Top 15 riders to watch at Trofeo Alfredo Binda (1.WWT)

 Elizabeth Armitstead 

The reigning World, Commonwealth and National road race champion and twice winner of the UCI Women’s Road World Cup, winning the overall competition in 2014 and the final edition in 2015 is one of the top contenders of the third UCI WWT event. In 2016 the 27-year old British rider has won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Strade Bianche, the first race ever of the UCI Women’s WorldTour. On the final climb to the finish line she overtook her breakaway partners, Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Rabobank Liv) and Emma Johansson (Wiggle High5). However, Lizzie was not able to maintain her momentum, her winning streak and had to abandon last Saturday at Ronde van Drenthe due to illness. Despite it is still uncertain if she will be completely recovered, she is one of the riders to have under control.
Lizzie wins at OHN last Saturday. @boelsdolmans

 Megan Guarnier 

US national champion, bronze medal at the World Championships in Richmond, third at the Giro Rosa and winner of the 2015 Strade Bianche, Megan Guarnier is one of the top favourites. Megan has developed an especial “love-performance delivering relationship” with Italy through these past years by not only winning Strade Bianche 2015 edition but also by being a key show-maker at the past two editions of Giro Rosa. She will be helped by Hour World Record holder Evelyn Stevens, who will be making her road season debut at Alfredo Binda Trophy (not the type of race that narrowly matches her cycling characteristics but she will be a key supportive rider for her teammates Lizzie and Megan).

Last year winner Megan Guarnier @ANSA/Velonews
Megan Guarnier at Strade Bianche 2015 @ANSA/Velonews
 Annemiek van Vleuten
One of the most experienced riders in the peloton, overall winner of the 2011 UCI Women Road World Cup, the Dutch rider will be the reference of her team Orica-AIS, with whom she will try to repeat and, why not, improve her last year performance. Annemiek has shown herself in good form finishing seventh at Strade Bianche and ninth at the Ronde van Drenthe as well as performing great at previous weekend races in Belgium, where she showed her fighting spirit. Annemiek finished seventh last year at Alfredo Binda.
Annemiek van Vleuten training nearby her home. ‏@AvVleuten

 Katrin Garfoot

In 2016 she has won both the Australian and Oceanian time trial championships, the first stage and overall “Santos Women’s Tour” and the second stage of the “Ladies Tour of Qatar” while finishing fourth overall at the “Tour of Qatar”. As Loren Rowney stated during her interview “Kat is on track to an amazing performance in both events at the Olympics Games and Qatar Worlds”. With such an aim Kat will be looking to prove the earlier season improvement of her climb skills.

Katrin Garfoot @greenedgecycling
Katrin Garfoot @greenedgecycling

 Emma Johansson

Winner in 2014, Emma is again one of the riders to watch at Trofeo Alfredo Binda. The current leader of the Lotto Cycling Cup is on a good form, the Swedish rider just finished second behind Chantal Blaak on Le Samyn des Dammes and third at Strade Bianche behind Lizzie and Kasia. She will be part of one the most powerful teams for this race, Wiggle High5, along with Rabobank-Liv and Boels Dolmans. Perhaps she is not in her best form ever but she is such a tactically gifted rider that you need to have under control, otherwise as soon as action starts she may surprise you being part of any of the decisive moves. Emma as Wiggle High5 will try to compensate the bad result last weekend at Ronde van Drenthe where Wiggle High5 missed the four-rider decisive breakaway.

Mara Abbott 

Twice winner of the “Giro d’Italia” overall and six stage victories on her palmares. In 2015 she won the last stage of the Giro Rosa and finished second overall. Overall first in the “Tour of the Gila” and “Redlands Bicycle Classic”. Mara is one the best and most experienced climbers in the peloton and despite her lack of competition days in 2016, she has participated only at Le Samyn but did not finish it, she is one of the top riders to watch at Trofeo Alfredo Binda. She will be part of Wiggle High5 strong roster who despite missing one of the most charming climbers of the international peloton, Italian climber Elisa Longo-Borghini (off due to illness), would try to compensate the bad result on the second round of UCI WWT.


Malgorzata Jasinska 

In 2015 she won the last stage and the overall classification at Premondialle Giro della Toscana as well as finishing fifth at Giro dell’Emilia. The current Polish Champion has started strongly the 2016 season winning the “Gran Prix San Luis Femenino”, finishing on the podium at three stages of “Tour Femenino de San Luis” and was second overall. Moreover, the Polish rider was able to stay on the front chasing group at Strade Bianche finishing in thirteenth place. She will count with the help of Marta Bastianelli, World Champion in 2007 and once one of the best climbers of the peloton, who in 2016 has won the Omloop van het Hageland and finished fifth at last week Ronde van Drenthe.

 Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio
The South-African rider has had a tough start of the season with an illness early on that prevent her from defending her time trial and road race national jerseys and a disqualification from Strade Bianche, the first UCI WWT event ever, as a result of non-crossing rule violation. Ashleigh, who finished fourth in 2015 in the “Giro d’Italia”, second at Emakumeen Euskal Bira and at the “Giro dell’Emilia”, considers Trofeo Alfredo Binda a very special race: “It’s kind of like a home race for me. I lived in the area for a few years when I first came to race in Europe, and the roads we race on were my regular training routes. There is also a very special Italian lady called Sandra, who used to be our land lady. She became like my Italian mother, and she usually comes to support the race.” “Alfredo Binda is usually quite a tactical race and a small break away usually forms on the short climb in the smaller circuit in the second half of the race. The sprint to the finish line is also slightly uphill, so it’s a tough finish.” stated Ashleigh to her team.
Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 22.51.34
 Pauline Ferrand Prevot (will not participate due to illness)
During the 2015 season, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot became the first cyclist ever to simultaneously hold the world road, cyclocross and mountain bike titles. During 2015 in Italy she won the Aprica stage of the “Giro d’Italia” and came second at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda. On November she suffered a tibial plateau fracture during training, forcing her to refrain from racing, missing the 2015–2016 cyclocross season and switching her middle term programme for Rio 2016. The 24-year-old French rider, who came back to competitive road racing at Strade Bianche (where she finished eleventh), is one of the most powerful contenders for Trofeo Alfredo Binda.
 Katarzyna Niewiadoma

The 21-year-old Polish rider Kasia Niewiadoma enters her third year as a professional cyclist in 2016. Overall Bira winner and a regular winner of the “best young rider” classifications, is one of the riders to watch for this race. The lightweight Polish climber will try to improve her thirteenth place last year. In 2016 she came second at the Strade Bianche, proving herself as the strongest climber of the peloton, being only overtaken by World Champion Lizzie Armitstead on the final climb to the finish line. She is the current leader in the youth classification of the UCI WWT along with the Dutch rider Floortje Mackaij.

Katarzyna Niewiadoma at Bira's podium as overall winner
Katarzyna Niewiadoma at Bira’s podium as overall winner
 Anna van der Breggen
After a heartbreaking crash at Ponferrada 2014 Worlds, where the Dutch rider broke her pelvis, she recovered outstandingly to win her first race of 2015, the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. After her successful comeback Anna carried forward her winning momentum to consolidate her position as one of the best riders of the peloton. She won Giro Rosa’s overall, La Course by Le Tour de France, Elsy Jacobs, La Flèche Wallonne and finished on the podium at several races throughout the season including all three Richmond Worlds races. Her consistency has allowed to position herself as the leader of the newborn UCI Women’s World Tour, after coming fifth at the “Strade Bianche” and fourth at the “Ronde van Drenthe’’.
Anna van der Breggen
 Jolanda Neff
After a hand injury earlier in December that made her end up her cyclocross season and switch slightly her 2016 programme to the Rio Olympics, and the various training camps she has attended away from home, in both Spain and South Africa, Jolanda heads to Gavirate (where she finished sixth last year) with only one day of competition at Strade Bianche (where she finished twelfth). The 23-year-old Swiss rider is always one of the most dangerous riders in the peloton regardless of previous accumulated competition days. Neff may count on her Servetto-Footon teammates, Italian rider Eva Lechner (World and Continental MTB champion will make her 2016 debut on the road racing) and Swiss Nicole Brandi (who won the Trofeo Alfredo Binda in 2001 and who has returned to the racing after a 6-year break).
Yolanda Neff with Annemiek van Vleuten training on the Canary Islands @jolandaneff
Jolanda Neff with Annemiek van Vleuten training on the Canary Islands @jolandaneff
 Alena Amialiusik
The Belarusian road rider is one of those classics riders that you must always have within your visual range. After a successful 2015 season, where she won the gold medal at road race of the European Games, Alena will share leadership duties with her teammate Tiffany Cromwell at the third round of the UCI WWT. Alena described the race as one of her favourites on the calendar: “It’s so close to my home and training roads in Italy, I really enjoy racing here at Cittiglio. Last year  I made so many mistakes and in the final I was still fifth. I hope this year with my team supporting me I will be more patient and smart. We are racing so well together so I think there is no problem for someone from our team to have a nice result on Sunday.”
@Tino Pohlmann

Sofia Bertizzolo

Italian and European Junior champion and World vice-champion in 2014. In 2015 she won the “Da Moreno – mini-Alfredo Binda” the junior version of the UCI WWT event. Sofia, who is one of the most promising riders of her generation, will make her 2016 debut at Gavirate. She will count on her Astana teammates experienced Russian Tatiana Antoshina, who will debut with Astana as well, and her fellow Italian cyclist Sofia Beggin, who rode very well at Strade Bianche two weeks ago, finishing   thirty-second overall and second at the youth classification.

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 23.03.07


Anna Sanchis

After Sheyla Gutiérrez, Anne Santesteban and Dorleta Esakmendi, Anna will be the fourth Spanish rider to debut at the newborn UCI WWT. The 28-year-old Spanish rider will make her 2016 season debut with her Wiggle High5 team after riding earlier in January at San Luis with Spanish national team. At Trofeo Alfredo Binda, with a hilly course that matches her climbing skills, Anna will likely play a key supportive role for her teammates Emma Johansson, Mara Abbot and Dani King.

Written by:
Diego Martín
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