The organizers brought two changes to the 2024 Strade Bianche Women route, the addition of four gravel sectors and a finishing circuit. The 137km twisty and undulating, with no extended climbs, course departs from Siena and finishes at the top of the punishing climb to the Piazza del Campo.
The route through the scenic hills of Tuscany takes on the iconic white (bianche) gravel roads (strade) that snake across the countryside. Four gravel sectors were added this year for a total of 12 sectors, each is given a level of difficulty on a scale of one to five stars (one being easiest).
There is a total of 40 kilometres of gravel in the race, the longest is the 95km long San Martino in Grania section that climbs for more than half of the stretch of gravel and has gradients of up to 12%, and is ranked five stars.
Starting near the Stadium/Fortezza Medicea in Siena, the first half of the race includes the longer rolling gravel road sections during a loop south towards Montalcino. Coming in 21km into the race, the 5.8km sector 2 will be the first tricky bit of the race, with a short descent followed by a long climb featuring sections over 10%.
The sixth dirt road sector, Montaperti, is only 800 metres in length, but it greets the riders with double-digit gradients. The route goes back on paved roads in Vico d’Arbia to start the 30-km circuit. The finishing loop includes the 2.4km sector 7, the climb toward Colle Pinzuto, with gradients peaking as high as 15% followed by sector 8, Le Tolfe, (1.1 km), marked by a fast-running descent followed by a very punchy climb with a maximum gradient of 18%.
Shortly after Le Tolfe, upon the first passage, the route takes a first-ever ride on the Strada del Castagno (9th sector, 1.3 km), which leads to some challenging passes on paved roads to the 10th sector (Montechiaro 3.3 km), which was covered in the first editions of the race. The circuit ends at the end of this sector, in Vico d’Arbia.
The sectors of Colle Pinzuto and Le Tolfe will be repeated inside of 20km to go providing another point for attacking before the route turns towards Siena.
The race concludes with the climb up through the narrow Via Santa Caterina with gradients of 16% to central Siena. With 150 m to go, a right turn leads into Via Rinaldini, and enters the Piazza del Campo with just 70…