Strade Bianche – hell’s bells! The men’s race was a real humdinger – beautiful Italian landscape, dust gettin’ kicked up like mad, stinging attacks steadily exploding the peloton until it was only three going under the flamme rouge to ride the most beautiful final kilometre in cycling together until one last rocket was launched …
Embed from Getty Images
A stellar Strade startlist
One thing cycling fans can be sure of is that the parcours of Strade Bianche is one that gives the riders those attackity vibes and encourages, nay demands, different groups of riders to winnow the field throughout the race (because they just can’t help themselves!). No riding tempo for 100 hours before you get to the Poggio and then 10 minutes of excitement (MSR, I’m lookin’ at you!).
And oh, with a startlist that would give any race organiser palpitations of delight, is it any wonder that this race is one of the most popular in the racing calendar and is loved to within an inch of its life by cycling fans.
A million watts and counting
Winnow, winnow, winnow … and then BAM!
A dream break for the finish … Julian Alaphilippe, Egan Bernal, Tadej Pogacar, Mathieu van der Poel, Wout Van Aert, Tom Pidcock and Michael Gogl
The dream break worked together to ensure that they wouldn’t be caught by a chasing group and they succeeded. Then a Dutch rocket goes off to winnow out all but Alaphilippe and Bernal.
Then, the Dutch rocket went off again and the winnowing was complete.
THE photograph of this year’s Strade
MvdP was taking no chances by talkin’ big and bad at the start. He was managing expectations – and this is what actually happened to the ‘real climber’ on the podium.
When they’ve gone through that race together, it’s no wonder they show such respect for each other.
Let’s hear it for the boysEmbed from Getty Images
Meanwhile, further down the road, a firm of solicitors were racing for places in the top 10
The defending champion takes fourth this year.
While fifth place got a lot of Tweeters very excited.
While unsung performances get … well … sung.
A highlights reel to cherish
1 Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) 4:40:29
2 Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) +0:05
3 Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:20
4 Wout Van Aert (Jumbo Visma) +0:51
5 Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:54
6 Michael Gogl (Team Qhubeka Assos) same time
7 Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) s/t
8 Simon Clarke (Team Qhubeka Assos) +2:25
9 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana-Premier Tech) same time
10 Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) +2:39
For full race review of the men’s race, go to cyclingnews
For full race review of the women’s race, go to cyclingnews
HEADER IMAGE: ©GETTY/AFP/Dirk Waem