19 Mar 15 riders to watch at Trofeo Alfredo Binda (1.WWT)
Elisa Longo Borghini
Italian rider Elisa Longo Borghini peaked her great start to the season winning Strade Bianche in front of the home crowds in Siena. Despite crashing in the fifth gravel sector, Elisa managed with the help of her teammates to get back to the front of the race and finally win her first UCI WWT event ever. After prudently missing Setmana Ciclista Valenciana following her crash at Strade Bianche, Elisa Longo Borghini defended her UCI WWT leader’s jersey at Ronde van Drenthe, finishing in fourth place despite the fact that the race course didn’t really suit her cycling skills. At Trofeo Alfredo Binda Longo Borghini will try to reedit her 2013 victory in front of her home crowds as well as forwarding her outstanding momentum. Together with her Wiggle High5 teammate Claudia Lichtenberg, Elisa is one the top riders to watch in Cittiglio.
The 22-year-old lightweight Polish climber Kasia Niewiadoma seeks her first podium at Trofeo Alfredo Binda. The current Polish national champion (both road race and time trial) has entered a season that will likely be a turning point in her career, as her new role at WM3 Energie (after Rabobank-Liv farewell) will demand more results and responsibilities from the lightweight Polish climber. After a very solid start to the season in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and especially in Strade Bianche, where she finished second, Katarzyna Niewiadoma is one of our top contenders to watch at Trofeo Alfredo Binda.
Trofeo Alfredo Binda was the first main goal for the Australian rider in the 2016 European season. After a strong Australian season Spratt finished 16th at Strade Bianche 2016 but she couldn’t forward momentum ahead of Trofeo Alfredo Binda as she was hit hit by a car out training. Now, Australian Amanda Spratt has a second chance as she heads to Trofeo Alfredo Binda in a similar or even better form, with great climbing legs ready to claim her first UCI WWT victory. Together with her teammates Annemiek van Vleuten and Katrin Garfoot, she forms part of the Orica-Scott strong roster that will try to claim its first UCI WWT victory in Cittiglio. Amanda Spratt is our favourite to claim a somehow surprise victory in Cittiglio.
Annemiek van Vleuten
Annemiek has shown some great early season form winning Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, finishing third at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and fifth at both Strade Bianche and Ronde van Drenthe. Overall winner of the 2011 UCI Women Road World Cup Annemiek van Vleuten will be together with Amanda Spratt the main reference of the Australian team in Cittiglio. Her versatility and fighting spirit make Annemiek one of the most dangerous riders to have under control at the third UCI WWT round.
Anna van der Breggen
After a heartbreaking crash at Ponferrada 2014 Worlds Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen recovered outstandingly stepping up becoming one of the best international riders during the past two seasons (winning 2015 UCI Ranking, 2015 Giro Rosa, La 2015&2016 Flèche Wallonne, 2015 La Course, claiming three medals in Richmond Road World Championships, becoming Olympic road race champion and bronze ITT medalist, European road champion and ITT runner-up). After switching teams this season joining Boels-Dolmans, Anna van der Breggen has had a slow start to the season, missing Strade Bianche due to illness. At Trofeo Alfredo Binda van der Breggen will try to improve her 2015 podium position, extending Boels-Dolmans winning streak in Cittiglio.
The reigning Commonwealth road race champion, twice winner of the UCI Women’s Road World Cup, third at the inaugural UCI WWT series, is one our top riders to watch at Trofeo Alfredo Binda. The 28-year old British rider will try to extend her winning streak at the Italian one-day race after repeating in 2016 the feat that she achieved at the previous edition. Last season Lizzie Deignan delivered an outstanding performance at the Italian one-day race, recovering and hastily counterattacking after being dropped from the six-rider chasing group at the final Orino climb.
South African Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio is one our riders to follow at Trofeo Alfredo Binda. After crashing, due to a police motorbike parked in the middle of a roundabout, during the Chrono des Nations time trial and fracturing her iliac bone, Moolman-Pasio went back to racing at South African National Championships winning the gold and bronze medals, at the ITT and road race respectively. Despite the fact she hasn’t hit some impressive early season form, Moolman-Pasio heads to the Italian race after finishing on the podium at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana.
The Belarusian road rider is one of those riders that you must always have within your visual range at this Italian one-day race. Despite the fact that the Belarusian rider hasn’t hit some impressive early form yet, Alena Amialiusik has a special performance-enhacing relationship at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda. In fact, Amialiusik has finished in the top-5 during the past three editions of the race, scoring a third position in 2014. Alena is one of our riders to follow in Cittiglio, at this race that features some of her normal training roads in Italy.
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig
The 21-year-old Danish rider Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig switched teams this season joining German registered Cervélo-Bigla. After her outstanding ninth place at Strade Bianche, Ludwig was able to forward momentum winning Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, becoming one of the breakout riders of the 2017 season. The current UCIWWT Youth leader (together with her compatriot Amalie Dideriksen) is one of our riders to follow at the third UCI WWT round.
Italian road race national champion Elena Cecchini forms part (along with Hannah Barnes, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot, Alena Amialiusik, Alexis Ryan and Tiffany Cromwell) of the strong Canyon SRAM roster for Trofeo Alfredo Binda. Despite the fact that Cecchini shouldn’t be quoted as a proper climber her current form positions her as one of the top riders to watch in Cittiglio. Italian rider Elena Cecchini has already shown some great form at both Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Strade Bianche and Ronde van Drenthe, three different types of one-day races, finishing 13th, 10th and second respectively, setting high expectations for the coming races.
German rider Claudia Lichtenberg switched teams this season joining British registered Wiggle-High5. After a very solid 2016 season, where she delivered some great performances as well as showing some really form that made us recall some of her past moments, when she was one of the most dominant riders of the international peloton, Lichtenberg will be the second contender for Wiggle-High5 at Italian hilly one-day race.
British rider Dani King switched teams this season, joining US-registered Cylance after four seasons at Wiggle-High5, in pursuit of more race opportunities and responsibilities. Since focusing on the road in 2013, London Olympics TP champion (along with Laura Kenny and Joanna Rowsell) Dani King has evolved becoming one of best all-rounded super-domestiques in the international peloton. In 2017 King wants to step up in order to become a top contender for both one-day races and stage races. In Siena, at the first 2017 UCI WWT round, Dani King finished in 16th position, a position she will try to improve in Cittiglio, where she is one our riders to follow.
Together with Dutch rider Roxane Knetemann, Shara Gillow switched teams this season, joining FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope after Rabobank-Liv farewell season. After showing some great early season form during Australian National championships, where she finished second at the ITT, Gillow delivered an outstanding performance at the first UCI WWT round of the 2017 series, claiming a sixth place at Strade Bianche.
Dutch rider Janneke Ensing is one of our top riders to watch. After proving some great early season form during Santos Women’s Tour (finishing second overall and at the first stage) Ensing strengthen her impressive start to the season getting some top results last weeks such as ninth at Le Samyn or 13th at Strade Bianche. At Trofeo Alfredo Binda Janneke can count on Carlee Taylor but she won’t count on with Ane Santesteban, who suffered last Thursday a hit and run accident out training.
Three-time winner and record holder of Trofeo Alfredo Binda Marianne Vos is one of the top riders to watch in Cittiglio. After starting her 2017 road season in Siena with a somehow modest result, Marianne finished seventh last week at Ronde van Drenthe. Despite “The Cannibal” hasn’t hit yet some early season form after her cyclocross winter, she is one of the top riders to follow in Cittiglio, in a season where Vos will try to get back to her previous dominant position in the women’s cycling peloton.