The dominators of the mud face off in the 'sterrato'

Van der Poel and Van Aert will bring their pulse in cyclocross to the Tuscan soil. Alaphilippe, third in contention to win at Siena.


Mathieu van der Poel, four times cyclocross world champion, and Wout van Aert, with three rainbows of the discipline, will transfer their duel in the mud to the Tuscan sterrato. The two, along with Julian Alaphillipe, set out as the main contenders to win the Strade Bianche in 2021. Van Aert defends the title, while the reigning world road champion, Alaphilippe, won the Piazza del Campo in Siena in 2019. Al Frenchman will accompany him at Deceuninck Zdenek Stybar, winner in 2015. Ineos will line up Michal Kwiatkowski (winner in 2014 and 2017) and Tom Pidcock, another cyclocross specialist. There will also be men who climbed to the podium, such as Van Avermaet, Fuglsang, Formolo, Bardet or Wellens, and big winners, Bernal, Nibali, Simon Yates, Valverde or Pogacar.

The peloton likes the Strade, you just have to look at the entry list. Despite its little tradition (it was born in 2007), the dirt stretches and its retro air attract a lot. Alaphilippe even allowed himself in his previous press conference to claim “new monument” status for the race. The only Spaniard who reached the drawer, Valverde (third in 2014 and 2015), will share the telephone stripes with Iván García Cortina, signing for the classics. And watch out for Aranburu, in a good moment of form and one of the alternatives of Astana. Annemiek van Vleuten will seek her third crown with Movistar in the women's event.

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