Strade Bianche 2018: Benoot and van der Breggen take their first Strade

It was cold and rainy, which meant we had a mudfest in Tuscany for the 12th edition of Strade Bianche. Race favourites Peter Sagan, Michal Kwaitkowski and Zdenek Stybar missed the decisive selection, when Romain Bardet (Ag2r) attacked on the eighth sector, but Wout Van Aert (Verandas Willems-Crelan) did, joining the Frenchman in front. Working together to hold enough of a gap to crush the spirits of various chasing groups, it was only the Belgian rider Tiesj Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) who could catch them – and ultimately drop them – on the way into Siena. In the rain-soaked women’s race, Anna van der Breggen sounded a warning to her rivals with an emphatic solo win over Kasia Niewiadoma and Elisa Longo Borghini.

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