Having broken clear with 20km left to race, it was Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Zdeněk Štybar (Etixx-Quick Step) leading Strade Bianche and starting the final kilometre 16 per cent Via Santa Caterina climb into Sienna together. Van Avermaet was the first attack on the steep slopes with Valverde quick to try and close down the move.
As Valverde struggled to reign in Van Avermaet, a blistering acceleration by Stybar saw the Czech national champion jump clear just before the crest of the summit before he rode solo over the finish line for hist first victory of 2015.
Van Avermaet crossed the line two seconds in arrears with Valverde 18 seconds back.
"In the final kilometres I thought that Valverde would attack but then Greg surprised me and went really early, at the bottom of the steepest part of the final climb," Stybar said. "I got on his wheel but I knew I’d have to overtake him at the top otherwise I’d be second. I wanted to win today and so did everything I could to overtake him and take this beautiful win."
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