Trofeo Alfredo Binda preview

Sources: Official website, sat24.com, @raffilpt via Lasterketa Burua

Official map and profile, plus complete profile by @raffilpt using cronoescalada.com

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Line up has been constantly changing due to colds and sniffle, here’s the latest official one (PDF).

The weather will be a sunny 10 degrees C, with a faint South Easterly breeze at 5.5kph.

A much hillier route than previous editions, the 121km race starts at Gavirate and goes through Cittiglio with a fairly flat 13km to begin with. The first sprint points come at 20km in Cuveglio, but the pace will hopefully slack off a bit because it’s nothing but burning legs from then on. Just after the second intermediate sprint, the first and largest climb is 26km in at Grantola. This has gradients of around 6 to 7 % up to the highest point in Cunardo for the first QOM points. An uneven descent brings the race back to Cittiglio, the start of 4 laps of a 17.8km circuit. This circuit has two very steep climbs, a short one at Casalzuigno and a larger one at Orino which carries the rest of the QOM points for each lap. The last 7 to 8km descent to the end has a hairpin bend at Gemonio and a sharp right hand turn just before the finish in Cittiglio.

Wiggle H5 needs some good cheer after some less than stellar races, and on paper they look ready to get back into the swing of things. They have a fresh team with former winner Emma Johansson and Dani King supported by Mara Abbott, Giorgia Bronzini, Mayuko Hagiwara and Anna Sanchis. Boels Dolmans bring last years winner Lizzie Armitstead, but she is without her key support in Nikki Harris and she was feeling under the weather in Drenthe last weekend. If she’s feeling back to normal tomorrow then with Chantal Blaak, Evelyn Stevens, Katarzyna Pawlowska, Karol-Ann Canuel and the stellar Megan Guarnier she has dedicated and experienced support to get her back to the top of the world tour rankings. RaboLiv have suffered a blow with the last minute loss of Pauline Ferrand Prevot to a cold. (Have you noticed riders always say they have flu? It’s not, it’s a cold! Flu knocks you out for a week, takes a massive 3 to 6 months to recover from and in some cases can leave permanent damage or loss of form. Colds can range from a slight discomfort to a very bad case that take a few days to pass. Not the same thing!) However they have Katarzyna Niewiadoma and Anna van der Breggen, who are both more than capable of challenging for a podium place. Canyon SRAM have a storming team in Lisa Brennauer, Trixi Worrack, Tiffany Cromwell, Alena Amialiusik, Alexis Ryan and Elena Cecchini. Both Cecchini and Amialiusik have had good results at this race. Cervelo Bigla bring back Ashleigh Moolman Pasio after an illness and mishap filled start to the season. We didn’t get to see her challenge for Strade Bianche after a level crossing induced disqualification, and I think she will be the one to watch on the day. Frustration has been gnawing away, and she is missing a national Olympic training camp to race so she will be all guns firing I think. Cervelo Bigla also have Lotta Lepisto, but I think they will ride for Moolman Pasio. Orica AIS are also bringing a fresh team, but none who have had good results in this race before. However Lizzie Williams and Annemiek van Vleuten have been placing well so far this year, and the team certainly are in good form overall.

These are the teams that have traditionally done well at Trofeo Binda. Of the rest we have Cylance (Shelley Olds and Rosella Ratto), Hitec (Lauren Kitchen), Tibco-SVB (Lauren Stephens), Liv Plantur (Floortje Mackaij, Leah Kirchmann), UHC (Katie Hall), Ale Cipollini (Marta Bastianelli, Malgorzata Jasinska), Lotto Soudal Ladies (Claudia Lichtenburg, Jessie Daams) and TSVL Etixx Guill D’or (Kelly Druyts). Five Italian teams in Team Inpa Bianchi, Servetto Footon, SC Michela Fanini, Aromitalia Vaiano and Top Girls Fasso Bortolo may entertain us with some attacking hopefully. The rest of the peloton is made up of PC Futuroscope86, BTC City Ljubljana, BePink, Astana, Parkhotel Valkenburg, Lensworld Zannata Etixx, Twenty 16,  Team France and Team Switzerland.

Got to be Armitstead if she’s on form, she’s made for this route. If not then Cecchini or Johansson. But I’ll pick Moolman Pasio just because I think she has the mental game this time.

You can watch live streaming from 12.30UK time, 1.30 CET at cyclingsportpromotion.com and there will be highlights on Rai.