Not ideal preparation for the first WorldTour race of the season
While lots of riders and teams have had their Strade Bianche recons disrupted by snow and freezing temperatures in Tuscany, it’s fair to say that Wiggle High5’s recon was disrupted more than most.
Already forced to ditch their bikes and carry out the recon in the team cars, things went from bad to worse when one of the cars got stuck on one of the steep gradients of the white gravel roads, unable to gain traction on the icy and snowy surface.
Swedish rider Emilia Fahlin posted a video of the incident on Twitter, showing four riders and one member of staff almost slipping over as they tried to push the car up the hill to get a bit of momentum.
Thankfully the car was soon able to drive away, with the riders celebrating, presumably hoping that the second team car which was still at the bottom of the hill would hit the slope with a bit more speed and make it over the crest without the need for four professional bike riders to intervene.
Much of western Europe has been hit with snow and unseasonably cold temperatures in recent days, with temperatures in Tuscany, where Strade Bianche takes place, being 15ºC lower than the average for the time of year.
Riders have been completing their recons of the route over the past few days, and although some like Romain Bardet and Michal Kwiatkowski who were out on Wednesday enjoyed blue skies, those who tried to look over the course were less lucky with more cold temperatures and fresh snow overnight.
Temperatures for the race are expected to rise on Friday and Saturday, but rain is forecast, raising the possibility that the white gravel roads could turn into a brown muddy mess.