Strade Bianche 2023 - women: The Route

Strade Bianche for women 2023Saturday 4 March - At 136 kilometres and featuring eight sterrati, the Strade Bianche Donne serves a lot of climbing, often unpaved and very steep. The last kilometre in Siena climbs at unforgiving gradients onto the Piazza del Campo.

It does not take long for the first unpaved road to appear. It’s a gentle, flat opener of 2.1 kilometres long before sector 2 is something else. This sterrato is 5.8 kilometres long, while also featuring the first double digit ramps of the day.

The route then descends onto a dust road with no significant gradients, which is followed by another unremarkable sector.

The hardest sterrato of the day appears after 67.5 kilometres. It is also the longest, but that’s not the reason. The 9.5 kilometres sector serves continuous ups and downs in the first part – predominantly up – before a twisting climb is emblematic of the second part.

The riders meet the tarmac again in Asciano and continue on the longest paved section of the route – 34 kilometres, but with hardly a metre on the flat.

With 25 kilometres remaining, it’s sterrato-time again on a short but brutal sector. A little later the Strade di Colle Pinzuto appears. The penultimate gravel road is 2.4 kilometres long and following a 15% ramp near the base the sector continues to climb gradually until the end.

At a little over 1 kilometre, the last gravel sector opens with a tricky downhill to continue onto a very punchy climb with ramps up 18%. When reaching the tarmac again in the village of Le Tolfe there are 12 kilometres left to race.

Twisting and undulating roads run back to the brutal finale in Siena. Coming off a descent the road rises false flat towards the Fontebranda Gate. The riders pass beneath it with only 900 metres to go. The road continues on paving slabs and the gradient exceeds 10% and even peaks out at 16% just before the climb flattens out.

The last 300 metres are downhill and 70 metres before the finish the route enters the Piazza del Campo.

It came down to the Siena climb in last year’s finale. Annemiek van Vleuten set the pace and Lotte Kopecky followed her like a shadow, while all other contenders were dropped. The Belgian overhauled the Dutch powerhouse when the gradients leveled out to outsprint her on the Piazza del Campo in Siena.

Lotte Kopecky succeeded Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (2021), Annemiek van Vleuten(2020, 2019), Anna van der Breggen (2018), Elisa Longo Borghini (2017), Lizzie Deignan (2016, then Armitstead), and Megan Guarnier (2015).

Ride the route yourself? Download GPX Strade Bianche Donne 2023.

Another interesting read: results and start list 2023 Strade Bianche.

Strade Bianche Donne 2023: routes, profiles, more

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