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Strade Bianche 2017


The peloton has been flagged away from Siena's Fortezza Medicea and is making its way through the neutralised zone. They are due to reach kilometre zero at 11am local time for the official start of the 175-kilometre race.

There are eleven sectors of white roads on the parcours today, which account for some 61 kilometres of the 175-kilometre total distance. The first gravel sector comes after 11 kilometres at Vidritta. Dane Cash has all the details in his race preview.

172km remaining from 175km

164km remaining from 175km

Raffaello Bonusi (Androni) and Mirco Maestri (Bardiani-CSF) come through the 2.1km section of gravel road with a small lead over the peloton. The second, longer sector at Bagnaia follows shortly.

155km remaining from 175km

The eleven gravel sectors on today's route and their locations are as follows, with the length of each segment in parenthesis.

The beauty of Strade Bianche, of course, is that these gravel roads are slung along the Chianti hills, and hence there is scarcely a metre of flat along the route, which dips and rises throughout the day as it doubles back towards Siena.

150km remaining from 175km

148km remaining from 175km

The leading quintet continues to pad out its advantage as it emerges from the third sector. The now stands at almost two minutes, and it looks as though Goncalves, Frapporti, Andreeta, Korsaeth and Jauregui are set for a long stint at the head of the race.

135km remaining from 175km

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) has twice placed second at Strade Bianche, to Moreno Moser in 2013 and to Michal Kwiatkowski a year later. On the evidence of his showing in Belgium last weekend, Sagan is among the favourites to claim the honours here, but if he does so, it will not be on disc brakes. He explains his rationale here.

An interesting development. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) has succeeded in bridging up to the leading group. The Frenchman is targeting the Giro this year and has never made any secret of his affection for racing in Italy, but it is certainly a surprise to see him in the morning break here.

125km remaining from 175km

It's a momentous day for Trek-Segafredo neo-professional Mads Pedersen. Not only is the Dane enjoying his first appearance at Strade Bianche, but he is also making his debut as a Cyclingnews blogger. You can read his first offering here.

Strade Bianche Women, meanwhile, is into the final 27 kilometres, and a trio of leaders - Floortje Mackaij, Lara Vieceli and Lauren Stephens - have an advantage of just 25 seconds.

125km remaining from 175km

In the women's race, Stephens and Mackaij have dropped Vieceli, but the chasers aren't far behind as they enter the final 20 kilometres.

Although it has been drizzling intermittently at the finish in Siena, the rain has held off over Montalcino thus far, though the skies over the men's race are darkening.

A change of situation in the women's race, as a very elite group of five enters the final 15 kilometres out in front: Katrin Garfoot, Lizzie Deignan, Elisa Longo Borghini, Annemiek Van Vleuten and Kasia Niewiadoma.

107km remaining from 175km

There is light rain now falling over the men's race, while Deignan et al are riding through rather heavier precipitation in the closing kilometres of the women's race.

Five kilometres to go in the women's race, where the leading group is down to just four riders: Longo Borgini, Niewiadoma, Deignan and Van Vleuten.

98km remaining from 175km

A spectacular finale to the women's race, as Lucinda Brand and Shara Gillow catch and pass the leaders inside the final two kilometres. Brand leads up the leg-stinging climb into Siena, with Gillow chasing.

Elisa Longo Borghini has won Strade Bianche Women ahead of Kasia Niewiadoma, with Lizzie Deignan third. A remarkable denouement saw Brand pegged back at the death, and Longo Borghini swooped to take a fine victory. 

89km remaining from 175km

A major split has occurred on this sixth sector of dirt road, with a group of 15 or so riders - among them Peter Sagan - moving clear of a fragmented peloton. Vincenzo Nibali is among the riders in the third group on the road, but we understand that the race has splintered into pieces. 

72km remaining from 175km

68km remaining from 175km

Jempy Drucker (BMC) was also caught up in that crash that ended Brambilla's challenge and he, too, has abandoned Strade Bianche. This race looks set to be a war of attrition from here to Siena.

Peter Sagan had been struggling to stay in contact with that first chasing group, and the world champion has abandoned the race, apparently due to illness. His Bora-Hansgrohe team said this via Twitter: "He wasn't feeling well but still wanted to race as much as he could."

Meanwhile, Frapporti has been dropped by the break and trails by 1:15. Stybar and the growing chase group are 2:15 down.

57km remaining from 175km

Beneath spitting rain, Pinot and the escapees are approaching the eighth sector of dirt road, the 11.9km Monte Sante Marie section, which has been dedicated in honour of Fabian Cancellara. Cancellara - and Stephen Farrand - were on hand for the ceremony yesterday.

Sean De Bie leads the chasers onto the Cancellara section, 1:40 down on the leaders. Some of the names in this select chase group: Moreno Moser, Greg Van Avermaet, Luis Leon Sanchez, Tiesj Benoot, Tim Wellens, Matteo Trentin, Zdenek Stybar, Luke Durbridge, Scott Thwaites, Christopher Juul Jensen, Jasper Stuyven, Michal Kwiatkowski, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Tom Dumoulin.

52km remaining from 175km

Wellens' effort has forced a split on an uphill section of Monte Sante Marie, and he is joined by Kwiatkowski, Stybar and Durbridge as a gap opens.

48km remaining from 175km

The break drops another rider, as Korsaeth is distanced by Goncalves, Pinot and Jauregui. They are just 36 seconds clear of the chasers.

There's a split in the elite chase group, too, as Wellens, Dumoulin, Stybar and Van Avermaet open a gap over Kwiatkowski, Benoot and Durbridge.

Kwiatkowski, Benoot and Dubridge claw their way back up to Van Avermaet et al as they tackle the downhill part of the Monte Sante Marie segment. They trail Pinot, Goncalves and Jauregui by 30 seconds.

42km remaining from 175km

40km remaining from 175km

38km remaining from 175km

The chasers close to within 13 seconds of the escapees, but they have already begun to attack one another ahead of the finale. Wellens and then Trentin put in digs, before Van Avermaet restores some order. Lotto Soudal and Quick-Step seem eager to make use of their numbers in this move.

35km remaining from 175km

Kwiatkowski's Sky team have been in the headlines all week after the House of Commons Select Committee hearing exposed some of the deficiencies in the team's record keeping as the mystery over the infamous Jiffy Bag intensifies and the tenibility of manager Dave Brailsford's position comes under further scrutiny. You can listen to the Cyclingnews podcast on the matter here. 

31km remaining from 175km

29km remaining from 175km

There are 16 riders at the front of the race but nobody is getting a free ride here. Stybar and Kwiatkowski are especially prominent in keeping the pace high at the front and this is stretching the group to breaking point.

26km remaining from 175km

25km remaining from 175km

24km remaining from 175km

Stybar punches ahead on the climb up Monteaperti. Goncalves is on his wheel, while Kwiatkowsi and Dumoulin give chase.

Kwiatkowski comes to the front and leads over the top of the climb, with Stybar, Dumoulin, Wellens and Goncalves on his wheel. Van Avermaet is also there.

22km remaining from 175km

21km remaining from 175km

20km remaining from 175km

Van Avermaet, Stybar, Kwiatkowski and Wellens are onto the Colle Pinzuto, the penultimate dirt road section. They lead Dumoulin and company by 9 seconds.

19km remaining from 175km

Stybar takes over on the front and leads over the top of the climb before beginning the short, dirt road descent. Dumoulin has rid himself of Juul Jensen, Durbridge and Goncalves, and is giving chase alone.

18km remaining from 175km

17km remaining from 175km

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12km remaining from 175km

Kwiatkowski holds an 11-second lead over the top of the climb. Stybar, Van Avermaet and Wellens are next as they come off the final sector of dirt road. 

11km remaining from 175km

10km remaining from 175km

9km remaining from 175km

8km remaining from 175km

7km remaining from 175km

7km remaining from 175km

There is, of course, that vicious climb into Siena still to come, but as Kwiatkowski stretches out his lead, he looks a likely winner in Piazza del Campo.

6km remaining from 175km

5km remaining from 175km

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Kwiatkowski has breaches the walls of Siena and he maintains a steady tempo as the gradient rears up.

Van Avermaet leads the chasers on the climb, but they have all the appearance of men racing for second place.

Kwiatkowski climbs out of the saddle for the first time as the gradient stiffens. He is showing no signs of cracking.

Van Avermaet accelerates in the chasing group, but Kwiatkowsi is already at the summit. He takes no risks on the rain-soaked dip to the finish line.

Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) wins Strade Bianche for the second time.

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) takes second ahead of Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), 15 seconds back. 

Stybar places fourth. Dumoulin, so impressive throughout, takes fifth, 1:25 down, just ahead of Durbridge and Juul Jensen. 

The remnants of the front selection make their way into Siena in ones and twos. Benoot leads Pinot over the line, 2:20 down on Kwiatkowski.


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