Fabian Cancellara has confirmed he will race at Strade Bianche in March and will take part in the amateur sportive over the same course the following day

Fabian Cancellara has confirmed he will race at Strade Bianche in March, as he attempts to win the Italian race for a third time.

Trek Italia sponsor the Gran Fondo Strade Bianche, the affiliated sportive that takes place the day after the professional race, and Cancellara and his Trek-Segafredo teammates will ride in that event also.

In a press release from race organisers RCS Sport, Cancellara said: “On March 5 I’ll try to win Strade Bianche for a third time and then on March 6th I’ll be with Trek Italia at the start of the Gran Fondo and I’ll try to ride will you. Train hard because I’ll be there…”

>>> Watch: The best finishes at Strade Bianche (videos)

“The Strade Bianche weekend is one of my favourite weekends in the spring. It’s one of the races I really look forward to. I think it’s great that amateur riders can enjoy the same experience as the pros because the scenery is just stunning. Trek Italy is committed to the Gran Fondo and this year we will also take the start of the Grand Fondo, which will be quite special for us.”

The tenth edition of Strade Bianche takes place on 5 March over a 176km course, 53km of which is ridden over the white gravel roads which give the race its name. Cancellara is the only man to have won the race more than once, winning the second edition in 2008 and again in 2012.

Zdenek Stybar won last year’s Strade Bianche with an excellently-timed sprint in the final kilometres, just beating BMC’s Greg van Avermaet to give Etixx-Quick Step a second consecutive win at the event, following victory in 2014 for Michal Kwiatkowski.

The WorldTour teams in this year’s race include AG2R-La Mondiale, Astana Pro Team, BMC Racing, Etixx-QuickStep, Lampre-Merida, Lotto Soudal, Movistar Team, Orica-GreenEdge, LottoNL-Jumbo, Team Sky, Tinkoff, and Trek-Segafredo.

They will be racing alongside Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec, Bardiani CSF, CCC Sprandi Polkowice, Nippo-Vini Fantini, Southeast, and Team Novo Nordisk.