Top 15 riders to watch at Strade Bianche (1.WWT)

 Megan Guarnier 

US national champion, bronze medal at the World Championships in Richmond, third at the Giro Rosa and winner of the previous edition of this race, 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 previous Strade Bianche edition but also by being a key show-maker at the past two editions of Giro Rosa.

Last year winner Megan Guarnier @ANSA/Velonews
Last year winner Megan Guarnier @ANSA/Velonews
 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 first UCI WWT event ever. The 27-year old British rider rode away from her rivals to win the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad last Saturday proving herself to be in a good form and ready for both the UCI WWT and spring classics season openings.

Lizzie wins at OHN last Saturday. @boelsdolmans
Lizzie wins at OHN last Saturday. @boelsdolmans
 Marta Bastianelli 
It may surprise to many seeing the Italian rider included in this list. Once world champion at Stuttgart in 2007, Marta broke the news last week with her impressive victory at the bunch sprint of Omloop van het Hageland after being a few years away from cycling, first serving a two-year doping ban and later on in 2014 due to a maternity leave. The 28-year-old Italian, who shown herself on Sunday as a powerful sprinter, was once a talented climber and who knows what she’s capable of right now that is back.
Marta Bastianelli crowned world champion in 2007 @Danilo Viganò :ciclismo.biciticino.ch
Marta Bastianelli crowned world champion in 2007 @Danilo Viganò :ciclismo.biciticino.ch
 Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio
The South-African rider missed time trial nationals in February due to illness and could only finish fifth at the road race nationals after spending the previous week ill. Last year Ashleigh was a key show-maker along with her former teammate Annemiek van Vleuten by trying to break away and pushing hardly on the numerous step climbs of Strade Bianche’s course.
Ashleigh @ashleighcycling
Ashleigh @ashleighcycling
 Tiffany Cromwell
Like most elite cyclists, Australian rider Tiffany Cromwell’s season goal is the Rio Olympic Games. Therefore her programme has been carefully plan in order to represent Australia in peak condition in order to bring Australia the gold medal. However, this doesn’t mean she has set aside the classics season and she has shown to be in a good form at the previous month races. A very tough course that matches Tiffany’s skills makes her a top favourite to watch.
Tifanny @wmncycling.com
Tifanny @wmncycling.com
 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 great performance. Annemiek has shown herself in a good a form at last weekend Belgium classics after intensive and extensive training camps on the Canary Islands with her teammate Gracie Elvin.
Annemiek van Vleuten training nearby her home. ‏@AvVleuten
Annemiek van Vleuten training nearby her home. ‏@AvVleuten
 Pauline Ferrand Prevot
During the 2015 season, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot became the first cyclist ever to simultaneously hold the world road, cyclocross and mountain bike titles. 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 will be back to competitive road racing at Strade Bianche, is one of the most powerful contenders despite the fact that her form level remains unknown.
Pauline @FERRANDPREVOT
Pauline @FERRANDPREVOT
 Katarzyna Niewiadoma

The 21-year-old Polish rider Kasia Niewiadoma enters her third year as a professionall 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 remarkable sixth place last year.

Katarzyna Niewiadoma at Bira's podium as overall winner @sport.pl
Katarzyna Niewiadoma at Bira’s podium as overall winner @sport.pl
 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.
Anna van der Breggen @annavanderbreggen.nl
Anna van der Breggen @annavanderbreggen.nl
 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, the young Swiss rider heads to Tuscany without having officially competed at any road races. After the various training camps she has attended away from home, in both Spain and South Africa, it still remains as a mistery her fitness level and form. However the 23-year-old rider is always one of the most dangerous riders in the peloton regardless of previous competition day that accumulated.
Yolanda Neff with Annemiek van Vleuten training on the Canary Islands @jolandaneff
Jolanda Neff with Annemiek van Vleuten training on the Canary Islands @jolandaneff
 Elisa Longo Borghini 
One of the most charming riders of the international peloton, Italian climber Elisa Longo-Borghini faces a life time opportunity as the UCI WWT begins in the Tuscany. Elisa, who expressed her excitement about it during these previous days, will be one the top contenders to the final victory and one of the most dangerous wheels to have under control, unless you would not like to fight for the win.
Elisa posing with her 4th place medal given by her family after her fabulous performance at Richmond World Championships. @ElisaLongoB
Elisa posing with her 4th place medal given by her family after her fabulous performance at Richmond World Championships. @ElisaLongoB
 Emma Johansson
Pointed out by Sara Olsson as one of the top favourites for tomorrow’s race, Emma comes back to Strade Bianche after a 2015 disappointing edition, where she faced both back luck and not feeling her best day. The current leader of the Lotto Cycling Cup is on a good form and just finished second behind Chantal Blaak on Wednesdays Le Samyn des Dammes.
Emma Johansson @emmajohansson.com
 Anna Solovey (finally not starting the race, at TWC London)
Serving a two-year doping ban, Anna reappeared at Ponferrada 2014 Worlds earning a silver medal. After a promising start of the 2015 season, finishing eighth at Strade Bianche, Anna firstly got disrupted by the Ukranian-Russian crisis and later she was laid off by Astana Acca-Due in a very controversial move.
Anna @parkhotelteam
Anna @parkhotelteam
 Alena Amialiusik
The Belarusian road rider is one of those classics riders that you must 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 very first UCI WWT ever.
Alena @wmncycling.com
Alena @wmncycling.com
 Sheyla Gutiérrez 

Our only Spanish representative at the first UCI WWT event will be Sheyla Gutiérrez. The 22-year-old Spanish rider, which has accumulated this season fourteen days of competition between the Spanish team and the US team Cylance Pro Cycling, will see her work rewarded with a historical presence at the first event of the newly created UCI WWT. Sheyla is mainly playing a supportive role within her new team, but we have witnessed during the past years both how talent gifted she is and how hard she works to get her cycling career to the highest level. In fact her last season Grand Prix de Plumelec victory broke a seven-years-drought for Spanish female cycling,

Sheyla at the first Cylance training camp @cylanceprocycling
Sheyla at the first Cylance training camp @cylanceprocycling
 Escrito por:
Diego Martín
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