Women's Strade Bianche race joins the men's event in Italy on March 7

A women’s version of the Strade Bianche race in Italy in March will be run on the same day as the iconic men’s event for the first time.

Strade Bianche uses unmade ‘white roads’ as well as surfaced roads from San Gimignano to Siena, and has already become a popular event among fans since its introduction in 2007.

The women’s event will be run over 103km, with the opening 33km and final 20km the same as the men’s race. It will include 17km of tough gravel tracks.

The UCI Women Elite 1.1 category climb-filled race starts an hour and a half before the men’s event on Sunday March 7.

RCS Sport Cycling Director Mauro Vegni said: “We are very proud to be able to announce today the birth of Strade Bianche Women Elite, which is going to enrich a movement in continuous development and show how RCS Sport continues to invest in the cycling world.

“The men’s race, now in its ninth edition for instance, has become a world class classic in just a few years. We like to call it ‘The northern classic of southern Europe’ in one of the most beautiful areas of Italy, finishing in the unique scenery of Piazza il Campo.”

“I would like to anticipate too a great initiative for sportive and active cyclists, the Gran Fondo Strade Bianche, which will be held on Sunday and will be announced in all its details in a separate dedicated press conference. I would like to thanks all the people involved in these projects for all their constant support.”

Strade Bianche women's race 2015

Strade Bianche women’s race 2015