Anna van der Breggen wins Strade Bianche in heroic solo

Niewiadoma second, Longo Borghini third

Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) started her 2018 race programme with a cagey victory in Strade Bianche. She and last year's winner Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5) attacked on the penultimate gravel sector, and when Longo Borghini dropped back due to a mechanical, Van der Breggen continued unabated. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) took up the chase, but it was too little too late, and the Pole finished as runner-up in Siena for the third time in a row. Longo Borghini rounded out the podium.

After a week with snow and temperatures below zero, the temperatures climbed above the freezing point on race day. Just before the neutral start, the rain began to come down and didn't stop for the whole 136km race turning the eight sectors' 31.6km of white roads of Tuscany into a brownish mixture of gravel, slush and water.

Mayuko Hagiwara (Alé-Cipollini), Sara Penton (Team Virtu Cycling), and Katia Ragusa (BePink) attacked early. After Hagiwara lost contact with the other two on the first gravel sector, the gap to the peloton stood at 1:17 minutes. This dropped again on the following sector, and the front duo was caught by the peloton after 39 km.

After the feed zone with around 75km to the finish, the star-studded Boels Dolmans team led the race onto sector five, the longest gravel sector at 9.5km. Here, Elisa Longo Borghini suffered a puncture which forced her to chase back on for a while after getting a spare wheel from a teammate. Alena Amialiusik (Canyon-SRAM) put in an attack and got a small gap, she was soon joined by World Champion Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans) and Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb).

This trio kept a gap of around 40 seconds throughout a 34km stretch with no gravel but was eventually caught by what was left of the peloton just after sector six. With 22km and two short but steeply-climbing gravel sectors to go, around 25 riders remained in contention.

Niewiadoma and Longo Borghini attacked into the seventh gravel sector, Colle Pinzuto, closely followed by Van der Breggen. At the end of the sector, it was Van der Breggen and Longo Borghini who opened up a gap of maybe 20 seconds. With 17km to the finish, Longo Borghini got something stuck in her wheel, leaving her unable to follow Van der Breggen.

On the final gravel sector of Le Tolfe, Niewiadoma went solo from the eight-strong chase group in an attempt to reach the front, but Van der Breggen paced herself well. At the 10-kilometre mark, she was a minute ahead of Niewiadoma who had caught Longo Borghini. The Dutchwoman held this advantage into Siena where she could celebrate victory on the Piazza del Campo. Niewiadoma left Longo Borghini behind on the final kilometre to take second place.

With this victory, Anna van der Breggen takes the lead in the 2018 Women's WorldTour, a classification that she already won in 2017.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam4:10:48 
2Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM Racing0:00:49 
3Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High50:00:59 
4Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:01:32 
5Lucy Kennedy (Aus) Mitchelton Scott Women  
6Janneke Ensing (Ned) Ale Cipollini0:01:37 
7Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton Scott Women0:01:41 
8Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:02:25 
9Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Team Sunweb Women0:02:36 
10Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:02:50 
11Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Ale Cipollini0:04:10 
12Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam  
13Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Hitec Products-Birk Sport  
14Angelica Brogi (Ita) Aromitalia Vaiano0:04:14 
15Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon-SRAM Racing  
16Liane Lippert (Ger) Team Sunweb Women0:04:16 
17Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb Women0:04:22 
18Georgia Williams (NZl) Mitchelton Scott Women0:04:24 
19Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-SRAM Racing0:04:26 
20Alicia Gonzalez (Spa) Movistar Team Women0:04:28 
21Riejanne Markus (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team0:04:31 
22Abby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) Trek-Drops0:04:37 
23Anouska Koster (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team0:04:40 
24Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team0:04:43 
25Rachel Neylan (Aus) Movistar Team Women0:06:32 
26Soraya Paladin (Ita) Ale Cipollini0:07:21 
27Tayler Wiles (USA) Trek-Drops0:07:31 
28Eugenia Bujak (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana0:07:42 
29Ruth Winder (USA) Team Sunweb Women0:08:01 
30Rozanne Slik (Ned) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope0:08:20 
31Clara Koppenburg (Ger) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:10:47 
32Lourdes Oyarbide (Spa) Movistar Team Women  
33Juliette Labous (Fra) Team Sunweb Women  
34Aude Biannic (Fra) Movistar Team Women0:10:54 
35Lotta Pauliina Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:11:00 
36Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:11:35 
37Erica Magnaldi (Ita) BePink0:11:50 
38Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:11:56 
39Julie Van De Velde (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies0:12:48 
40Eva Buurman (Ned) Trek-Drops0:12:51 
41Victorie Guilman (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope  
42Rossella Ratto (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling0:12:56 
43Elizabeth Holden (GBr) Trek-Drops  
44Jip van den Bos (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:12:59 
45Eri Yonamine (Jpn) Wiggle High50:13:01 
46Martina Ritter (Aut) Wiggle High50:13:03 
47Vita Heine (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport  
48Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Canyon-SRAM Racing0:13:08 
49Ann-Sophie Duyck (Bel) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:13:10 
50Christina Malling Siggaard (Den) Team Virtu Cycling  
51Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM Racing0:13:22 
52Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Movistar Team Women0:13:51 
53Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women's Team0:15:45 
54Natalya Saifutdinova (Kaz) Astana Women's Team0:15:50 
55Demi de Jong (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies0:15:53 
56Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar PBM0:18:40 
57Sarah Roy (Aus) Mitchelton Scott Women  
58Gracie Elvin (Aus) Mitchelton Scott Women0:18:43 
59Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Wiggle High50:18:49 
OTLBarbara Guarischi (Ita) Team Virtu Cycling0:24:12 
OTLPaulien Rooijakkers (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team0:24:55 
OTLKatia Ragusa (Ita) BePink0:25:42 
OTLLija Laizane (Lat) Aromitalia Vaiano0:25:51 
OTLNicole d'Agostin (Ita) Still Bike Team A.S.Dilettantistica  
OTLSofia Beggin (Ita) Astana Women's Team  
OTLMichela Balducci (Ita) Aromitalia Vaiano  
OTLFrancesca Pisciali (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo  
OTLMarta Cavalli (Ita) Valcar PBM  
OTLYevgeniya Vysotska (Ukr) S.C. Michela Fanini  
OTLAnna Ceoloni (Ita) SC Michela Fanini0:25:55 
OTLShara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope0:26:06 
OTLAnastasiia Iakovenko (Rus) BTC City Ljubljana0:26:17 
OTLSara Penton (Swe) Team Virtu Cycling0:26:45 
OTLThea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport  
OTLSusanne Andersen (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport  
OTLUrska Zigart (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana0:31:27 
DNSMarta Tagliaferro (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFAudrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Wiggle High5  
DNFJulie Leth (Den) Wiggle High5  
DNFMayuko Hagiwara (Jpn) Ale Cipollini  
DNFKarlijn Swinkels (Ned) Ale Cipollini  
DNFAnna Trevisi (Ita) Ale Cipollini  
DNFRasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia Vaiano  
DNFGiulia Marchesini (Ita) Aromitalia Vaiano  
DNFNicole Nesti (Ita) Aromitalia Vaiano  
DNFSofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Astana Women's Team  
DNFJeydy Pradera Bernal (Cub) Astana Women's Team  
DNFLara Vieceli (Ita) Astana Women's Team  
DNFFrancesca Pattaro (Ita) BePink  
DNFLisa Morzenti (Ita) BePink  
DNFNikola Nosková (Cze) BePink  
DNFMaria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) BePink  
DNFPolona Batagelj (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFUrska Pintar (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFHanna Nilsson (Swe) BTC City Ljubljana  
DNFTiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM Racing  
DNFGiorgia Bronzini (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFSheyla Gutierrez (Spa) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFOmer Shapira (Isr) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFLauren Stephens (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling  
DNFGloria Manzoni (Ita) Still Bike Team A.S.Dilettantistica  
DNFDebora Silvestri (Ita) Still Bike Team A.S.Dilettantistica  
DNFAlice Gasparini (Ita) Still Bike Team A.S.Dilettantistica  
DNFAna Maria Covrig (Rom) Eurotarget-Bianchi-Vitasana  
DNFEugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFLauren Kitchen (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFGreta Richioud (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope  
DNFIngrid Moe (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport  
DNFCamilla Møllebro (Den) Hitec Products-Birk Sport  
DNFPuck Moonen (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFKelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies  
DNFJenelle Crooks (Aus) Mitchelton Scott Women  
DNFAlba Teruel (Spa) Movistar Team Women  
DNFFrancesca Balducci (Ita) SC Michela Fanini  
DNFLilibeth Chacon (Ven) SC Michela Fanini  
DNFMónika Király (Hun) SC Michela Fanini  
DNFOlga Shekel (Ukr) SC Michela Fanini  
DNFArgiro Milaki (Gre) Servetto - Stradalli Cycle - Alurecycling  
DNFKatja Jeretina (Slo) Servetto-Stradalli Cycle-Alurecycling  
DNFRosalia Ortiz (Spa) Servetto-Stradalli Cycle-Alurecycling  
DNFAnna Potokina (Rus) Servetto-Stradalli Cycle-Alurecycling  
DNFPaula Sanmartin (Spa) Servetto-Stradalli Cycle-Alurecycling  
DNFSara Casasola (Ita) Servetto-Stradalli Cycle-Alurecycling  
DNFCoryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women  
DNFKatrine Aalerud (Nor) Team Virtu Cycling  
DNFClaudia Koster (Ned) Team Virtu Cycling  
DNFDoris Schweizer (Swi) Team Virtu Cycling  
DNFLaura Tomasi (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo  
DNFVania Canvelli (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo  
DNFChiara Perini (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo  
DNFNadia Quagliotto (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo  
DNFBeatrice Rossato (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo  
DNFAbigail Van Twisk (GBr) Trek-Drops  
DNFChiara Consonni (Ita) Valcar PBM  
DNFIlaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar PBM  
DNFAlessia Vigilia (Ita) Valcar PBM  
DNFChiara Zanettin (Ita) Valcar PBM  
DNFMonique van de Ree (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team  

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