Route and teams of the fifth Montepaschi-Strade Bianche announced
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Route and teams of the fifth Montepaschi-Strade Bianche announced

by Jered Gruber at 2:11 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Only seven ProTeams and 112 riders in total will take the start in Tuscany

The route and the selected teams for the Montepaschi-Strade Bianche were released today by race organizers, RCS. Fourteen teams of eight riders, making for 112 total starters, will take the line on Saturday, March 5th in Gaiole in Chianti. 190 kilometers and eight sections of dirt roads (numbering about 65 kilometers) later, they'll finish in the legendary, Piazza del Campo in Siena.

Seven ProTeams were selected: Leopard Trek, Garmin-Cervelo, Omega Pharma-Lotto, Liquigas-Cannondale, Lampre-ISD, HTC-Highroad, and the BMC Racing Team.

The rest of the starting spots went all to Italian teams save for one: Acque e Sapone, Androni Giocattoli, Colnago-CSF Inox, De Rosa-Ceramica Flaminia, Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli, Geox-TMC, and the only non-Italian non-ProTeam is the upstart ProContinental outfit making their major European debut in 2011: Team Type 1.

Defending champion, Maxim Iglinskiy, will not get a chance to defend his 2010 title, as his team was not invited. Taking a closer look, the entire podium of last year's race will not have a chance to race in 2011: Iglinskiy won, Thomas Lovkvist (Sky) followed in 2nd, and Michael Rogers (Sky) rounded out the podium.

In fact, only one out of the race's four previous winners will have a chance to try to make it a second victory. Iglinskiy's Astana team was not invited, nor was 2009 winner, Thomas Lovkvist's Sky team, nor was 2007 winner's Alexandr Kolobnev's Katusha team selected. Only Fabian Cancellara could have the chance to go for victory number two if he decides to race the Strade Bianche with his new Leopard Trek team.

It will be a decidedly Italian flavored race, and unfortunately, it looks like the race will take a step down in 2011 in terms of the talent on the start line. It will certainly be an incredible race with some incredible riders, but there will be a lot more riders watching from home than there will be doing battle on the white roads of Tuscany.



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