Ineos Grenadiers head to Strade Bianche with a strong lineup, with Egan Bernal and Tom Pidcock to join former winner Michał Kwiatkowski on the start line in Siena.
The British squad haven’t scored a top-10 finish in the WorldTour one-day race since Kwiatkowski soloed to victory ahead of Greg Van Avermaet in 2017, but the look determined to rectify that on Saturday as they line up with one of the strongest squads in the race.
Race newcomer Pidcock takes the team leader number 131 for the race. The 21-year-old has already impressed during his neo-pro season with Ineos, taking third at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne last weekend.
Given his experience on rough surfaces across cyclo-cross and the mountain bike, he’ll be among the top favourites in Siena despite his young age and lack of experience.
2019 Tour de France champion Egan Bernal will also line up at the race to make his debut on the gravel roads of Tuscany. While the Colombian hasn’t raced Strade Bianche before, he does have mountain biking experience from his junior years. He’s in good form, too, having finished second at the Tour de la Provence in February and sprinting to second place at the very hilly Trofeo Laigueglia on Wednesday.
30-year-old Kwiatkowski has also enjoyed a strong start to the season, having finished second overall at the Étoile de Bessèges last month. He crashed out of the Trofeo Laigueglia but got away with some bruising and will be in position to start on Saturday.
The trio will be joined on the start line by 23-year-old Russian Pavel Sivakov. Like Pidcock and Bernal, the stage racing talent will be making his debut at the race, having started his season at the Tour du Var. Salvatore Puccio, Leonardo Basso, and Owain Doull round out Ineos Grenadiers’ selection for the race while Ethan Hayter and Carlos Rodríguez fill out the reserve spots.
Gianni Moscon will not take part in the race, having previously been down to ride.
The Italian confirmed to La Gazzetta dello Sport that he suffered a broken wrist in his crash at Sunday’s Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne. He was fitted with a special wrist tutor on Wednesday but his spring campaign has to still to be confirmed.
Ineos will face stiff competition at Strade Bianche, which attracts top fields year after year despite being less than two decades old.
2020 winner Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) will restart his long-running rivalry with Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) at the race, while Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), world champion and 2019 winner Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), and the in-form Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) will also take part.
Cyclingnews will have full live coverage of the men’s and women’s editions of Strade Bianche, followed by race reports, news and interviews.