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Mellow Velo

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2018 Strade Bianche
« on: February 28, 2018, 17:43 »
2018   »   12th Strade Bianche (1.UWT)  Siena  ›  Siena   (184k) *it
 
Map:-


Profiles:-




Past winners:-

2017 | KWIATKOWSKI Michal
2016 | CANCELLARA Fabian
2015 | STYBAR Zdenek
2014 | KWIATKOWSKI Michal
2013 | MOSER Moreno
2012 | CANCELLARA Fabian
2011 | GILBERT Philippe
2010 | IGLINSKIY Maxim
2009 | LÖFKVIST Thomas
2008 | CANCELLARA Fabian
2007 | KOLOBNEV Aleksandr

RACE RESULTS 2017
1    *pl   KWIATKOWSKI Michal    SKY    4h 42′ 42″
2    *be   VAN AVERMAET Greg    BMC    15″
3     *be   WELLENS  Tim    LTS    17″
4    *cz   STYBAR Zdenek    QST    23″
5    *nl   DUMOULIN Tom    SUN    1’26”
6    *au   DURBRIDGE Luke    ORS    1’26”
7    *dk   JUUL JENSEN Christopher    ORS    1’29
8    *be   BENOOT Tiesj    LTS    2’20”

Startlist:- https://www.procyclingstats.com/race/strade-bianchi/2018/startlist


THE ROUTE 2018
A twisty and undulating course, with no long climbs but with punchy hills, most significantly on the unpaved parts. There are roughly 63km of gravel roads, appearing in 11 sectors (eight of those shared with the Women Elite course). Starting from Siena (Stadium/Medicean Fortress area), the first undulating kilometres are on tarmac before reaching the 2.1km gravel Sector 1 at km 11, which is perfectly straight and always slightly downhill. After few kilometres the riders will face Sector 2 (5.8km), the course’s first real challenge with a short descent and a long climb with parts at over 10%. The course will then go through Radi, where Sector 3 starts (4.4km, second part of the original Sector 1 of the first editions) and immediately after Sector 4 named "La Piana", one of its classic gravel sectors (5.5km, featured in the course since its first edition) with no significant gradient and leading to Buonconvento. After few kilometres the second climb of the day starts: the Montalcino (4km at 5%). After Torrenieri the riders will face Sectors 5 (11.9km) and 6 (8km) with only 1km of tarmac in between them. Both are hard, hilly, very punchy and with many bends, climbs and descents. After the second passage through Buonconvento the feed station will be positioned in the area of Ponte d’Arbia. Soon the route reaches Monteroni d’Arbia, which marks the beginning of Sector 7 of San Martino in Grania (9.5km) in the middle of the Crete Senesi. It's a long sector with continuous up and downs in the first part, ending up with a twisting climb before meeting the tarmac again. In Ponte del Garbo (Asciano) gravel Sector 8 begins. At 11.5km it's the hardest of the race, mostly uphill and characterised by tough hills, the most important being those close to Monte Sante Marie, which face steep gradients on both climbs and descents over short distances. After Castelnuovo Berardenga there's a very short, flat section of gravel (300m), before facing, after Monteaperti, Sector 9 which is only 800m long, but with a double digit gradient ramp before rejoining the tarmac in Vico d’Arbia and going to paved road through Pieve a Bozzone. Next comes the penultimate sector (Sector 10, 2.4km) on the climb toward Colle Pinzuto (with gradients up to 15%). After a few kilometres the riders will face the last sector (Sector 11, 1.1km) which features a sequence of a demanding descent followed by a very punchy climb (max 18%) that ends up at the Tolfe. From here only 12km separate the riders from the finish in Piazza del Campo, Siena.
FINAL KILOMETRES
The demanding final kilometres, with gradients up to 16%, approach the city of Siena along broad, straight sections of road, connected by sweeping curves, first descending, and then climbing slightly. 2km from the finish line, the route joins Via Esterna di Fontebranda, where the gradient touches 9%. 900m from the finish line, the race route passes beneath Fontebranda Gate where the road surface becomes paving slabs. The gradient exceeds 10% until 500m from the finish line, reaching its highpoint of 16% in Via Santa Caterina. A sharp right hand turn leads to Via delle Terme, and then Via Banchi di Sotto. With 300m to go, the road continues to climb slightly then, 150m from the line, a right turn leads into Via Rinaldini. The route enters the Piazza del Campo just 70m from the finish line. The final 30m descends at a gradient of 7% and the finish line itself is flat.   




No doubt folks can post their own star ratings for favourites, or else they will appear when the usual press sources come up with their selections.
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  • « Last Edit: February 28, 2018, 22:30 by just some guy »
    "Science is a tool for cheaters". An anonymous French PE teacher.

    t-72

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    t-72

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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #2 on: February 28, 2018, 22:10 »
    #sky Michail Kwiatkowski is my favorite to win this race (again) but if he fails, chances are a teammate wins. Unlike last weekend (Omloop/KBK) this time it looks like Sky means business:

    https://twitter.com/TeamSky/status/968859869271986178
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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #3 on: February 28, 2018, 22:48 »
    interesting. Personally I would think it's a pretty poor team?! Basso, Doull and Golas are unlikely to be much a factor. And Puccio, I haven't seen for two years or so. No idea about Wisniowski

    Given the conditions, I'd say Stybar is the favorite.
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  • "If this is cycling, I am a banana"

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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #4 on: March 01, 2018, 07:24 »
    yeah I agree - Stybar favourite here for me.   (Unless Phil can get up :D)

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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #5 on: March 01, 2018, 07:57 »
     I would have thought Stybar too, given the rain forecast, but apparently the sterratto won't turn to mud.
    Something to do with the small stone covering. I'll believe it when I see it, though.
    Given the race's historical lack of rain, Wout van Aert looks to have won the weather lottery at his first attempt.
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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #6 on: March 01, 2018, 08:16 »
    Het Nieuwsblad has a nice little historic feature about Strade Bianche in today's issue:

    Quote
    (gt)

    You could feel it everywhere: "this race is going to be great"

    Alexandr Kolobnev Winner first edition 2007 "When I was a kid I had ridden on half field roads. But we had never heard of those white gravel roads. This almost seemed like cyclo-cross as you know it in Belgium. "

    Alexandr Kolobnev remembers well. It was autumn 2007. The Russian drove for CSC, the team of Bjarne Riis, and suddenly there was the question if he wanted to participate in the new race in Italy. A race that would be held for a large part on gravel roads, straight through Tuscany. The Russian said yes. "But I was a bit afraid of it", he says today. "It was completely new. No one had any idea how to tackle this tactically, what would cause the dust, how to keep your position, how often you would have to change wheels, whether you had to attack on the gravel or on the asphalt. "

    The new contest is an idea from RCS, the organizer of the Giro, and still listens to the name Monte Pasche Eroica. RCS has been aware for some time that cicloturistica, a tour for cycling tourists organized in the same region, is a great success and therefore wants to try out the formula with the pros. The new contest was presented a month earlier. It has been searching for a date. There is no question of a Saturday in the spring. It will be a Tuesday in October, ten days after the World Cycling Championships. "Cycling needs something new", is the promo talk. "Something that gives the riders new motivation." And that this new course is "unique". And special". "To revive the past." So there are no fewer than 70 kilometers of gravel roads in the first edition.

    Mechanics confused

    In Belgium the report of the first edition disappears in the smallest columns of the newspapers. The new competition still has the status of 1.1 competition - just like the GP Johan Museeuw in Ichtegem next Sunday. The Flemish newspaper reader just hears that Alexandr Kolobnev has won. No surprise. "A week earlier I was second at the World Championships. I had lost that match in the last few meters and was in blood form. "Kolobnev was driven away from a group of favorites on the penultimate gravel strip. "I did not see thirty meters in front of my eyes on the gravel strips. It was very good again. So all dust. "

    But for those who are there, it is already clear: this is a match like none exist. Says Marcus Ljungqvist, the number two that day: "I loved it. In Sweden I regularly trained on these kinds of roads. But I did not know you had them in Italy. Let alone that you could compete on it. "Kolobnev agrees:" As a child I had raced on half-country roads. Pure for pleasure. But I, my team leaders and mechanics had never heard of those white gravel roads. This almost seemed like cyclo-cross as you know it in Belgium. "

    That the game also surprised the peloton is clear from the result. Only eleven riders finish in less than five minutes of the winner. The number 26 follows almost fifteen minutes. Only 42 riders finished the race. Kolobnev: "Most riders were totally unprepared for this race. Frames, wheels, tubes: the mechanics did not know where to start. Many tried to make some adjustments along the way, but then it was too late. "Ljungqvist adds:" In addition, we were at the end of the season. Many riders did not feel like it anymore. "

    Already in the first edition some notable names take part: Ballan, Pozzato, Quinziato. But the majority consists of lesser-known Italian teams. Today's participants field is far from over. Due to the 1.1 status, only a limited number of top teams can participate. "In doing so, many toppers were initially afraid of it," Kolobnev grins.

    But all that same evening the numbers one and two of the day understood that they participated in a special race. "You felt everything: this is going to be great," Ljungqvist nods. "You had the historic environment and the arrival in Sienna, it was very professionally organized and it was already said flat by the organizers: this would be a classic. But especially they had something unique. Organize a similar race on ordinary asphalt roads in Tuscany and it would never have worked. "

    Without exploration

    That also confirms Frederik Willems. The current team leader of Lotto-Soudal is a few months later, in 2008, the first Belgian to participate in the Strade Bianche. He drives for the Italian Liquigas. The first crucial step in the growth of the Strade Bianche has already been taken. The game has shifted to spring.

    "With which you suddenly got a nice block: Strade - Tirreno - Milan-Sanremo", says Willems. "That made it very attractive. Plus: RCS is a powerful organizer in Italy. You do not want to bump into that as an Italian team. Most Italians were almost obliged to participate. "

    Willems also immediately sees that he ended up in a special match. "We had not explored the course. It was totally new. Bennati, my teammate, was from the area. He had told us that it was unique. Really clean. And that we would drive on roads where normally only tractors came. "

    "He was right. There was another Italian that day because he bumped into a deer. He coped with a collarbone fracture. But most of all, the atmosphere stayed with me. A bit like the Tour of Flanders but then in Tuscany. You felt the potential of everything. "

    Willems ends that day on more than five minutes. But the winner is immediately a clapper in that second edition: Fabian Cancellara. A first big name on the palmares and a new step in the rapid growth of the race. Gilbert, again Cancellara and the later world champion Kwiatkowski will be honored in the following years. In 2015, the promotion to the Hors Catégorie competitions followed, and two years later the competition was awarded WorldTour status. A new classic is a fact.

    Prestigious

    Did Kolobnev realize in 2007 that he would be the first name on a prestigious list? "No. No hair on my head that reminded me that I would be interviewed about that victory more than ten years later. "

    But Ljungqvist still thinks about it. "I had the legs to win that day. But Alexandr was my team mate. I could not go after him. Frustrating. And sorry. It would have been nice if my name were on that list today. "

    They were the very first. The Russian Alexandr Kolobnev won the first Strade Bianche in 2007, ahead of his Swedish teammate Ljungqvist. And a year later, Frederik Willems was the first and only Belgian participant. The Strade Bianche was then still an unknown third-class competition. But they knew it immediately. This race, on those strange roads, could very quickly become a real classic. "You immediately saw it: this is unique."
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  • L'arri

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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #7 on: March 01, 2018, 11:03 »
    Het Nieuwsblad has a nice little historic feature about Strade Bianche in today's issue

    Nice read, especially for me because I was out of the sport until late 2009, so I didn't know much about the early days of SB.

    Poor Kolobok. :P This was one of his very few victories in a career packed with impressive rides and close-but-no-cigars and nobody remembers it. And then, balanced against that, you have to think that he was unlucky to get all that Dark Side exposure in a period where so many others escaped their fair share.
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  • Cycling is a Europe thing only and I only watch from Omloop on cause I am cool and sh*t
    RIP Craig1985 / Craig Walsh
    RIP KeithJamesMc / Keith McMahon / Larry Sarni

    Servais Knavendish

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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #8 on: March 01, 2018, 12:01 »
    interesting. Personally I would think it's a pretty poor team?! Basso, Doull and Golas are unlikely to be much a factor. And Puccio, I haven't seen for two years or so. No idea about Wisniowski

    Given the conditions, I'd say Stybar is the favorite.

    If I was Wisniowski's impresario I'd be moaning about a tough audience...  :lol


    2nd and 8th at the weekend, in a team that wasnt trying!  Not saying he'll feature on Saturday, but modicum of credit where its due and all that
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    t-72

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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #10 on: March 02, 2018, 15:09 »
    Just a wild question... when do they start and finish?
    On the website I can follow the men's route as far as Montalcino at noon but ....... has anyone seen the complete timetable?

    (On the plus side: men's and women's race on same day and roughly same course :cool
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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #11 on: March 02, 2018, 15:17 »
    has anyone seen the complete timetable?

    http://www.strade-bianche.it/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/SB18_ME_CR.jpg

    Starts at 10:35, finish around 15:30
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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #12 on: March 02, 2018, 17:51 »
    ~pdf start list

    Live Coverage:
    • *it RAI Sport +HD 13:50-14:50 cet
    • *it RAI 2 14:50-16:20 cet
    • *eu Eurosport 2 14:00-15:30 cet
    • *fr L'Equipe 13:30-16:00 cet
    • *be EEN    13:50-15:50 cet
    • *usa fubo.tv    07:50-09:50 et
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #14 on: March 03, 2018, 07:43 »
    *be Het Nieuwsblad
    :*:*:*:*:* Kwiatkowski
    :*:*:*:* Valverde, Stybar
    :*:*:* Sagan, van Avermaet, Moscon
    :*:* Gilbert, Lutsenko, Dumoulin, Ulissi
    :* Benoot, Vanmarcke, Bardet, Nibali, Haas

    *it Gazzetta dello Sport
    :*:*:*:*:* Kwiatkowski
    :*:*:*:* Valverde, Sagan, van Avermaet
    :*:*:* Moscon, Moser
    :*:* Vanmarcke, Stybar
    :* Nibali, Gilbert
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  • t-72

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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #15 on: March 03, 2018, 10:35 »
    Handy guide to correct description of road conditions:


    (source Baas et al "redefining clean sand", in prep at eartarxiv  :cool )
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  • t-72

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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #17 on: March 03, 2018, 10:40 »
    With respect to above two photos adn the one below here...:
    it looks like B: flat bad 23.4 % mud  :lol

    https://twitter.com/CafeRoubaix/status/969882997364264962
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  • t-72

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    Mellow Velo

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    Joelsim: The huge winner today - Landa.
    just some guy: Aye he marginal gained the flip out of it

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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #22 on: March 04, 2018, 06:54 »
    epic race.

    kudos to Benoot - he was fantastic and well deserved his win.

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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #23 on: March 04, 2018, 08:28 »
    epic race.

    kudos to Benoot - he was fantastic and well deserved his win.



     Epic in terms of the muck and those shots of van Aert: yes.
    As a race? Mmmmm, not so much for me.
    If Benoot had not bridged, it was done and dusted 45kms from Siena.
    By the time we got live pictures, much of the "big name " action had already taken place.
    Perhaps yesterday, for me, was a bit too hard.

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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #24 on: March 04, 2018, 08:45 »
    I will remember yesterday's race(s) as on the same level as the 2009 GP Odsherred, 2010 Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, 2010 Giro stage to Montalcino, or 2015 Gent-Wevelgem. One of those days when everyone who finished deserves a medal.
    Not the worst race to get your first pro victory in - chapeau, #lotto Tiesj Benoot!

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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #25 on: March 04, 2018, 12:56 »
    *be Het Nieuwsblad
    :*:*:*:*:* Kwiatkowski
    :*:*:*:* Valverde, Stybar
    :*:*:* Sagan, van Avermaet, Moscon
    :*:* Gilbert, Lutsenko, Dumoulin, Ulissi
    :* Benoot, Vanmarcke, Bardet, Nibali, Haas

    *it Gazzetta dello Sport
    :*:*:*:*:* Kwiatkowski
    :*:*:*:* Valverde, Sagan, van Avermaet
    :*:*:* Moscon, Moser
    :*:* Vanmarcke, Stybar
    :* Nibali, Gilbert

    At least Het Nieuwsblad got Benoot (and Bardet) on their list! I thought it was a great race. Sagan added a bit of tension in the end, wondering for a few km if he was going to up the pace and make a move. Looked like he gave it a go, but didn't have enough gas. Benoot was awesome, as were Bardet and Van Aert.
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  • . . .He had the bit between his teeth, and he loiked the taste, mate . . .

    L'arri

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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #26 on: March 05, 2018, 11:03 »
    I think it was a marvellous race and I must say that I do not mind it at all when the big names sometimes watch each other too much. In Saturday's case, it seems also to have been true that few of them were really up to the job, which allowed a different sort of story to unfold.

    There was a lot of hype around Benoot when he finished 5th in the Ronde at something like 20 or 21 years old. Inevitably this drew comparisons with Boonen's famous precocious Roubaix performance all those years ago but Benoot is made of different materials to the man from Mol.

    Forgetting the strict Flemish-to-Flemish comparison, Tiesj does go well on the rougher stuff, there's no doubt about that, but he climbs very well indeed while not having much of a sprint.

    Many commentators saw something of our sport's golden age in Saturday's win, not least because those trappings we recognise as modern were obscured by mud. That's rather fitting because I tend to think of Benoot as a Classics guy in the traditional, pre-specialist mould, much as I do of his teammate Tim Wellens.

    If you think of guys like Argentin, Fondriest, Van Lancker, Sorensen or even Bettini they could all handle the cobbles with aplomb but they were really at home in the Ardennes, Limburg, Lombardia and Québec or picking off hilly transition stages in one-week races and the Grand Tours. In our own times, Benoot probably has more in common with Gilbert than Boonen.
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  • « Last Edit: March 05, 2018, 11:14 by L'arri »

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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #27 on: March 05, 2018, 11:10 »
    I think it was a marvellous race and I must say that I do not mind it at all when the big names sometimes watch each other too much.

    I'm not even sure that's what happened. Van Avermaet for example said that he just couldn't follow

    Quote
    (gt)

    "I simply did not have the legs to follow the best," Van Avermaet admitted honestly. "As soon as they accelerated, I had to adjust. I could not hurt myself. From 50 kilometers from the finish, it was already clear. "

    The last quarter of the race he even called outright "an agony." What was noticeable in his result was: 34th, at more than 13 minutes from the winner. How is that possible?

    "I have no explanation for it myself. But when the good riders went, my race was over. Then you should not look for excuses. "

    I think the same applies for Sagan and Kwiatkowski. Also Stybar was completely done in the end
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  • L'arri

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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #28 on: March 05, 2018, 11:13 »
    I'm not even sure that's what happened. Van Avermaet for example said that he just couldn't follow

    I think the same applies for Sagan and Kwiatkowski. Also Stybar was completely done in the end

    Yeah I did acknowledge that right after the "watching each other too much" bit. :)
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  • Servais Knavendish

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    Re: 2018 Strade Bianche
    « Reply #29 on: March 05, 2018, 20:32 »
    I loved it too... Would it be too much to hope for a wet Roubaix this year too...

    Anyway loved this shot, from Soigneurs Cycling Journal; something really timeless about it; apart from a few modern accessories this could have been be a taken at any time in the last 60 years as a simple snap of two lads belting home in bad weather.

    Chapeau to both these gents and the very worthy winner.

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