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Strade Bianche. Fighting the elements

It was not only about the sports, but mostly about fighting the elements at the one-day Italian race Strade Bianche in Tuscany. Cold, rain and famous white gravel roads made this race a serious challenge for all the riders.

- We started quite good with Truls Korsaeth making selection for a 10-men breakaway. Unfortunately, later he crashed down, but, without serious injuries. With more or less 70 km to go we had another crash with Oscar Gatto. We still had three riders in front: Alexey Lutsenko, Davide Villella and Andriy Grivko. But, honestly, in this weather it was really hard to race. Our riders suffered a lot from the cold. Yeah, with some bad luck and cold we did not get high result, but, anyway, now we are looking forward to the Tirreno-Adriatico next week, - said sports director Alexandr Shefer.

With around 45 km to go two riders, Romain Bardet and Wout van Aert, attacked from the leading group to stay in front almost to the finish. But, later, it was the Belgian Tiesj Benoot, who caught the duo and counterattacking them, took the race victory at the Piazza del Campo in Siena. The French rider Romain Bardet finished second (+0.39), while Wout van Aert completed the race podium with third place (+0.59).

Astana Team was active from the start, sending Truls Korsaeth in the daily breakaway. The young Norwegian rider did a very good job in the break, but at the second part of 184 km race it was caught. There were some attacks in front of the peloton, creating a new leading group and a group of chasers 10-15 seconds behind. Three Astana riders were up there in front, but later they had to step down from the leading group.

Finally, Andriy Grivko became the best Astana rider with 24th position. Alexey Lutsenko was 26th.

Photo credit: ©Bettiniphoto

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