Real-life World Tour racing is back and we couldn’t be more excited!
In March, Strade Bianche was one of the first races to be postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak in Italy. After many teams had already pulled out of the race,two days before the event was scheduled to take place on March 7, the organizers made the decision to cancel the men’s and women’s race.
Now, Strade Bianche will take the pedestal as a ‘season’ opener for many cyclists. The first WorldTour race on the re-started calendar, the event will look a little different than other years. The packed WorldTour schedule means not all cyclists who would have raced in March will be racing this weekend. Large crowds won’t be cheering at the end either. The being said, watching from home shouldn’t be too different of an experience.
Mathieu van der Poel of Alpecin-Fenix, Peter Sagan of Bora-Hansgrohe, Greg Van Avermaet of CCC Team and 2019 Strade Bianche winners Julian Alaphilippe of Deceuninck – Quick-Step will all be taking on the rough terrain of the fourteenth edition of the Strade Bianche. The race is particularly exciting as it will help viewers get a better idea of who’s really been putting in the training hours during lockdown.
On the women’s side, Katarzyna Niewiadoma of Canyon-SRAM is expected to challenge Annemiek van Vleuten of Mitchelton-Scott once more, after coming second to her in this race three times already.
The women’s 2020 Strade Bianche route will cover 136km while the men will race over 184km, both starting and finishing in the beautiful city of Siena. The men will race along 63km of dirt roads and 11 gravel sectors (dispersed somewhat evenly along the route). The women’s route has eight gravel sectors—31.4km or 23 per cent of the course.
Where to watch
In Canada, the Strade Bianche will be streaming on Flobikes. The women’s race broadcast will start at 8:10am CDT (9:10am EDT, 6:10am PDT). The men’s broadcast will start at 9:50am CDT(10:50am EDT, 7:50am PDT) and finish 11.50am CDT, both with English commentary from Ned Boulting and Juan Antonio Flecha.