The white roads of Tuscany that feature in Strade Bianche might make for some beautiful shots as the riders navigate their way through the dry, dusty tracks, but when it rains, it’s a different story.
Many of the teams have taken the chance to recon the roads on the eve of Saturday’s men and women’s races (in the dry), but things might look a little different at the start line.
With rain, including possible thunderstorms, forecast around Siena during the race, those white roads are likely turn a bit sludgy and cause some mayhem, much like we saw during stage seven of the 2010 Giro d’Italia.
World Champion Cadel Evans won that day, as the Giro stage took on the Tuscan roads, but it looked a hard, treacherous day out for everyone involved.
There’s also Southerly winds getting up to 32kmph in the afternoon, which is going to make the Northwards run-in to the centre of Siena that bit harder for the peloton.
Rabobank-Liv attacked the gravel hills on Friday morning with Pauline Ferrand-Prevot in tow. The French champion will be making her first appearance of the season after a long lay-off with injury.
Team Sky were also out testing the course under blue skies. The British team will be lead by 2014 winner of Strade Bianche, Michal Kwiatkowski. The Pole makes a return to racing since missing the Volta ao Algarve in February with illness.
Lotto-Soudal (or Lotto Fix All if you’re watching Paris-Nice next week), will be hoping for a bit more luck than they got in last week’s Omloop Het Nieuwsblad with young one-day specialist, Tiesj Benoot.
Even before the rain though, the roads look pretty hard going, as Wiggle-High5 demonstrate with their recon photo.
Trek-Segafredo look like they’re enjoying their day out in the sunshine. They’ll be supporting Fabian Cancellara in his final run at the Strade Bianche title. Spartacus has won the race twice already, and a third could see him write his name in the race’s history forever.