Strong performance gives Tiesj Benoot the victory at Strade Bianche
Mar 03 2018 10:51 pm CET

Strong performance gives Tiesj Benoot the victory at Strade Bianche

Lotto Soudal's Tiesj Benoot has won Strade Bianche. A late attack gave the Belgian his first victory in a one-day race.

The Italian race was 184 kilometres long and as predicted, it was wet and cold, with temperatures going between 4 and 10 degrees. The first important escape was produced with a bit more than 50 kilometres to go when a group formed by riders including Michel Kwiatkowski (Sky), Stefan Küng (BMC), Peter Sagan (Bora-hangrohe) and special invitee and cyclocross world Champion Wout Van Aert, took an advantage of almost half a minute over a second group.

Some kilometres later Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) bridged to the front group and after spending some moments with the others, launched an attack creating a gap with the others with Van Aert soon joining in. The duo went ahead and got an advantage of almost a minute.

Behind them, the chasers joined the rest of the original escape group and started working together to catch the two men in front. Several riders tried to attack, but only Pieter Serry (Quick-Step Floors) and Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) managed to get away.

At 17 kilometres from the finish line, Benoot decided to accelerate to hunt down the front men and left Serry behind on his own. Five kilometres later, the Belgian rider of Lotto Soudal tried his luck with a strong attack that Bardet and Van Aert couldn´t repel.

Benoot continued riding strong and behind him, nobody could reduce the gap anymore. The rider crossed the finish line on his own and seconds later Bardet and Van Aert arrived at the end, taking the two remaining spots of the podium.

This is the first victory for Lotto Soudal in a one-day race of the WorldTour since 2015 when Tim Wellens raised his arms at the Grand Prix de Montreal.

Boels Dolmans' Anna van der Breggen won the Strade Bianche Women Elite earlier on the day. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM Cycling) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High 5) stepped on the second and third places of the podium.






Image: Lotto-Soudal logo





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