The ‘modern classic’ starts in San Gimignano, a Tuscan city looking like a fairytale. Riders get on their bikes and leave the medieval hill town to enter a race with medieval characteristics. In the rolling landscape of Tuscany the toughest sections will be on unpaved roads. The first one comes with 32.6 kilometres done in San Leonardo, a gravel sector of 2.2 kilometres.
The first half of the race features four dirt sectors, varying in length from 2.1 to 5.9 kilometres. To complicate matters, the longest in Ville di Corsano is steep also.
After 120.5 kilometres in the saddle the longest dust roads lay waiting. In Lucignano d’Asso it’s 9.5 kilometres of risking pneumoconiosis and a little further down the road comes Monte Sante Marie, the longest unpaved section in 11.5 kilometres. It’s an ideal spot to attack as the strip features nasty climbs and descents. But one mistake and you’ll hit the earth.
The finale starts at kilometre 167 with a 0.8 kilometres dust sector. Too short to make a difference, but perfect to test the competition. Ten kilometres later the Strade di Colle Pinzuto is 2.4 kilometres of unpaved road opening with a steep climb and a maximum gradient of 15%.
After 183.3 kilometres the last gravel road begins with a descent and closes with a steep climb with a maximum gradient of 18%. It’s a 1.1 kilometre slog and then it’s time to power to the finish. The winding roads of Tuscany favour escapees as chasers will have difficulty pinpointing them.
With 5 kilometres left the road goes downhill, only to go back up again in the last kilometre. Entering the city walls of Siena, a 16% sector welcomes the riders. Then a sharp turn to the right, left and right again. The finish is at Il Campo, Siena’s famous square.
The winner will be the successor of Michal Kwiatkowski. In 2014, the Pole attacked with Peter Sagan between the eighth and ninth gravel and the two of them extended their lead on the last two dust roads. Uphill in Siena Sagan could not follow Kwiatkowski and the Slovak had to settle for second place.
The race starts at 10:30 (CET) and the the finish is expected around 15:30.
Strade Bianche 2015: Route maps, height profiles, and more
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