Sienna, Italy, 03.03.2016 – The new UCI Women’s WorldTour launches tomorrow on the white gravel roads of Tuscany. Strade Bianche will be the first of 35 race days on the new WorldTour calendar that comprises Spring Classics, the most prestigious stage races, and monumental one day races, all aimed at propelling the momentum around women’s cycling. CANYON//SRAM Racing will line up with five riders to challenge for the first ever Women’s WorldTour leader’s jersey tomorrow, Saturday 4 March.
Sports Director Ronny Lauke explains the importance of this opening race. “I’m super excited about Saturday’s race. The UCI has created a standard with the WorldTour. Every organiser knows what they have to deliver in order to become a WorldTour race. And now every team knows what they get in terms of media coverage and level of organisation. I believe it will be a really good story, especially once the people see it and they get to see the action from the women. To have the first race in such an area like this in Tuscany is fitting. It combines the history of the sport on these dirt roads with a new modern approach and that’s an exciting combination.”
Lauke points out that each WorldTour race will be as important as the overall series. “Each race individually has somehow its own prestige that makes it worthwhile to show your best. While overall the whole series is also important. Whenever there is a WorldTour race on we will try our best and we will send our best team. We want to shine and be visible and at the end of the day hopefully have a good result.”
In the second edition of Strade Bianche, the women take on a longer and slightly different course to 2015. The 121 kilometre race consists of seven sections, in sum 22 kilometres of dirt roads and has over 1800 metres total elevation gain. “The first half of the race is rather good conditions, not so demanding with just one climb and two dirt road sections. While the second half is the most challenging with more climbs and longer dirt roads. There will be a pre-selection or elimination style in the first half but the final result for certain will be made in the second half of the race, closer towards Sienna. The profile makes the race so hard and I don’t think there will be a surprise with who wins tomorrow. For us Alena has shown she likes this sort of profile and she is riding in good form. Of course Tiff has started the season well so we will see what she can do in a rather hilly area. I don’t see us as the favourites but we will be strong opposition, we will have an impact on the race, and this opens up opportunities,” said Lauke.
CANYON//SRAM Racing will start with Trixi Worrack, Tiffany Cromwell, Alena Amialiusik, Alexis Ryan and Lisa Brennauer.