I had a moment of crisis when Van der Poel attacked in Strade Bianche, says Pogacar

SIENA ITALY MARCH 06 Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia and UAE Team Emirates Julian Alaphilippe of France and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Mathieu Van Der Poel of Netherlands and Team AlpecinFenix during the Eroica 15th Strade Bianche 2021 Mens Elite a 184km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo Breakaway Gravel Strokes Dust StradeBianche on March 06 2021 in Siena Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Reigning Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar impressed on the dirt roads of Strade Bianche but had no response when eventual race winner Mathieu van der Poel attacked with 24km to go with the Slovenian eventually taking seventh in Siena.

The UAE Team Emirates rider came into the Italian one-day race as a genuine contender after a strong start to the season in which he won the UAE Tour. 

He was well placed in the decisive, big-name group that formed during the key monte Santa Maria dirt sector of the race with 50km to go. But when Van de Poel put on the afterburners on the final dirt ramp with 12km to go, an already struggling Pogacar found himself cut adrift.

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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.