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Anna van der Breggen wins Strade Bianche in heroic solo

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Anna van der Breggen wins the 2018 Strade Bianche

Anna van der Breggen wins the 2018 Strade Bianche (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Italian champion Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5) waves as she finishes third

Italian champion Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5) waves as she finishes third (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Katarzyna Niewiadoma in second

Katarzyna Niewiadoma in second (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Anna van der Breggen celebrates her Strade Bianche victory

Anna van der Breggen celebrates her Strade Bianche victory (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Anna van der Breggen celebrates her Strade Bianche victory

Anna van der Breggen celebrates her Strade Bianche victory (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Bubbly for Nieuwiadoma

Bubbly for Nieuwiadoma (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Katarzyna Niewiadoma, Anna van der Breggen and Elisa Longo Borghini on the Strade Bianche podium

Katarzyna Niewiadoma, Anna van der Breggen and Elisa Longo Borghini on the Strade Bianche podium (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Anna van der Breggen takes the Women's WorldTour lead

Anna van der Breggen takes the Women's WorldTour lead (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alena Amialiusik (Canyon-SRAM)

Alena Amialiusik (Canyon-SRAM) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Ellen van Dijk (Sunweb)

Ellen van Dijk (Sunweb) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans)

Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) on the attack

Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) on the attack (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The leading trio

The leading trio (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mitchelton-Scott chasing down the three leaders

Mitchelton-Scott chasing down the three leaders (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mitchelton-Scott chasing down the three leaders

Mitchelton-Scott chasing down the three leaders (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Mitchelton-Scott chasing down the three leaders

Mitchelton-Scott chasing down the three leaders (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Gracie Elvin leads the chase

Gracie Elvin leads the chase (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Chantal Blaak, Alena Amialiusik, and Ellen van Dijk in a break

Chantal Blaak, Alena Amialiusik, and Ellen van Dijk in a break (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Anna van der Breggen celebrates with teammate and world champion Chantal Blaak

Anna van der Breggen celebrates with teammate and world champion Chantal Blaak (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Anna van der Breggen celebrates with teammate and world champion Chantal Blaak

Anna van der Breggen celebrates with teammate and world champion Chantal Blaak (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Amanda Spratt finishes Strade Bianche

Amanda Spratt finishes Strade Bianche (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Lucy Kennedy

Lucy Kennedy (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Kasia Niewiadoma takes second place

Kasia Niewiadoma takes second place (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The peloton on the wet roads

The peloton on the wet roads (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The strade bianche were sloppy in the mud

The strade bianche were sloppy in the mud (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The riders on their way through the rolling hills of Tuscany

The riders on their way through the rolling hills of Tuscany (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Sunweb up at the front of the bunch

Sunweb up at the front of the bunch (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Christina Malling Siggaard

Christina Malling Siggaard (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tiffany Cromwell leads the group

Tiffany Cromwell leads the group (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Alena Amialiusik on the front

Alena Amialiusik on the front (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The riders were quickly caked in mud

The riders were quickly caked in mud (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Tiffany Cromwell on the mud

Tiffany Cromwell on the mud (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Christine Majerus

Christine Majerus (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The bunch

The bunch (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The bunch

The bunch (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Plenty of wheel changes needed for punctures on the wet gravel

Plenty of wheel changes needed for punctures on the wet gravel (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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A wet and muddy day in Tuscany

A wet and muddy day in Tuscany (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Anna van der Breggen raises her arm in celebration

Anna van der Breggen raises her arm in celebration (Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)

Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) started her 2018 race programme with a cagey victory in Strade Bianche. She and last year's winner Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5) attacked on the penultimate gravel sector, and when Longo Borghini dropped back due to a mechanical, Van der Breggen continued unabated. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) took up the chase, but it was too little too late, and the Pole finished as runner-up in Siena for the third time in a row. Longo Borghini rounded out the podium.

After a week with snow and temperatures below zero, the temperatures climbed above the freezing point on race day. Just before the neutral start, the rain began to come down and didn't stop for the whole 136km race turning the eight sectors' 31.6km of white roads of Tuscany into a brownish mixture of gravel, slush and water.

Mayuko Hagiwara (Alé-Cipollini), Sara Penton (Team Virtu Cycling), and Katia Ragusa (BePink) attacked early. After Hagiwara lost contact with the other two on the first gravel sector, the gap to the peloton stood at 1:17 minutes. This dropped again on the following sector, and the front duo was caught by the peloton after 39 km.

After the feed zone with around 75km to the finish, the star-studded Boels Dolmans team led the race onto sector five, the longest gravel sector at 9.5km. Here, Elisa Longo Borghini suffered a puncture which forced her to chase back on for a while after getting a spare wheel from a teammate. Alena Amialiusik (Canyon-SRAM) put in an attack and got a small gap, she was soon joined by World Champion Chantal Blaak (Boels Dolmans) and Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb).

This trio kept a gap of around 40 seconds throughout a 34km stretch with no gravel but was eventually caught by what was left of the peloton just after sector six. With 22km and two short but steeply-climbing gravel sectors to go, around 25 riders remained in contention.

Niewiadoma and Longo Borghini attacked into the seventh gravel sector, Colle Pinzuto, closely followed by Van der Breggen. At the end of the sector, it was Van der Breggen and Longo Borghini who opened up a gap of maybe 20 seconds. With 17km to the finish, Longo Borghini got something stuck in her wheel, leaving her unable to follow Van der Breggen.

On the final gravel sector of Le Tolfe, Niewiadoma went solo from the eight-strong chase group in an attempt to reach the front, but Van der Breggen paced herself well. At the 10-kilometre mark, she was a minute ahead of Niewiadoma who had caught Longo Borghini. The Dutchwoman held this advantage into Siena where she could celebrate victory on the Piazza del Campo. Niewiadoma left Longo Borghini behind on the final kilometre to take second place.

With this victory, Anna van der Breggen takes the lead in the 2018 Women's WorldTour, a classification that she already won in 2017.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam4:10:48
2Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM Racing0:00:49
3Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High50:00:59
4Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:01:32
5Lucy Kennedy (Aus) Mitchelton Scott Women
6Janneke Ensing (Ned) Ale Cipollini0:01:37
7Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton Scott Women0:01:41
8Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:02:25
9Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Team Sunweb Women0:02:36
10Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:02:50
11Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Ale Cipollini0:04:10
12Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
13Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
14Angelica Brogi (Ita) Aromitalia Vaiano0:04:14
15Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon-SRAM Racing
16Liane Lippert (Ger) Team Sunweb Women0:04:16
17Lucinda Brand (Ned) Team Sunweb Women0:04:22
18Georgia Williams (NZl) Mitchelton Scott Women0:04:24
19Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-SRAM Racing0:04:26
20Alicia Gonzalez (Spa) Movistar Team Women0:04:28
21Riejanne Markus (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team0:04:31
22Abby-Mae Parkinson (GBr) Trek-Drops0:04:37
23Anouska Koster (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team0:04:40
24Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team0:04:43
25Rachel Neylan (Aus) Movistar Team Women0:06:32
26Soraya Paladin (Ita) Ale Cipollini0:07:21
27Tayler Wiles (USA) Trek-Drops0:07:31
28Eugenia Bujak (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana0:07:42
29Ruth Winder (USA) Team Sunweb Women0:08:01
30Rozanne Slik (Ned) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope0:08:20
31Clara Koppenburg (Ger) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:10:47
32Lourdes Oyarbide (Spa) Movistar Team Women
33Juliette Labous (Fra) Team Sunweb Women
34Aude Biannic (Fra) Movistar Team Women0:10:54
35Lotta Pauliina Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:11:00
36Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:11:35
37Erica Magnaldi (Ita) BePink0:11:50
38Christine Majerus (Lux) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:11:56
39Julie Van De Velde (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies0:12:48
40Eva Buurman (Ned) Trek-Drops0:12:51
41Victorie Guilman (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
42Rossella Ratto (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling0:12:56
43Elizabeth Holden (GBr) Trek-Drops
44Jip van den Bos (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam0:12:59
45Eri Yonamine (Jpn) Wiggle High50:13:01
46Martina Ritter (Aut) Wiggle High50:13:03
47Vita Heine (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
48Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Canyon-SRAM Racing0:13:08
49Ann-Sophie Duyck (Bel) Cervelo - Bigla Pro Cycling Team0:13:10
50Christina Malling Siggaard (Den) Team Virtu Cycling
51Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM Racing0:13:22
52Malgorzata Jasinska (Pol) Movistar Team Women0:13:51
53Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women's Team0:15:45
54Natalya Saifutdinova (Kaz) Astana Women's Team0:15:50
55Demi de Jong (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies0:15:53
56Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar PBM0:18:40
57Sarah Roy (Aus) Mitchelton Scott Women
58Gracie Elvin (Aus) Mitchelton Scott Women0:18:43
59Emilia Fahlin (Swe) Wiggle High50:18:49
OTLBarbara Guarischi (Ita) Team Virtu Cycling0:24:12
OTLPaulien Rooijakkers (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team0:24:55
OTLKatia Ragusa (Ita) BePink0:25:42
OTLLija Laizane (Lat) Aromitalia Vaiano0:25:51
OTLNicole d'Agostin (Ita) Still Bike Team A.S.Dilettantistica
OTLSofia Beggin (Ita) Astana Women's Team
OTLMichela Balducci (Ita) Aromitalia Vaiano
OTLFrancesca Pisciali (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
OTLMarta Cavalli (Ita) Valcar PBM
OTLYevgeniya Vysotska (Ukr) S.C. Michela Fanini
OTLAnna Ceoloni (Ita) SC Michela Fanini0:25:55
OTLShara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope0:26:06
OTLAnastasiia Iakovenko (Rus) BTC City Ljubljana0:26:17
OTLSara Penton (Swe) Team Virtu Cycling0:26:45
OTLThea Thorsen (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
OTLSusanne Andersen (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
OTLUrska Zigart (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana0:31:27
DNSMarta Tagliaferro (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling
DNFAudrey Cordon Ragot (Fra) Wiggle High5
DNFJulie Leth (Den) Wiggle High5
DNFMayuko Hagiwara (Jpn) Ale Cipollini
DNFKarlijn Swinkels (Ned) Ale Cipollini
DNFAnna Trevisi (Ita) Ale Cipollini
DNFRasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia Vaiano
DNFGiulia Marchesini (Ita) Aromitalia Vaiano
DNFNicole Nesti (Ita) Aromitalia Vaiano
DNFSofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Astana Women's Team
DNFJeydy Pradera Bernal (Cub) Astana Women's Team
DNFLara Vieceli (Ita) Astana Women's Team
DNFFrancesca Pattaro (Ita) BePink
DNFLisa Morzenti (Ita) BePink
DNFNikola Nosková (Cze) BePink
DNFMaria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) BePink
DNFPolona Batagelj (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana
DNFUrska Pintar (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana
DNFHanna Nilsson (Swe) BTC City Ljubljana
DNFTiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon-SRAM Racing
DNFGiorgia Bronzini (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling
DNFSheyla Gutierrez (Spa) Cylance Pro Cycling
DNFOmer Shapira (Isr) Cylance Pro Cycling
DNFLauren Stephens (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling
DNFGloria Manzoni (Ita) Still Bike Team A.S.Dilettantistica
DNFDebora Silvestri (Ita) Still Bike Team A.S.Dilettantistica
DNFAlice Gasparini (Ita) Still Bike Team A.S.Dilettantistica
DNFAna Maria Covrig (Rom) Eurotarget-Bianchi-Vitasana
DNFEugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
DNFLauren Kitchen (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
DNFGreta Richioud (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
DNFIngrid Moe (Nor) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
DNFCamilla Møllebro (Den) Hitec Products-Birk Sport
DNFPuck Moonen (Ned) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFKelly Van Den Steen (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
DNFJenelle Crooks (Aus) Mitchelton Scott Women
DNFAlba Teruel (Spa) Movistar Team Women
DNFFrancesca Balducci (Ita) SC Michela Fanini
DNFLilibeth Chacon (Ven) SC Michela Fanini
DNFMónika Király (Hun) SC Michela Fanini
DNFOlga Shekel (Ukr) SC Michela Fanini
DNFArgiro Milaki (Gre) Servetto - Stradalli Cycle - Alurecycling
DNFKatja Jeretina (Slo) Servetto-Stradalli Cycle-Alurecycling
DNFRosalia Ortiz (Spa) Servetto-Stradalli Cycle-Alurecycling
DNFAnna Potokina (Rus) Servetto-Stradalli Cycle-Alurecycling
DNFPaula Sanmartin (Spa) Servetto-Stradalli Cycle-Alurecycling
DNFSara Casasola (Ita) Servetto-Stradalli Cycle-Alurecycling
DNFCoryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women
DNFKatrine Aalerud (Nor) Team Virtu Cycling
DNFClaudia Koster (Ned) Team Virtu Cycling
DNFDoris Schweizer (Swi) Team Virtu Cycling
DNFLaura Tomasi (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
DNFVania Canvelli (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
DNFChiara Perini (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
DNFNadia Quagliotto (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
DNFBeatrice Rossato (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
DNFAbigail Van Twisk (GBr) Trek-Drops
DNFChiara Consonni (Ita) Valcar PBM
DNFIlaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar PBM
DNFAlessia Vigilia (Ita) Valcar PBM
DNFChiara Zanettin (Ita) Valcar PBM
DNFMonique van de Ree (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team

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