The white roads of Tuscany all lead to Siena this Saturday, March 4th as it hosts one of the most beloved cycling races of the calendar: Strade Bianche. Q36.5 Pro Cycling team will line-up for its first WorldTour race of the season with a very motivated seven-rider squad, looking to race competitively in what is affectionately referred to as the “unofficial sixth Monument”. 

2 March 2023

Starting from Fortezza Medicea in the medieval city of Siena, the twisty and undulating 184 km course ventures into the Tuscan hills and takes on roughly 63 km of gravel roads, across 11 sectors, before the electrifying finish in the very heart of Siena, on the Piazza del Campo, one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares. 

Montalcino, Monte Sante Marie, Ponte del Garbo and Colle Pinzuto are just some of the demanding gravel sections the riders will face, some with double-digit gradients. The race traditionally explodes as the peloton enters these technical and selective roads and it will be a fight for survival until the very last climb, the Via Santa Caterina, a slab-surfaced 500 m ramp inside the city walls, with a 16% gradient. 

Gianluca Brambilla was very close to winning the 2016 edition of Strade Bianche when he finished in the podium and will start the race as the team captain and leader. The Italian veteran is looking forward to his eight participation and has his sights on helping the team achieve the best possible result. 

“It’s a really hard race but a very beautiful race”

“My expectation is to have a good performance and to have good legs. I’ve done this race several times in the past and my best result was in 2016 when I was third. It’s a challenging race because even if you’re in form and in your best racing shape there are so many other variables, outside of your control, that impact the outcome of the race. Luck plays a big factor. You can have mechanicals, punctures, crashes that happen in front of you, etc … all these can really affect your performance. I’m in good condition and this is a race I’m really looking forward to. The landscapes are amazing and I have so many good memories from Strade Bianche. It’s a really hard race, where the fight for position is crucial but it’s also a very beautiful race,” says Gianluca Brambilla. 

Supporting the 35-year-old Italian will be compatriot Filippo Conca, who returns to the race after his maiden appearance 2021. MTB World Gold medallist Filippo Colombo is making his Strade Bianche debut off the back of a strong showing in the Opening Weekend in Belgium.  

Neo-pro Walter Calzoni, who recently won the Best Young Riders Classification and finished runner-up in the General Classification of the Tour du Rwanda, will also fly the flag for Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team in the white roads of Siena.  

Completing the seven-rider roster is Brit Mark Donovan and neo-pros Marcel Camprubí and Negasi Haylu Abreha, from Spain and Ethiopia, respectively.  

After a solid start to the season, having won the Clásica de Almería with Matteo Moschetti and the Queen Stage of Tour du Rwanda with Matteo Badilatti, Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team will now tackle its first UCI WorldTour race of the season. Gabrielle Missaglia and Piotr Wadecki will be the team’s DS’s for the race.  

Line-up 2023 Strade Bianche: 

Negasi Haylu Abreha (ETH) Gianluca Brambilla (ITA) Walter Calzoni (ITA) Marcel Camprubí (ESP) Filippo Colombo (SUI) Filippo Conca (ITA) Mark Donovan (GBR)