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Boels-Dolmans, RaboLiv highlight women’s Strade Bianche

The 2016 UCI Women’s WorldTour calendar kicks off on March 5 with Italy’s Strade Bianche women’s race, which starts and finishes in the picturesque Italian town of Siena.

This year’s 121-km course includes seven sectors of the white gravel that have come to define the race, including the 9.5km sector through San Martiino.

On Wednesday, organizers revealed the 23 teams that will contest the 2016 event. Highlighting the list are the Boels-Dolmas squad of defending UCI world champion Lizzie Armistead and defending Strade Bianche winner Meghan Guarnier. Also present will be the Rabo-Liv squad of Pauline Ferrand-Prévo, the 2014 UCI road world champion. American teams TIBCO-Silicon Valley Bank and Cyclance will also be in attendance.

The race debuted in 2015 as a companion event to the men’s race, which began in 2007. After riding in the breakaway for much of the day, Guarnier launched a solo attack with 15km remaining, and held on for the win. Armistead, who helped spring her teammate’s winning move, finished second.

2016 Women’s Strade Bianche invite list (teams):
WIGGLE HIGH5 (GBR)
RABOLIV WOMENCYCLINGTEAM (NED)
BOELS DOLMANS CYCLINGTEAM (NED)
CANYON SRAM RACING (GER)
CERVELO BIGLA PRO CYCLING TEAM (GER)
ORICA – AIS (AUS)
HITEC PRODUCTS (NOR)
CYLANCE PRO CYCLING (USA)
TEAM TIBCO – SILICON VALLEY BANK (USA)
TEAM LIV-PLANTUR (NED)
POITOU-CHARENTES.FUTUROSCOPE.86 (FRA)
BTC CITY LJUBLJANA (SLO)
BEPINK (ITA)
ASTANA WOMEN’S TEAM (KAZ)
ALÈ CIPOLLINI (ITA)
LOTTO SOUDAL LADIES (BEL)
PARKHOTEL VALKENBURG CONTINENTAL TEAM (NED)
LENSWORLD-ZANNATA (BEL)
SERVETTO FOOTON (ITA)
INPA – BIANCHI (ITA)
S.C. MICHELA FANINI (ITA)
AROMITALIA VAIANO (ITA)
TOP GIRLS FASSA BORTOLO (ITA