photo credit @ Etixx Quick-Step
Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-Quick-Step) claimed this year’s Strade Bianche on today, with a final acceleration during the last kilometer, that served to hold-off further challenges from Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).
With 35 kilometers remaining in today’s 200 kilometer race, the day’s breakaway group containing Stybar; Daniel Oss and Van Avermaet (BMC Racing),Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), Sep Vanmarcke (Lotto NL-Jumbo), Nathan Haas (Cannondale-Garmin), Diego Rosa (Astana); Valverde; and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo), was holding a minute advantage over the peloton.
Meanwhile back in the field, Orica-GreenEdge took up the duties of leading the chase.
As the peloton began closing in, Oss decided to jettison his breakaway companions, and make a go of it alone.
In response, Vanmarcke tried to initiate a count-attack, but Stybar quickly brought and end to his chances of getting away too. And, shortly thereafter, Oss was reeled in as well.
As the race headed into the final 20 kilometers, Cancellara and Oss lost contact with their fellow escapees, as the race tackled the penultimate section of gravel.
With the lead group now down to four riders, they were holding almost a 30 second lead over Cancellara and Oss.
At that point, Rosa succeeded in regaining contact with Cancellara and Oss.
With the rear trio closing in, Van Avermaet decided to attack just before the final section of gravel. From there, Stybar took control of the chase.
With 12km to go, Vanmarcke lost contact with Van Avermaet, Stybar and Valverde.
With 6 kilometers remaining,Valverde, Stybar and Van Avermaet, were still holding onto their advantage, while Vanmarcke continued to ride in the middle of both groups.
Following the final descent, the leaders were holding a 16 second gap over Vanmarcke, while Cancellara et al continued to trail at more than 40 seconds back.
With 2 kilometers remaining, Vanmarcke began to fade. However, as the trio reached the start of the final climb, the Belgian rider managed to regain contact with his rivals.
From there, Van Avermaet was the first rider to make his move, followed by Valverde, while Stybar closely marked their moves.
However, Valverde was unable to keep pace with his rivals, as Stybar proceeded to ride clear of both the Spaniard and Van Avermaet during the waning moments of today’s race.
photo credit @ Twitter
Strade Bianche 2015 Results
CZE 1 STYBAR, Zdenek (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) 5:22:13
BEL 2 VAN AVERMAET, Greg (BMC RACING) + 2
ESP 3 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) + 18
BEL 4 VANMARCKE, Sep (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 46
ITA 5 ROSA, Diego (ASTANA) + 56
ITA 6 GATTO, Oscar (ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI) + 59
COL 7 URAN URAN, Rigoberto (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
ITA 8 FELLINE, Fabio (TREK FACTORY RACING) + 1:02
POL 9 NIEMIEC, Przemyslaw (LAMPRE – MERIDA) + 1:03
ITA 10 CARUSO, Giampaolo (KATUSHA)
CZE 11 KREUZIGER, Roman (TINKOFF – SAXO)
ESP 12 VICIOSO ARCOS, Angel (KATUSHA)
ITA 13 PUCCIO, Salvatore (SKY)
BEL 14 VERMOTE, Julien (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
ESP 15 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, Samuel (BMC RACING)
ITA 16 CUNEGO, Damiano (NIPPO – VINI FANTINI)
AUS 17 DURBRIDGE, Luke (ORICA GreenEDGE)
ITA 18 OSS, Daniel (BMC RACING)
SUI 19 CANCELLARA, Fabian (TREK FACTORY RACING)
BEL 20 SERRY, Pieter (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
You must be logged in to post a comment.