197 legendary kilometers on the dirt roads of Tuscany. This is how the Strade Bianche can be described, which is especially tailor-made for classic car specialists and which is even described by some as the Paris-Roubaix of Italy. However, this description only partially does justice to the character of the race. The climbs in Tuscany are too difficult compared to the profile of the Hell of the North.
Before the race this year, two names in particular were mentioned as favorites. On the one hand it was that of the Slovak Peter Sagan (Cannondale), who finished second last year behind his teammate Moreno Moser, and on the other hand it was that of the Pole Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). Both lived up to expectations during the course of the race.
The decision of the race was not made until the last thirty kilometers. After a thwarted attack by Cadel Evans (BMC) and Ian Stannard (Sky), Sagan and Kwiatkowski fled for safety. Behind them, a strong chasing group formed with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida), Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), who won the race two years ago. However, the quartet failed to catch up with the breakaways. On the contrary: the leading duo confidently defended their lead of almost forty seconds.
The decision was then made in the last kilometer. On the final climb in the heart of Sienna, which is up to 16 percent steep, Kwiatkowski attacked on the steepest part. Sagan, who had previously tried to keep up the pace, was unable to keep up with the Pole and had to settle for second place again. Valverde finally took third place, who was also able to break away from his fellow combatants.
The best German was Simon Geschke (Giant-Shimano) from Berlin in tenth place.
1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) 5:20:33
2. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) 0:00:19
3. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 0:00:36
4. Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida) 0:00:40
5. Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff saxo) 0:00:40