Sir Bradley Wiggins (Sky), Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Cadel Evans (BMC), Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) are among the riders lining up for Strade Bianche in Tuscany on Saturday, March 8.
Over the past seven years, the race has rapidly established itself as a must-see event, run in part on white dirt roads around the stunning scenery of the central Italian region and this year has an enviable start list of Grand Tour champions and Classics stars.
In-form Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Ian Stannard joins Wiggins in Team Sky’s roster for the race. Wiggins has said that he is aiming for Paris-Roubaix on April 13 and Strade Bianche will be an important form tester for the 2012 Tour de France and Olympic time trial champion. The rest of Sky’s roster for Strade Bianche is Luke Rowe, Bernhard Eisel, Dario Cataldo, Ian Boswell, Nathan Earle and Salvatore Puccio.
Last year, Moreno Moser (Cannondale) took a solo victory after putting in a late attack from an escape group, with team-mate Peter Sagan placing second. Moser returns to defend his title as part of the line-up of 18 teams from the WorldTour and Professional Continental levels.
In February, race organiser RCS Sport announced a new start town – San Gimignano – and greater number of dirt road sections in the race, 10 in all adding up to 50km of its 200km distance.
Strade Bianche 2014: Teams
Strade Bianche: Past winners
2013 Moreno Moser (Ita)
2012 Fabian Cancellara (Swi)
2011 Philippe Gilbert (Bel)
2010 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz)
2009 Thomas Lovkvist (Swe)
2008 Fabian Cancellara (Swi)
2007 Aleksandr Kolobnev (Rus)
Strade Bianche 2014 will include 50km of 'white roads' and will start in San Gimignano