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Siena - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Greg VAN AVERMAET (Belgium / BMC Racing Team) - Tiesj BENOOT (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal) - Tim WELLENS (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal) pictured during Strade Bianche elite 2017 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017

Photo Special: Strade Bianche ’17

Strade Bianche Photo Special: The Strade Bianche is not the Italian Paris-Roubaix, the race is not a copy of the Northern Classic, it has its own class and charm that that Roubaix can only dream of. Cor Vos had his photographers at the Tuscan roadside for the best shots of the day.

First off was the women’s race with rain clouds on the horizon for the first time in the race history. The rain could have made all the difference, but the women’s race only had a wet finish line.

Siena - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - illustration - scenery - carte postal scenic shot - postcard sfeerfoto - sfeer - illustratie pictured during  Strade Bianche women 2017 - photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2017
The peloton cut through the Tuscan countryside

Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5) won the third edition of women’s Strade Bianche, the first race in this year’s UCI Women’s WorldTour. The women’s race covering 127 kilometers from Siena (Fortezza Medicea) to return to Siena to use the same finish line as the men in the Piazza del Campo. In the historic square she beat Katarzyna Niewiadoma (WM3) and Elizabeth Deignan (Boels-Dolmans).

Siena - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - illustration - scenery - carte postal scenic shot - postcard sfeerfoto - sfeer - illustratie pictured during  Strade Bianche women 2017 - photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2017
The race was split on the gravel, no rain yet

Siena - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - illustration - sfeer - illustratie  pictured during  Strade Bianche women 2017 - photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2017
A tough time at the back

Siena - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Longo Borghini Elisa (Italy / Wiggle High5) - Niewiadoma Katarzyna Kasia (Poland / WM3 Pro Cycling) - Deignan Elizabeth (Lizzie) (Great Britain / Boels Dolmans)  pictured during  Strade Bianche women 2017 - photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2017
In the wet Piazza, Elisa Longo Borghini got the better of Katarzyna Niewiadoma (WM3)

After the finish Elisa Longo Borghini said: “This is amazing! I had a bad crash in the longest gravel road section – I thought I couldn’t make it but I had super team-mates. Audrey Cordon gave me her bike; eventually, after some kilometers, I was able to get my spare bike from the car. In the finale I was sure I was one of the strongest at the front as I knew that when riders attack like this [like Shara Gillow and Lucinda Brand did within two kilometers to go], it’s because they’re running out of gas. So I went full gas in the last climb. Between the Tour of Flanders and the Olympics, this is one of the most beautiful victories because this is such an incredible place and such an amazing race.”

Siena - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Longo Borghini Elisa (Italy / Wiggle High5) - Niewiadoma Katarzyna Kasia (Poland / WM3 Pro Cycling) - Deignan Elizabeth (Lizzie) (Great Britain / Boels Dolmans)    pictured during  Strade Bianche women 2017 - photo Anton Vos/Cor Vos © 2017
The women’s podium

In the men’s race Michał Kwiatkowski made it two by winning the Strade Bianche for the second time adding to his first victory in 2014, the year he became the first Pole to win the World road championship. He rode away solo with 15 kilometers to go from a group of top contenders including Ždenek Štybar (Quick-Step), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal).

Siena - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Gianni MOSCON (Italy / Team Sky)  pictured during  Strade Bianche elite 2017 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017
Sky’s Gianni Moscon worked hard for his team leader, Kwiatkowski

Siena - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Peter SAGAN (Slowakia / Team Bora - Hansgrohe) pictured during  Strade Bianche elite 2017 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017
It was not to be the World champions day

Siena - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - illustration - scenery - carte postal scenic shot - postcard sfeerfoto - sfeer - illustratie pictured during  Strade Bianche elite 2017 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017
Dust at the start – mud at the finish

Siena - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - crash val sturz fall  pictured during  Strade Bianche elite 2017 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017
A big crash saw off many riders hopes

Siena - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Tiesj BENOOT (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal) - Zdenek STYBAR (Czech / Team Quick Step - Floors) pictured during  Strade Bianche elite 2017 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017
Tiesj Benoot and Zdenek Stybar were hard workers

Behind them there was another chase group with Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and Orica-Scott pair of Luke Durbridge and Christopher Juul Jensen, which finished at 1:29.

Siena - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -Tom DUMOULIN (Netherlands / Team Sunweb) - Zdenek STYBAR (Czech / Team Quick Step - Floors)   pictured during  Strade Bianche elite 2017 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017
Tom Dumoulin fought hard for his 5th place, Stybar was 4th

Siena - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Peter SAGAN (Slowakia / Team Bora - Hansgrohe)  pictured during  Strade Bianche elite 2017 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017
Peter Sagan had to eventually abandon

The reigning World Champion, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), was forced to pull out due to illness after 114 kilometers of the race.

Siena - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Michal KWIATKOWSKI (Poland / Team Sky)  pictured during  Strade Bianche elite 2017 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017
A fine second win on the Tuscan gravel

Strade Bianche winner, Michał Kwiatkowski: “I became sure I’d win when I reached the top of the last climb before the piazza [del Campo]. My sport director said through the radio that the gap was growing but he didn’t say how much it was; he encouraged me to keep going. It was good because I wanted to push myself to the limit. I didn’t celebrate before the last hill especially because, on wet roads, it can be dangerous till the end and I tried to stay focused. Victory was maybe important for my team and my fans but for myself, I was already happy with the start to the season I’ve had at the Vuelta Valenciana and the Volta ao Algarve. It wasn’t all or nothing for me today. I had a very difficult season last year but I’m happy with my current situation – I can have some fun riding my bike again. I think I went solo at the right moment. It’s great to have won this race twice.”

Siena - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Greg VAN AVERMAET (Belgium / BMC Racing Team) pictured during  Strade Bianche elite 2017 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017
Greg Van Avermaet happy to be safe

Second placed Greg Van Avermaet: “I’d have loved to win here today because it’s such a nice race but at the end, I have to be happy to just finish safe. It was such a hard race from very early on, because of the rain and the crashes. When Kwiatkowski attacked, everybody wanted to go but he was the first one to make a gap. It was very hard to close on him because everyone was looking at each other. Finally we rode away with Tim [Wellens] and [Ždenek] Štybar behind him. Only then we could start working and try to bring him back but he was the strongest because we couldn’t come close enough to him. He deserves the win today. I hope I’ll win this race one day.”

Siena - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Greg VAN AVERMAET (Belgium / BMC Racing Team) - Tiesj BENOOT (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal) - Tim WELLENS (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal) pictured during  Strade Bianche elite 2017 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017
The chase behind Michał Kwiatkowski

Tim Wellens finished third, said: “Seeing the two other names on the podium, Kwiatkowski and Van Avermaet, I can be happy with finishing third. I was a bit surprised that Kwiatkowski went solo from far out but he was very strong and he held it till the end. He really deserved to win. I was already close to winning a classic last year as I finished third at Il Lombardia.”

Siena - Italy - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme - Greg VAN AVERMAET (Belgium / BMC Racing Team) - Michal KWIATKOWSKI (Poland / Team Sky) - Tim WELLENS (Belgium / Team Lotto Soudal)  pictured during  Strade Bianche elite 2017 - photo LB/RB/Cor Vos © 2017
The men’s podium

# All the Strade Bianche news and race video in EUROTRASH Monday. #

Men’s 2017 Strade Bianche Result:
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky in 4:42:42
2. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC at 0:15
3. Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 0:17
4. Zdenek Štybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors at 0:23
5. Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Sunweb at 1:26
6. Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-Scott
7. Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-Scott at 1:29
8. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 2:20
9. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ at 2:23
10. Scott Thwaites (GB) Dimension Data at 2:52
11. José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin at 3:10
12. Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 4:05
13. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
14. Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana at 4:41
15. Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC at 5:31
16. Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates at 5:41
17. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Sky at 5:55
18. Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-Merida at 6:22
19. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data at 8:15
20. Truls Korsæth (Nor) Astana.

Women’s 2017 Strade Bianche Result:
1. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle-High5 in 3:44:45
2. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Pro Cycling at 0:02
3. Elizabeth Deignan (GB) Boels-Dolmans at 0:05
4. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb at 0:08
5. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica-Scott at 0:09
6. Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope at 0:12
7. Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Orica-Scott at 0:18
8. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-Scott at 0:36
9. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo-Bigla at 1:06
10. Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-SRAM
11. Claudia Lichtenberg (Ger) Wiggle-High5 at 1:09
12. Sofia Beggin (Ita) Astana at 1:16
13. Janneke Ensing (Ned) Alé-Cipollini
14. Hanna Nilsson (Swe) BTC City Ljubljana at 1:21
15. Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels Dolmans at 1:24
16. Dani King (GB) Cylance at 1:25
17. Marianne Vos (Ned) WM3 Pro Cycling at 1:27
18. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo Bigla at 1:46
19. Lauren Stephens (USA) Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank at 1:49
20. Leah Kirchmann (Can) Sunweb at 1:54.

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