The Strade Bianche hype is real.

Strade Bianche will go ahead, according to RCS: Daily News

While we look forward to the first race of the Women's WorldTour season, a rise in coronavirus cases throws Siena into lockdown.

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Hello CyclingTips readers,

What an opening weekend we’ve just had! It’s a good thing there was just one day off before two more exciting races in Belgium, Le Samyn and Le Samyn Dames.

Despite a rise in coronavirus cases in Siena, RCS is determined for Strade Bianche to happen. The women’s WorldTour will officially kick off on the white roads of Tuscany. The race is set to be one for the books this year if the weather predictions are correct. Fingers crossed we don’t have a repeat of 2020.

Here’s what else you need to know.

Associate Editor
Abby Mickey

What’s News

Strade Bianche will go ahead amid COVID-19 rise in southern Tuscany

Strade Bianche, the race where the season shut down in 2020, will go ahead on Saturday, March 6th despite southern Tuscany being on red alert. A 20% rise in the new variants of COVID-19 have caused Siena, where the race starts and finishes, to go into lockdown.

A representative of RCS told Cyclingnews that the rise in cases will have no impact on the race, just on those who hoped to see the action from the roadside.

As usual with the pandemic, anything can happen.

Patrick Lefevere isn’t afraid of Van der Poel and Van Aert

The team boss for Deceuninck-QuickStep is not afraid of the Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert. Although the on-the-road threat of the cyclocross duo is all anyone can talk about, Lefevere is sure his team has the tactical upper hand.

When asked about Van der Poel and Van Aert in the upcoming classics Lefevere said, “do we have Wout van Aert on the team? No. Van der Poel? No. We have Alaphilippe, and around him, there are quite a few very strong riders and with the collective, we saw Saturday, we still won.”

It’s true that Deceuninck-QuickStep has a myriad of riders who can win bike races, and their tactics usually play on the numbers. The team was exceptional at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, where they controlled the race from the start and won with Davide Ballerini.

Neither Van Aert nor Van der Poel raced the opening cobbled Classic, but the two are set to attend Strade Bianche, where Van Aert will be looking to defend his 2020 victory.

Novo Nordisk Development Team confirms UCI Continental status in 2021

The Development outfit of Team Novo Nordisk has confirmed they will be stepping it up to UCI Continental this season.

“The idea of bumping the team up to a Continental Team has been something I’ve been hoping to be able to do for several years now,” said the development team’s manager Daniel Holt. “One thing that really helped solidify the decision this season is that now the devo and pro teams have the ability to share some riders at races, giving the organization the opportunity to continue the development of riders at all levels.”

The Novo Nordisk Development Team will kick off their 2021 season in Croatia this Wednesday. More information can be found here.

Trek-Segafredo prepares for Paris Roubaix

After recovering from Omloop Het Nieuwsblad the women of Trek-Segafredo went out on a little recognisance ride of what’s to come later in the season… the first-ever women’s Paris Roubaix.

Deceuninck-QuickStep debut ‘don’t drink & drive’ jersey for Le Samyn

Deceuninck-QuickStep have partnered with Maes Pils, brewer of Belgian beer, to promote a ‘don’t drink & drive’ campaign. The team will wear new jerseys in Le Samyn on Wednesday featuring a white band around the middle and ‘don’t drink & drive’ alongside the Maes Pils logo.

Coming up…

Le Samyn for both men and women will be live Tuesday on Eurosport and GNC+, as well as Sporza and RTBF in Belgium. Last year Hugo Hofstetter took the men’s victory in an exciting finale, while Chantal van den Broek-Blaak won the women’s race solo by almost two minutes.

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