Trofeo Alfredo Binda 2023 Race Preview

Elisa Balsamo Trofeo Alfredo Binda 2022

Trofeo Alfredo Binda History

The Trofeo Alfredo Binda has been around for what feels like forever, it’s one of the crown jewels of the women’s cycling calendar. With all the talk the other week of whether Strade Bianche is a monument (it isn’t), the Trofeo Alfredo Binda is unarguably one in women’s cycling. First held in 1974 and won by Giuseppa Micheloni it has been held every year since bar a small break at the end of the 1990s and 2020 with the Covid pandemic.

The route often changes slightly but is characterised by small punchy climbs with a descent back to the finish in Cittiglio. The onus is on climbs and puncheurs to attack the bunch and avoid a sprint. The balance is near enough spot on in recent years, with Elisa Balsamo’s bunch sprint last year offset by the solo break of Elisa Longo Borghini the year before. 

Marianne Vos is a big repeat winner of the race with 4 wins – 2009, 2010, 2012 & 2019. You can see how a rider like her would be able to win either solo or from a bunch on the right day. Vos is joined by the Italian climbing legend Maria Canins on 4 wins – 1984, 1985, 1990 & 1992. No other rider has won more than twice. For a time, Brits had the upper hand with the likes of Nicole Cooke, Emma Pooley and Lizzie Deignan all winning a pair of Trofeo Alfredo Binda races between 2005-2016. Elisa Longo Borghini’s win in 2021 saw her become the latest rider to take two victories.

Previous Winners

Elisa Balsamo
Elisa Longo Borghini
Not held

Trofeo Alfredo Binda 2023 Profile

TV Coverage

Saturday 18th March 2023

Live on Eurosport & GCN
13:30-15:00 GMT

Twitter: #TrBinda

Startlist: FirstCycling

Trofeo Alfredo Binda 2023 Contenders

Kasia Niewiadoma goes into this race as a former winner. The Pole took an epic solo victory in the rain back in 2018, which is starting to feel like a long time ago. Since then, she’s finished 4th and 6th in 2019 & 2021 – the sign of an odd-numbered years trend. She was 6th in Strade Bianche for her best result of 2023. You can’t see her winning again but Kasia can add another top-10 to the palmares. Soraya Paladin will probably have a better shot for a win in a race she has been great at recently. 3rd last season, she was 5th and 9th the two editions before that. She’s got a quicker finish than Kasia so if a bunch arrives at the end together again, Soraya Paladin will be encouraged to sprint. There’s also Elise Chabbey who was 7th in last year’s race too. She’s climbing decently, with 5th in GC at the UAE Tour Women an indicator of that. Another top-10 is more than possible for the Swiss rider either by attacking or setting up Paladin.

We might see a return to form by Silvia Persico after Strade Bianche didn’t go to plan. The Italian was 3rd at the UAE Tour Women a month ago coming off the cyclocross season. You can see how this race might be tailor-made for her if she believes she can go for it. The punchy climbs aren’t an issue and are good launch pads. If the finishing group is small enough Persico becomes one of the fastest finishing options as well. The team also needs to balance the threat of Sofia Bertizzolo too. 2nd in last year’s finish behind Balsamo, she was 8th the year before and clearly favours Trofeo Alfredo Binda. Her issue so far in 2023 is seemingly always finding trouble in races. Crashes and things mean that she hasn’t finished a race since Omloop het Nieuwsblad where she was 13th. There is much more to come this year from her.

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig has a great history at this race. Aside from a DNF in her first edition back in 2015, the Dane has never finished outside of the top 10. A trio of 3rd place podium finishes in 2017, 2019 & 2021 indicate a trend that 2023 might see another 3rd place. Speaking of, due to Kristen Faulkner’s disqualification from Strade Bianche for wearing a continuous glucose monitoring device, she got upgraded to 3rd there as well. I’d love to see a late attack take Cecilie to a similar win to Kasia Niewiadoma’s 2018 victory.
Grace Brown looks to be FDJ-Suez’s main option in the absence of Uttrup Ludwig. After winning the Tour Down Under she’s had solid finishes in the teens at Omloop het Nieuwsblad and Strade Bianche whilst supporting others. It’s the Australian’s first Trofeo Alfredo Binda though, so it might be a tough ask to win first time out. Marta Cavalli is also due to return and is worth watching to see if she has fully recovered from last year’s major crash.

Marianne Vos is going to be at Trofeo Alfredo Binda for her first road race of the 2023 season. She had a bit of a mixed cyclocross campaign with a win at Kortrijk but then wasn’t able to catch up to the speed of the front of most of the World Cup races compared to the year before. That’s mainly down to requiring surgery again on an iliac artery constriction, for the second time in her career. That surgery was in February and this race might’ve come too soon for the four-time Trofeo Alfredo Binda winner. The team also has 2017 winner Coryn Labecki in their ranks. She was 6th her last year as well and if the race comes down to a sprint will be Jumbo-Visma’s main option. The American took 3rd on the opening day of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana so still has the speed.

Sofia Bertizzolo
Sofia Bertizzolo

Trek Segafredo’s options are centred on Elisa Balsamo and Amanda Spratt. Last year’s winner, Balsamo will relish the race coming down to a sprint once again. Previously the former world champion had a best result of 7th in 2021. Already a double-winner in 2023, she clearly has good form and should be the fastest sprinter her on paper. The Aussie Amanda Spratt has got 2023 off to an absolute flyer and is the 2nd ranked rider in the WWT standings. Trofeo Alfredo Binda can be hit or miss for her. With highs including 2nd place in 2019 and a pair of 4ths in 2013 & 2018, when it comes down to a bigger bunch sprint, the results aren’t quite there. The plan must be to attack plenty with Spratt on the climbs and if still stays together, sprint with Balsamo.

Lorena Wiebes is an interesting shout for this year’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda. It’s her first attempt at the Italian race but we’re increasingly seeing Wiebes become a stronger all-round rider and not sure the best rider in the final 300 metres of the race. It feels like a longish shot but it’s one I could see pay off, especially if the puncheurs don’t manage to put enough pressure on to distance the European Champion.

Mavi Garcia can do well in Trofeo Alfredo Binda and you’d hope that her win at the Classic Lorient Agglomération last year gives her the blueprint to do well this year too. A best finish of 6th in 2021 shows what the Spaniard can do. She will need a race that is tough on the climbs with as many sprinters dropped as possible for a high finish. She’s in decent form in 2023 with 11th at Strade Bianche and 9th in GC at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana so far.

Arlenis Sierra can do well at Trofeo Alfredo Binda, with a 2nd place behind Coryn Labecki way back in 2017. On paper this sort of race should suit her, with hills that help drop purer sprinters leaving Sierra as one of the fastest finishers left in the pack. Yet somehow it’s not really worked since that first edition the Cuban raced. 12th in 2018, 43rd in 2019 and a DNF in 2022 are the finishes since. 5th in Nokere Koerse this week will help to boost the confidence though and she is surely a threat.

Team Jayco-AlUla comes into the Trofeo Alfredo Binda with Ane Santesteban and Ruby Roseman-Gannon as their protected riders. For Santesteban, she’s one of the most experienced riders of this race with 10 editions under her belt. The punchy Spanish rider only has a best result of 17th however, taken last year. Her teammate Ruby Roseman-Gannon is a stark contrast in experience as this will be her first edition. However the Aussie is a fast finisher and has shown that she can get over the sorts of climbs on the parcours. Alex Manly is here too and would be more than useful in a fast finish, it’s also her first edition.

Tamara Dronova has been struggling a little since crashing out of the UAE Tour Women. The Russian struggled to get any results at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana and Strade Bianche but there is hope with 10th at Trofeo Oro in Euro recently. At her best, this sort of rolling terrain could finish in a reduced grbetoup sprint that was her forte last season. Her team needs a good finish after stagnating a little in the hunt of points to remain in the Women’s WorldTour.

Trofeo Alfredo Binda 2023 Outsiders

Mikayla Harvey
Mikayla Harvey

It almost feels strange putting Juliette Labous in this category given she’s such a strong rider but she’s yet to make the top-10 in Trofeo Alfredo Binda. Sure 11th last year was very close indeed to breaking that but a run of 3 DNFs in the years before that shows it’s a race that’s been tough sledding. She’s done ok so far in 2023 with 13 in GC at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana but she will be focused on major goals later in the season.

Mikayla Harvey has had a great year so far in 2023. The move to UAE Team ADQ has definitely worked after a couple of years where she started to stagnate a little. 6th in GC at the UAE Tour was thanks to a strong climb on the Jebel Hafeet climb and before then the Kiwi was 17th at Women Cycling Pro Costa de Almeria. I’ve put her as an outsider because her team looks stacked for Trofeo Alfredo Binda and it’s not so clear if she will be racing for herself at all on Sunday. 

Yurani Blanco Calbet continues to impress this season. The Spaniard on Laboral Kutxa took top-10s at both Women Cycling Pro Costa de Almeria and Clasica de Almeria before having a strong few days at the Vuelta Extremadura Féminas last week. Finishes of 4th, 5th and 6th (TTT) showed strong consistently with the 5th place being particularly impressive given the amount of climbing on that stage. Against WWT opposition, it may be tougher to get the same results but she is one to watch.

Greta Marturano continues to improve year on year. Now on Fenix-Deceuninck, the Italian has so far ridden in support for other teammates. Her finishes at Trofeo Alfredo Binda have improved year on year and we’ve seen Marturano be a threat on rolling courses like this like when she was 4th in GC at CIC-Tour Féminin Pyrénées last year.

Top 3 Prediction