Year after year, some races come, some other go, some even get some sort of revamp to keep going. However, the Trofeo Alfredo Binda always stays without noticeable changes. First as part of the World Cup, now as the third event of the Women’s World Tour. Maybe it doesn’t change because it doesn’t need it. Not many races offer the same balance: sometimes there’s a thin line between favouring different types of riders and the Trofeo Binda apparently sits right in the middle: both sprinters and climbers can win it and have won it.
There’s no need to look far to prove this: climber Kasia Niewiadoma won in 2018, whereas sprinter Coryn Rivera was the fastest in 2017. Admittedly, Rivera has often shown some all-rounder abilities, but that was her first big win at international level and got it by beating everyone else in a group of almost 30 riders.
Another cool thing about this race is that they also organise a competition for the junior riders. It’s called Trofeo da Moreno.
As said before, it’s the same classic course that everybody already knows, including the bigger climb to Cunardo in the first half of the race and then the four laps around Cittiglio, for a total of 132 kilometres.
The main feature of the circuit is the Orino climb. It’s not steep overall, but the gradients are uneven and some short sections are hard enough for the strongest riders uphill to make a difference. A shorter, uncategorized hill placed earlier in the circuit it’s usually a good place for the attackers too.
The descent, while not overly technical, tends to be quite decisive, as the gaps on the top are rarely big. This is perhaps why some consider this race as some short of women’s Milano-Sanremo, especially now that the extinct Primavera Rosa is just a distant memory: it offers a similar balance between the puncheurs/climbers and the fast finishers, and it’s of course held in Italy and ridden during the same weekend. In fact, last year’s winner Kasia Niewiadoma said that Vincenzo Nibali’s succesful attack on the Poggio last year at the ‘Classicisima’ inspired her to try the same on the slopes of Orino.
The Trofeo Binda routinely offers such unpredictable outcomes that any attemp to accurately predict a winner is almost futile. However, it feels fair to start by mentioning the winner of the latest edition, Kasia Niewiadoma. She showed good form at Strade Bianche and has the explosive punch required to drop her faster rivals uphill. In case she’s not able to do so, her team Canyon//SRAM could rely on the relatively fast finish of Elena Cecchini and Hannah Barnes, as long as they survive the hills.
Surprisingly, Marta Bastianelli (Virtu) won’t be showing her purple jersey as he current leader of the World Tour, since she’s not part of her team’s line-up for the race. Runner-up last week in Drenthe Chantal Blaak, also 2nd in Trofeo Binda in 2018, heads Boels-Dolmans ambitions. She can count on the support of strong teammates as usual, especially the reliable super domestique Carol-Ann Canuel and climber Katie Hall.
Mitchelton-Scott brings a team of attackers and powerful all-rounders with two obvious outsiders: Amanda Spratt and Lucy Kennedy, both well suited for the race as they proved last year. The same can be said for CCC-Liv: with Marianne Vos and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio they have a powerful combination of skills for whatever outcome the race offers.
Everyone will be very curious to see what Jolanda Neff (Trek-Segafredo) can do. The MTB star was 3rd here in 2016 and she can perform on anything related to bikes, as we saw in cyclocross during the winter. Additionally, her team arrives with former winner Elisa Longo Borghini. Keep an eye on Ruth Winder‘s tactical smartness too.
Now as Bigla’s sole leader, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig will be another wheel to follow closely. She will animate the race as long as she can. And there are more potential outsiders: in case of a group finish, Sunweb’s Coryn Rivera and Leah Kirchmann are fast. Mavi García and Malgorzata Jasinska (Movistar), Soraya Paladin (Alé-Cipollini), Ane Santesteban and Erica Magnaldi (WNT-Rotor), Arlenis Sierra (Astana) and Shara Gillow (FDJ) might surprise as well.
How to watch the race live
Just like last year, PMG Sport will broadcast the race live, starting from 14:30 CET. This is the YouTube link to watch it.
The official hashtag is #TrBinda.