New route with 10 dirt sectors on tap for Strade Bianche

Italian dirt-road semi-classic will roll out on a new course, with the traditional finish in Siena

Organizers unveiled a new route for the Italian semi-classic Strade Bianche Thursday. The one-day race, which unfolds over the white dirt roads of Tuscany, will start in San Gimignano, cover 10 sections of the dirt, and finish with a 16-percent ramp in the final kilometer to Siena.

Giro d’Italia owner RCS Sport announced the changes, and three difficulty dirt sections rated four or five stars, in a press conference.

“The Strade Bianche is a jewel in the international cycling scene,” said RCS Sport technical director Mauro Vegni. “This year the route is technically more difficult than in the past, given the greater number of sections of earthworks at the start, while the end is modeled on the traditional route, with the finish in the Piazza del Campo in Siena. We are confident that by working together with all the institutions involved we can get the best possible outcome for all.”

Included in the route are the five-star (most difficult) Monte Sante Marie sector, which covers 11.5km, and the four-star Colle Pinzuto sector, which covers 2.4km with roughly 20km to go.

The Strade Bianche takes place March 8 and opens two weeks of racing in Italy that culminates with Milano-Sanremo March 23.