Boels – Dolmans poised to dominate Strade Bianche

Boels-Dolmans heads into Strade Bianche, the first ever Women's WorldTour race, with a stacked deck of top riders.

Photo: BrakeThrough Media

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

Boels – Dolmans has been very successful so far this season, and its riders will look to continue winning in Italy at Strade Bianche Saturday. The second annual 121-kilometer women’s edition is the first race in the new UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar, and the Dutch team looks to have stacked its deck with defending champ Megan Guarnier and world champion Lizzie Armitstead.

Armitstead won last week in Belgium at the Omloop Het Neiuwsblad ahead of teammate Chantal Blaak. Guarnier, the current U.S. national champion and bronze medalist at 2015 UCI World Championships in Richmond, will look to repeat her 2015 win on the white gravel roads. Boels also notched a win at Le Samyn des Dames on Wednesday, with Blaak. The team took first, fifth, sixth, and seventh places in Belgium.

Saturday’s race will not be an easy victory for the Boels women, however. Since this race marks the start of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, many teams will be looking to make a splash. The Dutch team’s main challengers will likely be Wiggle – High5’s Italian Elisa Longo Borghini, who was third in last year’s race, and her Swedish teammate Emma Johansson, second at Le Samyn and 11th at Omloop.

The Strade Bianche course is very difficult, with 22.4 kilometers of gravel roads, many of which are also steep, punchy climbs. The final two kilometers are some of the toughest of the day, taking riders uphill until 150 meters from the finish, and topping out at a gradient of 16 percent.

Boels-Dolmans Strade Bianche team

Megan Guarnier
Lizzie Armitstead
Nikki Harris
Romy Jasper
Christine Majerus
Katarzyna Pawlowska

Strade Bianche women’s teams

Alé Cipolini (I)
Aromitalia Vainano (I)
Astana Women’s Team (Kaz)
BePink (I)
Boels – Dolmans (Nl)
BTC City Ljubljana (Slo)
Canyon SRAM Racing (G)
Cervélo Bigla (G)
Cyclance (US)
Hitec Products (Nor)
INPA – Bianchi (I)
Lensworld – Zannata (B)
Lotto Soudal Ladies (B)
Orica – AIS (Aus)
Parkhotel Valkenburg Continental (NL)
Poitou – Charentes.Futuroscope.86 (F)
Raboliv (Nl)
S.C. Michela Fanini (I)
Servetto Footon (I)
Liv – Plantur (Nl)
Tibco – SVB (US)
Top girls Fassa Bortolo (I)
Wiggle – High5 (GB)

An American in France

What’s it like to be an American cyclist living in France? Watch to get professional road cyclist Joe Dombrowski’s view.