2016 Strade Bianche Route Launch Revealed
WOMEN – 121 KILOMETRES, 7 SECTORS AND 22.4 KM OF GRAVEL ROADS
A twisty and undulating course, with no long climbs but with punchy hills, in particular on the unpaved parts. There are roughly 22km of gravel roads, in seven sectors, many of them shared with the men's race.
Starting from Siena (Stadium/Medicean Fortress area), the first undulating kilometres are on tarmac before reaching the first 2.1km gravel sector at km 11, which is perfectly straight and always slightly uphill. Then we're soon at the first hill of the day, the Passo del Rospatoio (paved, roughly 5km at 5%). The race will then go through Murlo, followed by one of its classic gravel sectors (5.5km, featuring in the course since the first edition of the men's race) with no significant gradient and leading to Buonconvento.
After the passage through Buonconvento the feed station will be positioned in the area of Ponte d’Arbia before reaching Monteroni d’Arbia which mark the beginning of the following gravel sector of San Martino in Grania (9.5km) in the middle of the Crete Senesi. It's a long sector with continuous up and downs in the first part, to end up with a twisting climb before entering again on the tarmac. After that starts a paved section with no particular difficulties until the village of Guistrigona, where a short 1km gravel sector joins back to the classic men's course with its demanding and challenging finale.
After Castelnuovo Berardenga there's a very short, flat section of gravel (300m), before facing, after Monteaperti, the seventh sector which is only 800m long, but with a double digit gradient ramp before rejoining the tarmac in Vico d’Arbia and going to paved road through Pieve a Bozzone. Next comes the penultimate sector (2.4km) on the climb toward Colle Pinzuto (with inclination up to 15%). After a few kilometres the riders will face the last sector (1.1km) which features a sequence of a demanding descent followed by a very punchy climb (max 18%) that ends up at the Tolfe. From here only 12km separate the riders from the finish in Piazza del Campo, Siena.
The demanding final kilometres, with gradients up to 16%, approach the city of Siena along broad, straight sections of road, connected by sweeping curves, first descending, and then climbing slightly. 2km from the finish line, the route joins Via Esterna di Fontebranda, where the gradient touches 9%.
900m from the finish line, the race route passes beneath Fontebranda Gate where the road surface becomes paving slabs. The gradient exceeds 10% until 500m from the finish line, reaching its highpoint of 16% in Via Santa Caterina. A sharp right hand turn leads to Via delle Terme, and then Via Banchi di Sotto. With 300m to go, the road continues to climb slightly then, 150m from the line, a right turn leads into Via Rinaldini. The route enters the Piazza del Campo just 70 m from the finish line. The final 30m descends at a gradient of 7% and the finish line itself is flat.