Experienced 33-year-old Amanda Spratt will lead a strong Team BikeExchange squad at the 7th edition of the women’s Strade Bianche alongside new 2021 signing, Ane Santesteban, who makes her debut in Team BikeExchange colours.
The six-rider team boasts diverse talent with Clasica San Sebastian winner Lucy Kennedy and newly crowned New Zealand Champion Georgia Williams, both making their first appearance of the season in Europe, whilst Dutch compatriots Janneke Ensing and Moniek Tenniglo bring-in the horsepower.
A twisty and undulating 136km course features 8 sectors, adding up to a total of 31.4km of gravel roads (23.1% of the course). There are no particularly long climbs to speak of, but with an abundance of punchy hills, most significantly on the unpaved parts, it is one of the harder women’s one-day races on the WorldTour calendar.
Team BikeExchange at Strade Bianche:
Janneke Ensing (NED)
Lucy Kennedy (AUS)
Ane Santesteban (ESP)
Amanda Spratt (AUS)
Moniek Tenniglo (NED)
Georgia Williams (NZL)
“I’m really excited to be at the start of Strade Bianche. For sure, it’s one of my favourite races on the calendar and it’s always so epic and iconic with the gravel roads. We are going there with a strong team and I will race for the first time with Ane Santesteban. Lucy Kennedy will have her first race in Europe coming back in from Australia with Georgia Williams, the new, New Zealand road race champion.
“My shape is good, and I think it was good to start with such a tough race as Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and I’m happy to have that in the legs before Strade.
“If I have to point out some tricky sections I would say the San Martino in Grania sector with 9,5km of gravel, which is often wind and dangerous. Of course, the weather time can affect the race a lot”.
Alejandro Gonzalez-Tablas – Sport Director:
“At Strade the goal is to have a strong start of the season. The riders have been training very hard during the winter and they already have some experience of the route, which is exactly the same as the previous year, and the riders know well where they have to be aware of dangers and aware of possible breakaways.
“Amanda will be our leader, but we have a very strong group who give us more opportunities. Both Lucy and Janneke, for example, have been top-10 in the past and also Ane did very well in this race previously.”
2021 Strade Bianche Race Details:
Saturday, 6th Mar: Siena-Siena, 136km