There is surely no-one better positioned to advise sportive riders on how to ride the Gran Fondo Strade Bianche 2018 than Elisa Longo Borghini, the winner of last year’s professional women’s edition, which is raced on the very same course as the Gran Fondo.
“Fortunately, on the course there are not many particularly difficult climbs,” says Elisa. “The only challenging one, in the gravel sector, is the Tolfe climb. A 53/29 chainring is ideal for a course like this one. Bearing in mind the nature of a Gran Fondo, where you need to pass groups of slow riders, I would probably have a 11-28 tooth cassette on the rear. Last year I used 25mm tires; considering my end result I can only recommend it!”
The Italian Road National Champion, who rides for Wiggle-High5, is in love with Strade Bianche: “It is one of the most beautiful races in the world: the atmosphere is unique and the landscape simply wonderful. Finishing in Piazza del Campo is unrivalled in the world of cycling. It’s a mix of adrenalin, history and culture that blows your mind.”
In 2018 Elisa will be the testimonial for the Charity Program: “I’ve accepted the invitation from the Rete del Dono with great pleasure and honour, because I believe it’s very important to support those who fight against violence. I hope that all the fans will join me in supporting the cause and that we will raise enough money to hit the campaign’s target.”