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What makes a classic? Heritage? Cobbles? Adverse weather? One day to write your name into the history books? For us, a Classic is a combination of all of these factors − and more. Irrespective of its age, the Strade Bianche race is certainly worthy of being dubbed a ‘classic’. Having now entered the UCI WorldTour, it has just elevated its status and cemented its role as one of our favourite races of the season.

The fans were out in force at the start in Siena
Stefan Kung checks his radio
The locals made sure that they caught the riders as they passed.
Kung takes on an early sectour of Strade Bianche
Van Avermaet’s gold stripes sit pretty in the peloton. #goldengreg

175km in length, with 62km of Tuscan white roads and constant rolling hills that give it 2100 metres of climbing, this is something of a unique race within the WorldTour Calendar where the strong riders of the cobbled classics go toe-to-toe with the lightweight climbers of the Ardennes classics.

Greg in the counter attack bridging up to the leaders on one of the later sections of Strade Bianche as the rain starts to pour.
Brent Bookwalter shows how tough this race is.
A local race watcher shelters from the showers.

A marker of early season form occurring only four weeks out from Flanders and Roubaix, this race has cemented its presence within the world of cycling, and we’ve fallen in love with it.

Kung full gas, a young talent who is really starting to show his potential in the Classics.
Daniel Oss chases hard after getting caught in an early crash.
Ben Hermans battles the elements.

We sent two of our lead photographers down to Siena to follow our partners over at the BMC Racing Team during the race, and we certainly feel that they’ve captured the essence of this Tuscan race.

Second place.
The effort of the race is clear at the fnish. Greg went deep today.
Manuel Quinziato after a tough day in the saddle.

For more information on our collaboration with the BMC Racing Team head to www.assos.com. Or stay tuned for more from the World Tour live via our Instagram.

Images by @1_the_gutter and @emmiecoll.

Job done, next stop Tirreno.