Israel – Premier Tech is lining up for Saturday’s Strade Bianche with a strong and determined team, ready to get in the mix and fight for a top result in the iconic Italian one-day race.
Known as “Europe’s most southern northern Classic”, Strade Bianche has quickly become a fan favorite on the calendar due to its picturesque scenery and demanding course.
With the peloton making its way through the breathtaking Tuscan countryside, covering no less than 63 km of white gravel roads, divided into 11 challenging sectors, this race is as beautiful as it is merciless. It only takes one ill-timed puncture to go from the lead into oblivion. Needless to say, having the right material and the right bike set-up is crucial for a successful outcome.
“I’m confident we have a great set-up with our Factor OSTRO bike, Black Inc wheels and Maxxis tires”, team mechanic Zoran Pohrebny explains.
“It’s super important to have good tires, especially for a race like Strade Bianche. We will be using the new 28mm tubeless High Road model from Maxxis as this will give the riders better control. For the wheels, the guys will use either the Thirty or the Forty Five option from Black Inc.”
Leading the IPT team are Jakob Fuglsang and Simon Clarke. Fuglsang finished second in 2019, fifth in 2020 and ninth last year, while Clarke, too, is a Top-10 regular in the race. The 35-year-old Australian has had an impressive start to the season with multiple podiums already and he’s now looking forward to one of his favorite races on the calendar.
“This is such a cool race”, Clarke said after coming back from the team’s recon ride on Thursday. “Personally, I feel good. However, you need to approach a race like this with an open mindset. Similar to Paris-Roubaix, you can be unfortunate to suffer a puncture at a bad time and then it’s over.”
“You can have all the condition in the world but that’s not the only factor in a race like Strade Bianche. Still, without good condition, you’re not going anywhere either. Luckily, we’ve got some really good material here and I believe we will have a good race on Saturday.”
Strade Bianche (March 5)
Lineup: Jakob Fuglsang, Alex Cataford, Matthias Brändle, Guy Sagiv, Taj Jones, Krists Neilands, Simon Clarke.
Sports directors: Claudio Cozzi, Nicki Sørensen, René Andrle.