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Strade Bianche – Live coverage

Strade Bianche 2020

The profile of the men's Strade Bianche (Image credit: RCS Sport)

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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Strade Bianche. It's the first WorldTour race since the pro cycling season restarted in late July and the peloton is packed with big names in Tuscany.

It's the first hectic day of what will no doubt be many of this packed autumn racing season here at CN Towers, as we bring you full live coverage, race reports and news from both Strade Bianche races as well reporting at the final stage of the Vuelta a Burgos.

Peter Sagan heads to the sign-on in Siena

We're about 20 minutes from the start of the race.

2019 winner Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) returns, as do past winners Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Ineos), Tiesj Benoot (Team Sunweb) and Alaphilippe's tteammate Zdenek Štybar.

Here's Vincenzo Nibali at the stage start, wearing his team-issue face mask

It's 36°C in Tuscany today. The riders are spending as much time out of the sun as possible before racing gets underway.

We're also running full live coverage of Strade Bianche Women today. The race got underway just under an hour ago. Click here to check it out.

184km to go

176km to go

The duo only have an advantage of 20 seconds.

Van Kessel has now been caught, leaving Pellaud out front on his own.

A crash in the peloton saw riders from Mitchelton-Scott, Trek-Segafredo and Israel Start-Up Nation hit the deck. They are all back up and running without problem, though.

164km to go

159km to go

Pellaud is out front with Nicola Bagioli (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept), Iuri Filosi (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Corné Van Kessel (Circus-Wanty Gobert) and Benjamin Declercq (Arkéa-Samsic).

Deceuninck-QuickStep boss Patrick Lefevere, who famously opposed adding gravel sectors to races such as Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Tours, has come round on Strade Bianche, he writes in Het Nieuwsblad today.

150km to go

The riders hit the third sector of sterrato.

Astana lead the peloton, 1:10 down on the escapees. Their co-leaders Jakob Fuglsang and Alexey Lutsenko finished second and seventh last year.

Vincenzo Nibali had a mechanical problem but now he's back in the peloton, no worries.

139km to go

The leaders are on the fourth sterrato sector now. Pellaud leads solo ahead of the chasers and a minute up on Van Kessel.

The pack rides through the countryside during the oneday classic cycling race Strade Bianche White Roads on August 1 2020 around Siena Tuscany Photo by Marco BERTORELLO AFP Photo by MARCO BERTORELLOAFP via Getty Images

A shot of the peloton out on the road today (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

60km of racing done, and the riders hit the fifth sterrato sector. 

The peloton has let Pellaud and the break go now – they're 2:40 down.

Pellaud is 3:30 up on the peloton and 1:40 up on the chasers.

There's 20km remaining in the women's race, and one rider is going solo.

107km to go

The chasing trio have now been caught by the peloton with just over 100km to race.

A rather empty – for obvious reasons – Piazza del Campo awaits the riders at the finish in Siena.

101km to go

It's looking like a very dramatic finish in the women's race.

Back in the men's race, the riders pass the 100km to go mark.

Here's a shot of the break from earlier on – Pacher, Pellaud and Declercq. Only Pellaud remains out front now.

95km to go

Over in the women's race, they're tackling the final climb to the finish in Siena. It's looking very empty, spectator-wise, a far cry from the usual scenes of the race finale.

Alaphilippe and Van der Poel have reportedly put in an attack. 

The women's race has just finished.

85km to go

Elswhere, it's the grand finale of the Vuelta a Burgos as the peloton tackle the climb of Lagunas de Neila.

Van der Poel, Alaphilippe and Daniel Oss (Bora-Hansgrohe) are still pushing the pace at the head of the peloton, which lies 25 seconds behind Pellaud.

78km to go

Astana and Team Ineos are making the pace at the head of the peloton.

Drama in the peloton as Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) falls. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) has suffered a puncture, too.

70km to go

Pellaud, Burghardt and Craddock remain 30 seconds in the lead.

Nibali and Alaphilippe both seem to have been involved in that large crash...

68km to go

The 'peloton' has slimmed down a lot. There are only around 25 riders left now.

A look at the peloton out on the road earlier on

Only four sterrato sectors remain now. The next one, at Monte Sante Marie, is 8.8km long.

Team Sunweb are unlikely to have a presence in the finale, as team leaders Tiesj Benoot and Søren Kragh Andersen abanoned earlier on.

59km to go

54km to go

The four chasers have caught Clarke now. They're 20 seconds up on the peloton.

The groups have merged together again on that gravel section. Jakob Fuglsang pushes on at the front.

Alaphilippe is off the back.

A rough rundown of the lead group – Davide Formolo, Jakob Fuglsang, Wout Van Aert, Alberto Bettiol, Greg Van Avermaet, Max Schachmann, Michael Gogl, Michał Kwiatkowski

Van der Poel and Alaphilippe were in trouble on that incline. Fuglsang leads the way down the descent. He yells at the moto camera, which has been kicking up dust clouds in front of the riders, as he passes by.

49km to go

Max Schachmann slips out of the pedals at the side of the road. He and Gogl are at the back of the seven-man chase group.

Kwiatkowski slips back as the road heads uphill. That chase group is thinning out kilometre by kilometre.

47km to go

The group aree making headway into Fuglsang's lead. It's 15 seconds at the moment.

Julian Alaphilippe and Mathieu van der Poel chasing back after their punctures. They're out of contention for now.

41km to go

Time for riders to take drinks from their team cars now. 

A reminder of the lead group: Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Alberto Bettiol (EF Pro Cycling), Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team), Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe).

The chasing group is reported at 1:50 down. It's unclear whether that's the next group on the road or not, though.

It does seem like that is the time gap to the next group!

36km to go

The contenders

The leaders are rotating and working well together. They're losing a few seconds to the chasers but with 1:30 in hand and 31km to race it'd be a shock if they didn't contest the finish between them.

The chase group continue to gradually close in. The gap is 1:15 now, so a 15-second gain in 3km if the GPS is to be believed.

26km to go

Vincenzo Nibali has abandoned the race. He was suffering from a pain in his left hand after his crash.

23km to go

Štybar is leading the chasing trio. 

22km to go

Max Schachmann goes for it on the tarmac! Van Aert is quickly on his wheel.

The German was at the rear of the group, catching all but Van Aert by surprise.

19km to go

Fuglsang, Formolo and Bettiol make it up to the attacking duo. Bettiol immediately has a go off the front.

17km to go

The Štybar group is now just Zdenek Štybar as the Czech rider has gone solo.

Štybar is with Van Avermaet now. They're 1:15 down. The finish will be contested between the lead quintet.

13km to go

Van Aert attacks!

He quickly gets a nice gap. Bettiol attempts a chase.

12km to go

There are a few lumps and rises to go but the main obstacle between them and finish is the steep climb into the centre of Siena.

11km to go

9km to go

8km to go

Now it's Formolo and Shachmann making the chase. They're 10 seconds down.

7km to go

6km to go

5km to go

4km to go

3km to go

2km to go

Van Aert is heading uphill now. 30 seconds between him and the Schachmann-Formolo chase group.

1km to go

Van Aert hits the narrow, final climb between the terraced houses.

It's in the bag for Van Aert now. He's over the top and riding towards the finish. Who will take second, though?

We're neaering five hours of action now. 250 metres to go for Wout Van Aert.

Wout Van Aert wins Strade Bianche!

Formolo is leading Schachmann through the streets.

The Italian champion beats the German champion to the line, arounud 32 seconds down on Van Aert. There's your final podium.

Van Aert sits against the barrier, pouring water over himself and smiling. He took two third places here in the past, but this time he's moved up two steps on the podium.

Alberto Bettiol takes fourth, just over 1:30 down.

Here's Van Aert taking the win

Jakob Fuglsang takes fifth place.

I don't think ten riders have finished yet. Van Aert finished almost 7 minutes ago. What a brutal race.

Here's what Van Aert had to say after the finish:

Our man on the scene, Stephen Farrand, took this shot of Van Aert celebrating shortly after taking the win today.

Here's the top ten. A full 7:45 between first and tenth... Brutal.

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Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma 4:58:56
2Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:30
3Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:32
4Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Pro Cycling 0:01:31
5Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:02:55
6Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:03:59
7Brent Bookwalter (USA) Mitchelton-Scott 0:04:25
8Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) CCC Team 0:04:27
9Michael Gogl (Aut) N