Strade Bianche Eroica 2017 (WWT)

The opening of the Women’s World Tour takes us to Tuscany, Italy, through white gravel roads, and into the town of Siena.

Two time winner of the race and former World Champion Lizzie Deignan (Boels Dolmans) returns this year as the defending champion with current World Champion Amalie Diderikson and 2016 Women’s World Tour winner and three time US National Champion Megan Guarnier. 

The race was broadcasted in parts of the world live, but only for the final hour of racing. Rain at the finish would also make the final climb into Siena wet, adding an extra layer of difficulty to the race.

By the time the day’s breakaway made it to the steep gravel sections 6 and 7 around the 100km mark, the Orica Scott led peloton had closed all time gaps. Coming out of Sector 7, an elite group of five had a few seconds of a strong chasing effort, with less than 20km to.

The elite group of Lizzie Deignan, Katrin Garfoot (Orica Scott), Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5), Kasia Niewiadoma, and Annemiek Van Vleuten (Orica Scott) had 20 seconds on a strong chasing effort. With 3km to go, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Lucinda Brand (Sunweb) and Shara Gillow (FDJ) bridged up to the front group, with the duo going on the attack immediately.

With 1 km to go, Brand and Gillow had made contact early into the climb. The elite group of five attacked up the climb, though, to bring the duo back. Inside the last 500 meters, a full on sprint opened up with last year’s contenders battling it out for the win. Elisia Longo Borghini took the win just ahead of Kasia Niewiadoma and Lizzie Deignan.

The Women’s World Tour will continue with the Ronde van Drenthe in the Netherlands on Saturday.