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Strade Bianche

A strong team around Lorenzo Rota

Three days after the opening of the Italian cycling calendar in the Trofeo Laigueglia, Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux will participate in one of the most emblematic transalpine races. The famous “white roads” of the Strade Bianche (1.UWT, 5/03) are the attraction of the parcours of 184 kilometer around Siena (Tuscany) with not less than 63 kilometer of gravel roads divided in eleven sections.

This sixteenth edition keeps the same configuration as the previous editions, presenting several key gravel sections with important gradients. For example section seven, after 115 kilometer, brings the riders to the top of the Colle Pinzuto with gradients up to 15%. The last section is the short Tolfe climb with maximal gradients flirting with 20%. As usual, a climb leads to the finish on the Piazza del Campo in Siena.

The line up directed by Valerio Piva this Saturday is the same as the group that shone on the roads in Laigueglia three days before, except for one rider. Italian rider Lorenzo Rota finished fourth last Wednesday and will be accompanied again by his compatriots Domenico Pozzovivo and Simone Petilli. Also Belgian riders Jan Bakelants and Quinten Hermans and Frenchman Théo Delacroix are part of the selection. Dutchman Taco van der Hoorn participated in the Belgian classics last weekend and will ride in support of his teammates. Next to his stage win in the latest Giro in Canale, van der Hoorn also finished ninth in the stage towards Montalcino, which was also ridden on the “white roads”.

« I saw a very strong team at work in the Trofeo Laigueglia around leader Lorenzo Rota. In order to surround our Italian puncher as good as possible in the Strade Bianche this Saturday, his teammates will receive the directives to anticipate. It would be a serious advantage for us if, in this way, a rider like Taco van der Hoorn can race alongside Lorenzo in the final, just like Simone Petilli did last year. This Thursday we did the recon of the final 75 kilometer. As there are no route changes compared to last year and as dry weather conditions are expected, we have a clear idea about how we have to race if we want to continue our nice performances from the previous weeks. Personally, I had the privilege to follow the succes of our climbers group in the Tour of Oman and the UAE Tour, but I notice that we race for the victory on all fronts. It is not a coincidence that we are currently the fifth best team in the UCI ranking, the next challenge is to maintain this rhythm! »


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