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Trofeo Alfredo Binda Women's WorldTour 2021 - Preview

Marianne Vos delivered such a powerful sprint at Trofeo Alfredo Binda in 2019 that she had time to start the celebrations before she went over the line
Marianne Vos delivered such a powerful sprint at Trofeo Alfredo Binda in 2019 that she had time to celebrate before crossing the finish line (Image credit: Getty Images)

The long-running women’s race Trofeo Alfredo Binda – Comune di Cittiglio, named after the first road World Champion Alfredo Binda, returns on Sunday, March 21, after being one of the early cancellations amid the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. 

The Italian race, which first ran as a regional competition in 1974, is the second round of the Women’s WorldTour and kicks off a well populated patch in the series after a two-week lull since Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (SD Worx) won the opening race, Strade Bianche.

Van den Broek-Blaak’s SD Worx have started the season as the team to beat, sweeping up four wins already in a sparsely populated, early-season international women’s race calendar, and are likely to be out in force again at the hilly Trofeo Alfredo Binda. However, last year’s top team, Trek-Segafredo, will be working hard to reassert their position while other teams continue the search for that first win of the season. 

Marianne Vos stormed over the finish line first in 2019, and given the 2020 cancellation she’ll be lining up with her new team Jumbo-Visma as defending champion. Vos swept up victory in the race, which loops around Cittiglio in the north of Italy, with a powerful sprint that no one in the small group she came to the line with could get close to matching. Amanda Spratt came second in 2019 while Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig took third. 

Join Cyclingnews for live coverage of 2021 Trofeo Alfredo Binda-Cittiglio, and check in after the race for our full report, results, gallery, news and features.

How the race unfolded in 2019

The contenders

Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) - The hills and final uphill drag to the line make this a race that suits Vos, and the proof is that the 33-year-old rider has already won it four times. This year she has as much incentive to go all out for victory as ever as her new team is yet to find that first victory on the road, and the rider who so often stands on the top step of the podium is bound to want to be the one that delivers it.

Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (SD Worx) - The 2017 world champion has already taken the first race of the Women’s WorldTour. Her team have started the season with the dominant form that saw its former incarnation, Boels Dolmans, topping the results table year after year, at least until 2020 when Trek-Segafredo trumped the Dutch team. Van den Broek-Blaak also has a strong record at the race, with a second place in 2018 and four results in the top 10. 

Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) - The top rider in the 2020 Women’s WorldTour has twice won at Trofeo Alfredo Binda, in 2015 and 2016, and while we don’t have a great deal to indicate what type of form she is in, following her withdrawal from Strade Bianche with a cold, the British rider is one never to underestimate. Of course with a strong team around her, including another former winner, Elisa Longo Borghini, it won’t hurt either. 

Amanda Spratt (Team BikeExchange) - The Australian rider came second to Vos at Trofeo Alfredo Binda back in 2019. While the race isn’t a key target for the 33-year-old rider, her form should be building toward the Ardennes. She’ll have some strong support, or perhaps handy alternate options, to take the pressure off in Lucy Kennedy and Ane Santesteban.

Cyclingnews' will publish a full list of riders to watch soon.

The route

The 141.8 kilometre race begins at Cocquio Trevisago at 12:10 (CET) on Sunday March 21. It is a hilly route that winds its way through and around the finish town of Cittiglio, before heading into an 18km finishing loop that is ridden four times and includes the climb to Orino and the short but steep Casalzuigno. There is a sharp right-hander at about 300 metres to go and then the riders take on that last uphill drag to the finish line in Cittiglio.

Trofeo Alfredo Binda - Comune di Cittiglio route 2021

(Image credit: Trofeo Alfredo Binda - Comune di Cittiglio)

The climbs

The queen of the mountain points come at Caldana just 18 kilometres in, at Cunardo at 44.5 kilometres, and on each of the four final laps at the top of the climb to Orino.

  • Cocquio - Caldana - Orino, 3.84km at 3 per cent
  • Grantola - Cunardo, 3.85km at 4.8 per cent
  • Comacchio - Orino, 1.5km at 6.3 per cent
  • Cuvio - Orino, 3.9km at 3.9 per cent
  • Casalzuigno, 0.84km at 7 per cent

Trofeo Alfredo Binda – Comune di Cittiglio 2021

(Image credit: Trofeo Alfredo Binda – Comune di Cittiglio)

What to expect

This is a race where the sprinters can possibly make it over the hills, but that’s unlikely if the teams with climbers on board push the pace. Coryn Rivera did win from a reduced bunch sprint in 2017, but with the fierce competition in the field among strong teams with able climbers it is far more likely that it will come down to a small group, or even perhaps a solo victor like it was when Kasia Niewiadoma won in 2018. 

It’s likely to be aggressive racing, with no sitting back and waiting for the final stages. There are plenty of hills to launch an attack, and with the limited opportunities for racing this year, given the number of early season cancellations, the chances to chase a result have been limited.

SD Worx will undoubtedly again be the team to watch, but Trek-Segafredo line up as strong challengers. If Vos is in form, she’s shown just how hard it is to match her sprint on that final uphill run into the line.

Teams

  • A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team (Ita)
  • Alè BTC Ljubljana Cipollini (Ita)
  • Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano (Ita)
  • Bepink (Ita)
  • Born To Win G20 Ambedo (Ita)
  • Canyon-Sram Racing (Ger)
  • Ceratizit - WNT Pro Cycling Team (Ger)
  • Cogeas Mettler Look Pro Cycling (Rus)
  • FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope (Fra)
  • Isolmant - Premac - Vittoria (Ita)
  • Jumbo-Visma Women Team (Ned)
  • Liv Racing (Ned)
  • Movistar Team Women (Esp)
  • Parkhotel Valkenburg (Ned)
  • Servetto - Makhymo - Beltrami tsa (Ita)
  • Team BikeExchange (Aus)
  • Team DSM (Ger)
  • Team SD Worx (Ned)
  • Team TIBCO - Silicon Valley Bank (USA)
  • Top Girls Fassa Bortolo (Ita)
  • Trek - Segafredo (USA)
  • Valcar - Travel & Service (Ita)

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