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Canadians Racing at Strada Bianche on March 4

by Ben Andrew

March 03, 2017 (Tuscany, Italy) – The famous Strade Biache – Erocia Pro will be held this coming March 4 on the white gravel roads of Tuscany, Italy. The race marks the third major classics race of the 2017 season, as well as the opening of the 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour with the Strade Bianche Women’s Elite race held on March 4th as well.

Leah Kirchmann  ©  Cor Vos

Both events depart and finish in the city of Siena, with the women racing 127km while the men will complete 175km. And both will incorporate gravel sectors into their routes, with the women facing 30km appearing in eight sectors, while the men will race across 62km of gravel roads comprised of 11 sectors, including those in the women’s Elite course.

Canuel  ©  Cor Vos
Alison Jackson  ©  Trophée d'Or Féminin

A total of seven Canadians are set to take the start, five in the Elite women’s event and two in the men’s race. While not all officially confirmed, the Canadian women who are expected to race include Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels –Dolmans Cycling Team), Alison Jackson (Bepink Cogeas), Joëlle Numainville (Cylance Pro Cycling), Leah Kirchmann (Team Sunweb) and Lex Albrecht (Team TIBCO – SVB).

Joelle Numainville  ©

In the men’s race, Hugo Houle (AR2G La Mondiale) and Svein Tuft (Orica-Scott) will battle against some of the best classics and stage racers alike.

Hugo Houle  ©  Cor Vos
Svein Tuft  ©  Pasquale Stalteri
In 2016 Kirchmann finished a strong 10th, while both Canuel and Numainville crossed the line within the top-40. Look for these fast women to be at the head of the pack again this year.

Former Swiss star Fabian Cancellara who retired at the end of 2016, won the race a record three times in 2008, 2012 and 2016 – so expect an exciting and dynamic contest that will see a new face on the top step of the podium.

Men’s and women’s routes can be found here

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