Preview: Strade Bianche
Next on the calendar for the Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team is Strade Bianche. Even though the event lacks a long history, it has grown in prestige with its famous white gravel roads. The race added a women’s edition last year and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio performed well by finishing fourth in the inaugural event.
Moolman-Pasio will make her European season debut this Saturday, along with five teammates who raced in Belgium this past weekend. Carmen Small placed ninth in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and has already done a recon of some of the gravel sectors as she lives close to the route.
“It’s really hard,” Small said. “It’s not as easy as it looks on paper. It’s always nice to see a course before you race it and this is one of the hardest courses. It’s up there with any of the old World Cup courses. There will be a selection at a certain point and from 60km on, there is no rest. You’re going up and down. In three of the sections it’s 13% for 400 metres, it’s really hard,” she continued.
Moolman-Pasio and Small will be joined by Lotta Lepistö who was on the podium in Omloop van Het Hageland on Sunday. Canadian road champion, Joëlle Numainville forms part of the line up. Clara Koppenburg and Gabrielle Pilote Fortin are part of the team’s young rider development program and will make their debut in the event.
Strade Bianche (5 March 2016)
Gabrielle Pilote Fortin