Julian Alaphilippe and Zdenek Stybar headline our squad for the first event of August.
Strade Bianche is a race that is barely 13 years old, yet if you ask riders, fans and journalists, they’ll all give the same answer: it feels like it’s been with us forever, that’s how much of an impact its peerless beauty has had since its creation. Just 184km-long in length, the race which in 2017 was made part of the World Tour calendar contains 63 kilometers of white gravel roads divided across 11 scenic sectors that will test the riders’ handling skills and climbing ability alike at this 14th edition.
The particular and quite unique nature of the course will bring classics specialists, puncheurs and even climbers to the fore on Tuscany’s picturesque roads, and favours both a long-range attack or a powerful surge on the uphill finish to Siena’s stunning shall-shaped Piazza del Campo, where last season Julian Alaphilippe emphatically captured our team’s third Strade Bianche victory in six years.
The Frenchman will be again at the start and will lead the charge for the Wolfpack, together with another former winner – Zdenek Stybar – who finished the race five out of five times in the top 10. Kasper Asgreen, whose display of formidable strength carried him to a resounding victory at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne five months ago, Davide Ballerini, Mikkel Honoré, Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels and Pieter Serry will also line out in Siena’s Fortezza Medicea, ready to take on the Italian World Tour race.
“We’ve had many good results here in the past, three wins with as many different riders, and we want to be again up there and feature in the fight for victory, especially as it is a race we like a lot. It’s going to be a completely different race than we are used to, with temperatures of 35 degrees and even more dust than usual, but we are going there with a huge motivation after our excellent Val di Fassa training camp and prepared for every type of scenario”, said sports director Davide Bramati.