photo credits @ UCI
– What Happened? –
The inaugural UCI Women’s WorldTour began in Siena, Italy, last Saturday at the Strade Bianche. The one-day Italian classic covered 121 kilometers with seven gravel sectors (22 kilometers) and 1,800 meters of climbing.
UCI Road World Champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) did the rainbow jersey proud, taking her second straight victory of the 2016 season. The Briton beat European Road Champion Kasia Niewiadoma (Raboliv Women Cycling Team) and Swedish Road Champion Emma Johansson (Wiggle High5) to the top step of the podium. The trio broke away from a reduced peloton following the fifth of seven gravel sectors.
Armitstead pulled on the white UCI Women’s WorldTour leader’s jersey in front of the crowds gathered in Siena’s Piazza del Campo. The final winner of the now defunct UCI Women’s World Cup series last year, the 27-year-old also had the honor of winning the first round of the new UCI Women’s WorldTour series this year.
Kasia Niewiadoma joined Armitstead on the podium in the blue youth classification jersey. Niewiadoma leads the classification by two points from Jolanda Neff (Servetto Footon) and four points from Rossella Ratto (Cylance Pro Cycling).
Strade Bianche was marred by crashes in a nervous first half of the race, including a particularly nasty accident that sent Kristobel Doebel-Hickok (Cylance Pro Cycling) to hospital by ambulance.
– What’s Next? –
Women’s WorldTour Ronde van Drenthe > March 12th
Last year’s results – 2015 Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe
1. Jolien d’Hoore (BEL)
2. Amy Pieters (NED)
3. Eleonora Van Dijk (NED)
– What you should know about –
Women’s WorldTour Ronde van Drenthe is the second race in the inaugural UCI Women’s WorldTour series. The one-day race is held in the Drenthe region of the Netherlands.
Jolien d’Hoore (Wiggle High5) won Ronde van Drenthe last year when the race served as the first race in the UCI Women’s World Cup series. The Belgian Champion won a reduced bunch sprint by a bike length over Amy Pieters (then Liv-Plantur, now Wiggle High5). Ellen van Dijk (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) rounded out the podium.
The 2016 edition of the Dutch race will cover 138 kilometers, starting and ending in Hoogveen. It is a typically Dutch race with narrow roads and cobbles. Several parts of the course are exposed to the wind.
The most notable feature of Ronde van Drenthe is the short but crushingly steep VAMberg. Measuring 500 meters, the man-made hill has a maximum gradient of 23 percent. The women’s race includes three climbs of the famous hill – each ascent is an opportunity for the strongest teams and riders to do damage to the rest.
Elisa Longo Borghini
The 2015 Tour of Flanders winner was born on 10 December 1991 in Verbania, Italy. A lifelong athlete from a sporting family, Longo Borghini began cycling at the age of nine. Longo Borghini’s older brother, Paolo, was a professional cyclist for 11 years. She followed in his footsteps, turning professional with Top Girls Fassa Bortolo in 2011.
Longo Borghini is currently in her second season with Wiggle High5. An all-rounder with a love for the hills, she names the 2016 Rio Olympics as one of her main targets for the season. She has consistently podiumed in the biggest races on the calendar in the last four years, including a bronze medal at the 2012 Road World Championships in Valkenburg, a win at the Trofeo Binda World Cup in 2013, third place at Flèche Wallonne Féminine in 2014 and, of course, the win at the Tour of Flanders last year.
1st – Tour of Flanders (2015)
1st – Giro dell’Emilia (2015)
1st – Route de France, Stages 3 and 5 (2015)
1st – Route de France, overall (2015)
1st – Tour de Bretagne, overall (2014)
1st – Trophée d’Or, overall (2014)
1st – Italian National Time Trial Championships (2014)
1st – Trofeo Binda (2013)
3rd – Flèche Wallonne Féminine (2014)
3rd – UCI Road World Championships – Road Race (2012)
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