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Ellen van Dijk rides Strade Bianche on Koen de Kort's bike

SIENA ITALY AUGUST 01 Ellen Van Dijk of The Netherlands and Team TrekSegafredo Women Christine Majerus of Luxembourg and Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam Lisa Brennauer of Germany and Ceratizit WNT Pro Cycling Team Dust Public Fans during the Eroica 6th Strade Bianche 2020 Women Elite a 136km race from Siena to Siena Piazza del Campo StradeBianche on August 01 2020 in Siena Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Ellen van Dijk leads the breakaway group at Strade Bianche on Koen de Kort's bike (Image credit: Getty Images)

Strade Bianche is challenging enough on your own bike, but Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo) was forced to do it on Koen de Kort’s after her's was stolen ahead of the race.

Van Dijk’s Emonda was one of six bikes taken from the Trek-Segafredo truck by thieves the night before the race. Her spare equipment was not an option for the gravel race and, instead, she ended up riding De Kort’s bike.

“Sorry Koen, it’s a bit dirty. I’m make sure it’s clean,” she joked after the race.

"The bike was really good. This morning was a bit stressful with the stolen bikes, but Koen’s bike was not a problem.”

Van Dijk is no stranger to sharing equipment with her Dutch counterparts after giving Jos van Emden one of her skinsuits for the time trial at the European Championships in 2018 when his suitcase went missing.

The Trek-Segafredo rider was one of a group of 11 that broke away from the peloton following the fifth, and longest, gravel sector. The group split with Mavi Garcia (Ale’ BTC Ljubljana) making an impressive solo effort on the front that would last until she was caught by Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) in the final 20km of the race.

Van Dijk tried to push the pace and made several digs off the front to bring back Garcia. The efforts in the hot conditions showed later and she eventually finished 17th with her teammate Elisa Longo Borghini riding home for fifth place.

"It was super hard. It’s such a hard race. I was empty but at least I did a good job,” said Van Dijk. “I think our tactics were good, but I didn’t have the legs to attack from that group.

“It would have been perfect if I could have gone solo from that group, I couldn’t do that. I gave all I had, so that was it for the day and I think Elisa did a good job today.”