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Strade Bianche | Discussion
Strade Bianche


HC - 194.7km (hilly)


Signore, Signori, benvenuti in Bella Italia! Welcome to Siena, Tuscany, where the iconic Strade Bianche race will be held tomorrow! Almost 200 kilometers of racing, thereof more than 60 on white gravel roads, with lots of hills added to that - a perfect menu for cycling gourmets!

It's one of the older races on the MG calendar, being raced since 2009. But despite its long history, no rider has every won it twice! Last year's winner pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/amc.png Jay McCarthy won't be the first one to achieve this, either, given that his team doesn't participate.

We actually still do have two former winners on the startlist, whereof one should have decent chances to become the first rider to triumph more than once. Let's take a look at those who are most likely to celebrate this year on Siena's Piazza del Campo:

Tier I

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/voy.png Tomohiro Kinoshita

The Japanese is the division's strongest puncheur, and in a race that is typically won by this type of rider, he has to be on top of our list. Besides riding the hills really well, he also has a good acceleration, strong resistance and great stamina. Plus, he's the strongest of the top puncheurs on the flat - which can be helpful if the race is hard not only on the uphills, but also between the hills.

If we want to outline one relative weakness, it would be his speed on longer climbs - but given that last year's winner pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/amc.png McCarthy is even a level weaker in climbing, we think that this won't matter much.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/voy.png Kinoshita's main helpers on the hills and gravel roads should be pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/voy.png Duchesne and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/voy.png Shirota - who both have an even stronger acceleration than their leader and so shouldn't have any issues closing gaps early in the race.

Tier II

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/xr0.png Joseph Areruya

Indeed, we already go down to Tier II, leaving pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/voy.png Kinoshita all alone on top. The reason is that pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/xr0.png Areruya is not one, but two stat points lower on the hills, as well as being a tad weaker both on the flat and in accelerating. As we mentioned, we don't rate mountain skills very highly for this race - else he'd obviously be in Tier I as well.

Having finished 8th in 2020, the Rwandan has since become a much stronger puncheur, and with his physical strength can outlast pretty much everyone. His support cast will surely be helpful in his endeavors, as he brings pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/xr0.png Stannard, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/xr0.png Nikiema and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/xr0.png Kipkemboi as strongest hilly domestiques.


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ced.png Eduard Alexander Beltran

The Colombian is pretty much a carbon copy of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/xr0.png Areruya - although chronologically speaking it's rather the other way around. However, he has significantly weaker energy stats, which could mean that he'll run out of steam before some of his opponents. On the other hand, he recovers better than most other top puncheurs on downhills, which on a rollercoaster-like course surely isn't a bad thing.

While obviously being a favorite in pretty much every hilly race he enters, he hasn't been able to claim the big results yet. However, between 7th in 2020 and 5th last year, there's an upward trend - is the first podium due this year?

The team definitely looks to be going all-in, having strengthened their support squad with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ced.png Eriksson this year, who builds a very strong helper duo with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ced.png Gaudu! pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ced.png McCormick and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ced.png Ardila should be pretty helpful in the earlier stages of the race, too.


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ino.png Bruno Borges

Although pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ino.png Borges is a tad weaker on the hills, we still take him in Tier II. The reason for this is that he's the strongest sprinter among the top puncheurs - and has clearly the best acceleration of all riders present!

Another reason is that he's one of the previously mentioned former winners - he was victorious in 2020. Things didn't go his way at all last year, where he only took 11th place - but we're sure he's back for greater things with his new team!

When speaking of team, we see that he has weaker support than those named before him. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ino.png Silva, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ino.png Kolar or pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ino.png Setiawa surely are solid domestiques, but not more - and probably not strong enough to still be there in the finale. Let's see if he can still deliver!

Tier III

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/cdb.png Kristian Haugaard Jensen

We hesitated to count the Dane in the higher tier because he's just an incredible fighter, but we thought that unlike pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ino.png Borges' sprinter bonus, this wasn't enough to put him above the other Tier III riders. However, he definitely has a very strong statline, having also a decent acceleration alongside his fighting spirit. Let's see if that's enough.

So far, it wasn't, at least not according to his previous results. An 18th place in 2018, then 13th last year - can he crack the Top10 this time?

If he doesn't succeed, it should at least not be the team's fault, as pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/cdb.png Aranburu could be a leader on his own - and clearly would be on a more difficult profile - and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/cdb.png Asgreen and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/cdb.png Olesen both are capable domestiques as well.


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/spr.png Tejay Van Garderen

We already mentioned the expression "carbon copy" once, and we do it again - although the American once was a clearly better puncheur. But two years after his prime, he's almost identical to the Dane, being just slightly less aggressive by now. But he should still be punchy enough for a last good season at PCT level.

He definitely still was "good enough" last year, as he finished 3rd - given that both pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/amc.png McCarthy and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/amc.png Kwiatkowski aren't here, he would have been one of the top favorites if not for his second decline...

His team brings a stacked support squad, led by also declining pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/spr.png Slagter and future lead puncheur pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/spr.png Hirschi, and complemented by pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/spr.png Pellaud and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/spr.png Bellis. While the last name may sound unspectacular, he's actually the second former winner on the startlist - back in 2013, on a different course, and without two declines behind him.


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/mck.png Ian Boswell

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/mck.png Boswell has been doing an incredible job so far this year, winning both on C2 and C1 level - can he even take wins in three different race categories? At least this looks to be the perfect HC wildcard for him, being another strong puncheur with a good acceleration. He may be less aggressive than all of those mentioned before, but maybe he'll be smarter?

He already had two Top10 results in this race so far - both being a couple of years back, though: 7th in 2015, and 6th in 2018. And what about 2022?

Unsurprisingly, his team is one of the weakest on the hills - the cap space difference between PCT and CT definitely shows in the depth positions. Plus, they're only 6 riders. Let's see if pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/mck.png Rodriguez Galindo can do a good enough job for pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/mck.png Boswell to still have enough firepower left in the end!


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/bnb.png Pedro Miguel Paulinho

Another Portuguese - and after a couple of pure puncheurs, another one who can handle long climbs almost as well as short ones. It probably won't help him a lot here, but his puncheur skills are still strong enough to be fighting for at least a Top10 result. His acceleration is decent as well - but his skills on the flat might hold him back a bit.

This wasn't the case in the last two editions, though, as he finished 5th in 2020 and 8th last year - 3 Top10s in a row would surely be a nice streak for him!

He'll should get some decent support from his team, at least in the earlier stages. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/bnb.png Oliveira, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/bnb.png Lienhard and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/bnb.png Seigle likely won't be strong enough to stay with him until the finale, but we'll see.


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/p4e.png Oleksandr Prevar

Back to the "pure puncheur" category with the Ukranian. However, this isn't the main reason he's listed pretty low in this tier. Instead, it's the acceleration that places him behind some other riders - and also his resistance, where he's the weakest of those presented as well.

The results from 2019 (13th) and 2020 (19th) confirm the feeling that he might lack something to fight for the Top10, but last year he finished on a good 7th place. What's possible this time?

We all know his team manager loves uphill races, and so he has lots of decent hill riders under contract as well. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/p4e.png Budyak leads the support cast here, with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/p4e.png Bratashcuk, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/p4e.png Tanovitchii and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/p4e.png Gladysh all being decent puncheurs as well. Maybe his team can make up for some of pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/p4e.png Prevar's deficits?


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tlt.png Zico Waeytens

You know the "carbon copy" joke by now, but the Belgian is indeed pretty similar to pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/p4e.png Prevar. He's a more aggressive rider, though - but his pretty low stamina might be an issue in an almost 200km race.

His results so far aren't very reassuring, indeed. 25th in 2017, 19th in 2019 - at least his best result is the most recent one, with a 13th place in 2020.

Hills are his team's strongest terrain, and that shows in the support lineup as well: pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tlt.png Calmejane, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tlt.png Senyenov, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tlt.png Jang, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tlt.png Pibernik and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tlt.png Korosec are surely some good teammates to rely on!


pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/pfi.png Tiesj Benoot

Last but not least, another Belgian! pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/pfi.png Benoot would certainly be ranked higher in races with tougher climbs, and in races with cobbles - but having the weakest acceleration of all 80+ puncheurs, he gets the last spot in this list. Maybe he can make up for some of this acceleration deficit with better physical strength, though!

So far, we only have one notable result in the race history, which is an 11th place two years back. He's become stronger since, though, so let's see if he can get that Top10 this time!

He's got some OK support with pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/pfi.png Raileanu and last-minute signing pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/pfi.png Velasco; let's see what they can do for him!

And after the text, let's just take a look at the numbers - if you're still with us:

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/voy.png Kinoshita73728366807773596877737166
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/xr0.png Areruya72798165767879536876756065
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ced.png Beltran69798166737272596676787466
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ino.png Borges70708061757370547181756560
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/cdb.png Jensen71708067777371556676817370
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/spr.png Van Garderen71708067757267656876787367
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/mck.png Boswell70718067777371566576726869
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/bnb.png Paulinho67758064707274566875706264
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/p4e.png Prevar72718062777068536773636662
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/tlt.png Waeytens70718065727068676673767565
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/pfi.png Benoot71758063757474766971626662
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/kmm.png Bilbao71677965777171517175676661
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/lpu.png De Plus72767964747371576172686665
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/vlf.png Chaves70767968747372546072696468
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/cdb.png Aranburu69777963707974576871626763
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ccc.png Chernetskiy70717966806970526371766466
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/afr.png Gebrezgabihier68707966747472536769776664
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ced.png Eriksson72677861787475656576757161
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/kmm.png Boily67767870727269566874697961
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/afr.png Van Niekerk69757865727576666374827165
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/aab.png Gesbert71747864807878626873766666
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/kmm.png Moazemi67737869727275626573656367
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/spr.png Slagter67777865707272506070817865
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/ced.png Gaudu73717866787571576870696966
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/p4e.png Budyak68747868726773565768637468

Given the profile and the importance of the race, we don't think we need to present climbers, sprinters or flat beasts - so all that is left to share with you for now is the startlist:


There are only 12 Italians on the startlist - and while most of them are at least decent puncheurs, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/sva.png Felline and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/bia.png Zordan should have the best chances for a decent result. But it's shocking for a big cycling nation to not have even a single rider making the favorites list!

We also see that besides pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/mck.png Boswell's pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/mck.png McCormick Pro Cycling, we also welcome pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/anz.png Air New Zealand and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2022/Micros/bia.png Bianchi - Panerai as CT wildcard teams.

The race is well filled, 190 out of 192 roster spots are filled - now let's hope we'll see some great racing tomorrow! See you then!
Probably not the best race for De Plus, a top 10 would be great. Nice preview as well!
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
Back after over a month off, and just this race before another 2-3 weeks without any action. Torn between "so cool to be racing again" and "only an Areruya win will make up for the lack of action" - leaning towards the latter to be honest. Excited for his first hilly classic at 81, thanks for a comprehensive preview Fabianski, looking forward to the race Grin
24/02/21 - kandesbunzler said “I don't drink famous people."
22/07/21 - quadsas said "I admire you [jandal] so much as a manager, squad builder and a person"
15/08/22 - SotD said "Your [jandal's] humour is overrated"

[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [PCT] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing

4x i.imgur.com/wM6Wok5.png x4
Luis Leon Sanchez
Would need a near miracle from Mas/Paez to get something out of this but let’s hope they give it a go!

Great preview and looking forward to an exciting race Grin
Hills, lets just get this over with asap
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Benoot is back to lead on the hills, but a classic may not be his strongest suit. However, we're still hopeful of a Top 10 at least, and the preview also puts him in that region. Anything is better than the past three years right? Wink

Thanks for the great preview Fab Smile
Well, time to get the hills campaign going I guess. Our results in these races will likely dictate which direction our season goes more generally. The pressure is on.

Very stacked startlist, and we're contributing to it. Strade is one of I believe 3 classics this season where Jensen and Aranburu will be racing together rather than splitting their time apart. I don't have much faith that that strategy is going to work to our benefit in a race like this, but I obviously had race days leftover. I hope at the very least having both here gives us a fallback if one has terrible daily form. But both could just as easily end up outside the top 10.

Kinoshita has to be the favorite. Behind him, it's all up for grabs I think. Thanks for the preview Fabianski!
RIP Exxon Duke, David Veilleux, Double Feature, and Monster Energy
jandal7 wrote:
Back after over a month off, and just this race before another 2-3 weeks without any action.

Same applies for my team Smile I'm curious to see how Chernetskiy will perform, top-15 would be great.

Thanks for the preview Fabianski!
ICL - Latvijas Balzams - Olainfarm
MG - Crabbe-CC Chevigny
Ulrich Ulriksen
One of Boswell's two HC adventures. Given the relatively weak PCT puncheur field I wonder if this was a mistake. Guess we will see how competitive he is. Figured we wouldn't be accountable for the chasing so 6 riders shouldn't be an issue. Hopefully Rodriguez Galindo or Mohaamad has a good day to keep Boswell safe as long as possible.

Thanks for the great preview.
Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
Gonna be interesting to see what we produce here. Not a focus area for the team with Meurisse being the leader but as we have seen this season already both him and The Boss are able to create results that no one would expect, a cheeky breakaway attempt maybe? Also going to be interesting to see if Joseph Areruya can mix it with Kino who is the main favourite to take it all.
Can we get our season up and running? I hope so.


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogačar
Meh, not what we were hoping for.
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
WE GOT POINTS! That's already outdoing my prediction for hilly races this season Grin

Thanks for the report Fabianski and congrats sammy!
Disappointing one, especially with the lack of any depth scoring with Stannard especially very weak not making that first selection as well as Kipkemboi and Nikiema also not there. Really glad Areruya still seems to have his trademark super aggression despite the training but he does need to learn how to channel it a bit more now he's a top favourite rather than a second tier guy like last year. Did feel very good to be back racing and 3rd is hardly a catastrophe, just not what we wanted.

Thanks for the excellent and detailed report Fabianski and congrats on a big win sammy!
24/02/21 - kandesbunzler said “I don't drink famous people."
22/07/21 - quadsas said "I admire you [jandal] so much as a manager, squad builder and a person"
15/08/22 - SotD said "Your [jandal's] humour is overrated"

[ICL] Santos-Euskadi | The Life And Times | [PCT] i.imgur.com/c85NSl6.png Xero Racing

4x i.imgur.com/wM6Wok5.png x4
Awesome Race and coverage!
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Somebody please end my suffering, Jesus fucking Christ
Indosat - ANZ HQ

"This Schleck sandwich is going to cause serious indigestion for Evans" - Phil Liggett
This is our first race at home and didn't expect to score any point in this C1 competitive field. However, we still send 5 local lads to participate and meet our local fans and sponsors for first time.

Glad to see our young local rider Colleoni stay in the breakaway group until the last 20km, and finished 41th among all those C1 rider.

Thanks Fabianski for this detailed report.
This was the best of the race report from my POV Smile : Blouwe and Moulingui are the next breakaway riders to blouwe up - let's see who will be the last man standing!

Says enough, Chernetskiy finishing 61th is really dissapointing

Thanks Fabianski for the report and congrats Sauber with the win!
ICL - Latvijas Balzams - Olainfarm
MG - Crabbe-CC Chevigny
Great result from Meurisse considering the fact that he wasn't mentioned in the preview! Thanks for the report it was a great read and commiserations to Eden, Borges finishing 13th is rough.
Fantastic stuff from Benoot! Love to see the off season investment bearing fruit. Also puts to bed the hills trauma of previous seasons.

Congrats to sammy and thanks for the great report Fab Smile
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