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Strade Bianche announces 2017 routes, replete with gravel

Strade Bianche announces its 2017 race routes. This edition will be the first time the men's race is included in the UCI WorldTour.

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RCS Sport, organizer of the Giro d’Italia, announced routes for the 2017 women’s and men’s Strade Bianche one-day classic races, March 4 in Siena, Italy. The race, which is known for its unpaved gravel road sectors, will be part of the men’s WorldTour for the first time.

The women’s race will again be part of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, featuring 30 kilometers of gravel in eight sectors of the 127km route. The 2016 edition was won by Lizzie Deignan.

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Strade Bianche women’s gravel sectors

Sector 1: 2.1km, straight and slightly uphill.
Sector 2: 4.7km, short descent and a long climb with gradients over 10 percent.
Sector 3: 4.4km, rolling.
Sector 4: 5.5km, flat to slightly downhill to Buonconvento.
Sector 5: 9.5km, rolling for the first part, ending up with a twisting climb.
Sector 6: 800m, but with a double-digit ramp at the end.
Sector 7: 2.4km, climbs toward Colle Pinzuto with maximum 15 percent gradient.
Sector 8: 1.1km, a demanding descent followed by a punchy climb (max 18 percent gradient).

The men’s route will run 175km, and it includes 62km of gravel roads, spread over 11 sectors. Fabian Cancellara won the 2016 edition, his third victory, and as such, organizers have named sector 8 of gravel in his honor.

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Strade Bianche men’s gravel sectors

Sector 1: 2.1km, straight and slightly uphill. (Same as women’s route.)
Sector 2: 4.7km, short descent and a long climb with gradients over 10 percent. (Same as women’s route.)
Sector 3: 4.4km, rolling. (Same as women’s route.)
Sector 4: 5.5km, flat to slightly downhill to Buonconvento. (Same as women’s route.)
Sector 5: 11.9km, hard, hilly, very punchy, and technical.
Sector 6: 8km, only 1km after the previous sector, hilly, with a downhill run to Ponte d’Arbia.
Sector 7: 9.5km, rolling for the first part, ending up with a twisting climb. (Same as women’s route.)
Sector 8: 11.5km, the race’s hardest sector, mostly uphill.
Sector 9: 800m, but with a double-digit ramp at the end. (Same as women’s route.)
Sector 10: 2.4km, climbs toward Colle Pinzuto with maximum 15 percent gradient. (Same as women’s route.)
Sector 11: 1.1km, a demanding descent followed by a punchy climb (max 18 percent gradient).(Same as women’s route.)

Here’s the race’s 2017 sizzle video. As you can tell, Strade Bianche often sees a thrilling finish on the steep final climb back to Siena.