 seconds behind Pogačar. Asgreen rolled in another nine seconds later for third. 

The 184km race proved to be epic in many ways, with strong winds blowing over dozens of riders with 100km remaining, including tossing Julian Alaphilippe (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) and his bike into the air, with a massive pileup behind.

Pogačar hit the front on the long Monte Sante Marie sector and used a descent on the white gravel to open, then extend, his lead.

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Route for Strade Bianche 2022

Strade Bianche 2022

The profile of the 2022 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Strade Bianche / RCS Sport)

The 2022 edition of Strade Bianche will follow a familiar format, starting and finishing in Siena, with the usual array of gravel roads in between. 

There are once again 11 sectors of the eponymous 'strade bianche', totalling 63km of gravel. 

The first four sectors come early in the race before the paved Montalcino climb softens the legs ahead of two much longer sectors around the half-way mark. From there, the race heads to two more long and even-more gruelling sectors at San Martino and Ponte del Garbo, the latter being 11.5km long and hilly. 

The race will have opened up by then in the final 50km and the big plays for victory will then unfold on three sectors that are much shorter but much steeper. From the end of the final sector, there's a run-in of 11km to Siena, but there's a sting in the tail in the form of the vicious haul up Via Santa Caterina and the drop down into the Piazza del Campo. 

Map for the 2022 Strade Bianche WorldTour race

The map of the 2022 Strade Bianche (Image credit: RCS Sport)

Teams for Strade Bianche 2022

  • AG2R Citroen Team
  • Alpecin-Fenix
  • Bahrain Victorious
  • Bardiani-CSF-Faizane
  • Bora-Hansgrohe
  • Cofidis
  • Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli
  • EF Education-EasyPost
  • Eolo-Kometa
  • Groupama-FDJ
  • Ineos Grenadiers
  • Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
  • Israel-Premier Tech
  • Jumbo-Visma
  • Lotto Soudal
  • Movistar Team
  • QuickStep-AlphaVinyl
  • Team Arkéa-Samsic
  • BikeExchange-Jayco
  • Team DSM
  • Trek-Segafredo
  • UAE Team Emirates

Cyclingnews predicts

Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers)

Strade Bianche 2021 - 15th Edition - Siena - Siena 184 km - 06/03/2021 - Tom Pidcock (GBR - Ineos Grenadiers) - photo Luca Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

Tom Pidcock was fifth on his Strade Bianche debut in 2021 (Image credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

With neither of the past two winners - Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert - on the start line, the 2022 Strade Bianche is an open affair. 2019 winner Julian Alaphilippe is the world champion and always a contender, while 2018 winner Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma) has caught our eye with flying performances at Opening Weekend. However, it's Pidcock who stands out. He made his debut at the race last year and immediately placed fifth, going on to enjoy a stellar first Classics campaign. He made a couple of errors at Opening Weekend and perhaps didn't showcase his full strength, but he has described Strade Bianche as his first major objective of 2022. He'll be fully focused, he has the off-road skills in abundance, he has the strength, he has the climbing advantage of being lightweight, and he now has a year's experience. He is destined to win this race at some point in his career and there's every chance it will happen on Saturday.

Tech spotlight

Julian Alaphilippe’s S-Works Specialized Tarmac was spotted-less before the race but like this after his victory

Julian Alaphilippe's dust covered bike from his 2019 victory (Image credit: Stephen Farrand)

To cope with the gravel roads, expects significant modifications for most bikes at Strade Bianche. 

Riders will typically run wider tyres than they would on the road, with 28mm tyres being the minimum you're likely to see on Saturday. That will in turn allow for lower pressures to be used, reducing the risk of punctures and improving grip on the stoney gravel. 7 bar is a good ballpark pressure figure for front and rear, while the tyres themselves - with most opting for tubular - will have more tread than smooth road tyres. 

Strade Bianche history

Three victories at Strade Bianche for Fabian Cancellara

Fabian Cancellara holds the record of three Strade Bianche victories (Image credit: Tim de Waele/

Strade Bianche is one of the youngest one-day Classics, having only been created in 2007. In a short space of time, it has risen to become one of the biggest, most iconic, and most anticipated races of the spring, if not the year. 

The race was born as an offshoot of the Eroica event, in which amateur riders took on some of Tuscany's historic gravel roads on vintage bikes. 

The first edition was held in October 2007 and won by Alexandr Kolobnev but it then changed to a March date in 2008, which it still occupies. 

Fabian Cancellara is the race's most successful rider with three victories - 2008, 2012,  2016 - and has a sector of gravel named in his honour. Michal Kwiatkowski is the only other repeat winner - 2014 and 2017.

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Strade Bianche past winners
#Rider Name (Country) Team
2021Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
2020Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
2019Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep
2018Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
2017Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
2016Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek-Segafredo
2015Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Etixx–Quick-Step
2014Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma–Quick-Step
2013Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale
2012Fabian Cancellara (Sui) RadioShack–Nissan
2011Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma–Lotto
2010Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz) Astana
2009Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team Columbia–High Road
2008Fabian Cancellara (Sui) Team CSC
2007Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team CSC

Strade Bianche facts and figures

Most wins: 3 (Fabian Cancellara - 2008, 2012,  2016)

Fastest edition: 2011 - 40.08km/h, won by Philippe Gilbert

Elevation gain: 3000 metres

Youngest winner: Moreno Moser, 22, in 2013

Oldest winner: Fabian Cancellara, 34, in 2016

Most appearances: Giovanni Visconti - 13 starts, 11 finishes

Most wins per nation: Switzerland 3 (Cancellara 2008, 2012,  2016). Belgium 3 (Gilbert 2011, Benoot 2018, Van Aert 2020).

Biggest winning margin: 42 seconds - Cancellara in 2012

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