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Women’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda 2021 Preview – Tips, Contenders, Profile

Niewiadoma Trofeo Alfredo Binda 2018

The Trofeo Alfredo Binda is one of the longest-running women’s pro races, first run in 1974. The winner’s list includes plenty of big names like Fabiana Luperini, Nicole Cooke and Emma Johansson. After all the debate about whether Strade Bianche was a monument, this race would be firmly on the hypothetical list of women’s monuments. Another race that fell victim to the pandemic in 2020, Trofeo Alfredo Binda hasn’t seen a repeat winner since Lizzie Deignan in 2015 and 2016. Marianne Vos won the last held edition in 2019, winning with a convincing sprint finish. The year before that though, Katarzyna Niewiadoma won with a solo break in the rain. So different results are possible!

Trofeo Alfredo Binda centres around the town of Cittiglio, just off the shores of the Lake Maggiore. After heading out for an initial lap (blue on the profile below), the riders then do a long red lap before tackling the local circuit (green) 4 times. Each local circuit contains the climb to Orino. The section from Comacchio to Orino is 1.5km long at and average of 6.3km. It’s this climb that dictates the race. If raced gently, a large bunch sprint can take place. Potentially riders and go solo or a small group as well from Orino. The descent allows a chance for riders to rest before a rolling final 3km to the line. Anything is possible!

Recent Winners

2020 Not held due to COVID
2019
Marianne Vos
2018
Katarzyna Niewiadoma
2017
Coryn Rivera
2016 – Lizzie Deignan

TV Coverage

Sunday 21st March
13:30-15:15 GMT on Eurosport 1, Eurosport Player and GCN

Twitter Hashtag: #TrBinda

Women’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda 2021 Profile

Women’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda 2021 Favourites

Marianne Vos loves this race. She won 3 times in her prime (2009, 2010 and 2012) and won the last edition to be held in 2019. On that day she was the strongest sprinter of a very fractured lead group, having positioned herself perfectly. In 7 starts at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda over the years, Vos has 6 top-10 finishes. Despite a quiet start to the season, you’d be silly to think she won’t do well again.

Katarzyna Niewiadoma is another former winner of the race, back in 2018. On that day she attacked and got a gap, coming home around 20 seconds ahead of the chasers. Her current form is a little bit so-so. 18th at Omloop het Nieuwsblad is a little lower than she’d expect to be. Combined with 9th at Strade Bianche, a big goal for the season, it’s not been the best start to 2021. She’ll be assisted by Kiwi Mikayla Harvey. She DNFed her only other attempt at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda back in 2018 but has come on as a rider since then. 22nd at Strade Bianche was a solid start to the year, it’ll be interesting to see if she gets an opportunity here.

Lizzie Deignan & Elisa Longo Borghini

Lizzie Deignan won Trofeo Alfredo Binda twice in a row, in 2015 and 2016. In both of those victories she won sprints in small groups and that’s the best way for her to win this year too. Ride the attacks to make sure she’s there at the end and then go toe to toe with whoever is left. Her teammate Elisa Longo Borghini has a decent record here too with 5 top-10 finishes. She will have to attack and go solo though to get the win herself. It’s unlikely that she’ll be able to out-sprint many or any of the other major favourites. Her form is good though after finishing 2nd at Strade Bianche.

FDJ’s Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig has twice finished on the 3rd step of the podium here – both happening in odd-numbered years. With that good omen, she’ll be looking to improve slightly on her 5th place at Strade Bianche. She shouldn’t have too much trouble staying with the pack on the climbs but should find herself more vulnerable in the sprint. Teammate Marta Cavalli has the opposite issue where her sprint is good but will find it harder on the climbs. She probably might’ve hoped to finish higher than 13th in the 2019 race having got to the finish in the bunch. She might get the chance to this year having made the final selection at Strade Bianche. FDJ also can’t go wrong using Emilia Fahlin in the sprint but she has less chance of making it there than the two others above.

SD Worx continue to do what they do best, win races. Taking 2 stages at the Healthy Ageing Tour and Nokere Koerse since Chantal van den Broek-Blaak won at Strade Bianche. She was 2nd in this race in 2018 and has 4 other top-10 finishes dotted throughout the years. She will have the same aim as Deignan, to thin out the pack as much as possible. She’ll be ably assisted by Elena Cecchini, with 4 top-10 results herself. Cecchini hasn’t had her turn on the SD Worx roulette wheel yet but could certainly do it here as a more sprinty option on the team. Niamh-Fisher Black and Anna Shackley provide the youthful alternatives this race. Lucinda Brand will be using this race to get some form for Paris Roubaix. It’s been ten years since her last top-10 result here, so she should firmly be on elite domestique duty.

Demi Vollering
Photo Credit: Getty Images

It could also be Demi Vollering‘s turn to spring a victory for the team. She was 17th in her own attempt at this race in 2019 and has done well so far in 2021. Vollering was 13th at Omloop het Nieuwsblad and 6th at Strade Bianche. The 2020 version of Liane Lippert could be ready to strike at any moment but so far in 2021 she’s been really quiet. She was 35th at Omloop het Nieuwsblad and then a disappointing 61st at Strade Bianche. If she can return to last year’s form, she’ll be a contenders but it doesn’t look good so far.

The Australian pair of Amanda Spratt and Lucy Kennedy give Team BikeExchange options. Spratt will be the main option after finishing 2nd and 4th in her last two visits. She’s got her 2021 season off to a solid start with a pair of top-15 placings but she’s looking for her first top-10 result of the season. Lucy Kennedy was 9th in the 2018 edition, able to make the final selection with Spratt that year. She was quiet at Strade Bianche, her only result since her season moved to the European races.

A.R. Monex’s Arlenis Sierra was 2nd here in 2017, losing out in a small sprint against Coryn Rivera. Normally by this time of the year, she’ll have had a solid set of results from the Australian races. This year though, she only has a 36th at Strade Bianche to go on. This race suits her more and she’ll be a rider that people will want to drop as she’s dangerous in a sprint situation. She also got hit by a car for good measure this week but suffered no fractures, just abrasions. It might still have an impact.

Marta Bastianelli is racing! She’s not quite regained those heights of the 2019 season yet but has been encouraging so far in 2021. 6th at Omloop het Nieuwsblad was a good start and she was 9th in Nokere Koerse this week. Any lumpy race with a sprint finish (like this one!) and she’s a contender. Ale’s alternative option will be Mavi Garcia. It doesn’t feel like she’s quite in the same form yet as she was in the second half of 2020. She was 13th at Strade Bianche which was a step back from the 2nd she achieved the year before. She doesn’t have an amazing pair of results here either, with a best of 24th. For her to do well, she will be need to get some distance in a break. Mar

Leah Thomas

With no Annemiek van Vleuten here, Movistar will be backing Leah Thomas. The American was 22nd in 2019 whilst working for Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig at Bigla. Her future teammate Katrine Aalerud was one place behind her in that race. Both riders have had quiet starts to the year, no doubt due to working for their obvious leader. Let off the leash this weekend, they have the chance for a big individual result.

Another interesting pair of teammates are Ceratizit-WNT with Erica Magnaldi and Lizzy Banks. Magnaldi was 10th in the 2019 race and shouldn’t have an issue on the climbing sections. Whether or not the form is there to reach the top-10 again is unclear. Her only race of the season saw her finish 30th at Strade Bianche. Lizzy Banks might be on assistance duty but she’s always got that potential to go clear. If she can get herself into the right breakaway she’s more than capable of another showing like the one that saw her finish 2nd in GP de Plouay last season. She’s a useful wildcard for the team to have.

I debated whether to include Elisa Balsamo but she was 11th in the 2018 Trofeo Alfredo Binda. She will need the late climbs to be raced relatively gently to do well as she will certainly do well in the sprint. Her form is good, having won the GP Oetingen recently and finishing 12th at the lumpy Nokere Koerse. There’s a fair amount of hype surrounding TIBCO’s Sarah Gigante at this race. In her first European race since the start of last season, she’s been very visible over the last 12 months. From dominating virtual racing and the local QoMs during lockdown, she then overpowered the domestic opposition. We’re going to be very interested to see if Gigante can do well from the off or if she will need some time to bed into the European peloton.

Sarah Gigante
Photo Credit: Kevin Anderson

Women’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda 2021 Outsiders

Team BikeExchange can also call upon Ane Santesteban for a good result. She was well down, in 85th place at Strade Bianche. However she’s done this race 7 times, so knows the course inside out now. Her best result of 18th came in 2019’s race. She might find herself up there for a top-20 again. Team DSM’s bad start to 2021 continues, so Floortje Mackaij finds herself as an outsider. She’s had a brief highlight of 7th at GP Oetingen so maybe there is some light at the end of the tunnel. She was 21st at 2019’s race and could go at least one better this season.

Lithuanian Rasa Leleivyte normally does well in a lumpy Italian race for Aromitalia. She’s twice been in the top-20 at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda and probably wishes it finished on a climb rather than a sprint. Her only result of 2021 so far is 62nd at Strade Bianche. Former World Champion Tatiana Guderzo has 4 top-10s over the years here but it’s a long time since she was 2nd – in 2012. She’s finished in the top-20 twice though in the last 3 editions of the race and presents an interesting option for the Ale BTC Ljubljana team.

Finally, young French climber Evita Muzic has started the year well for FDJ. She was 20th at Strade Bianche, around the likes of Harvey, Cecchini and Thomas. She DNF-ed her only edition of the Trofeo Alfredo Binda though.

Race Prediction

1st
Lizzie Deignan
2nd
Marianne Vos
3rd
Chantal van den Broek-Blaak