Kwiatkowski attacks to win 2017 Strade Bianche

Michal Kwiatkowski from Team Sky attacked a select remaining group of 5 riders with 15 kms to go to win the 2017 Strade Bianche in Tuscany

The Team Sky rider finished ahead of a chase group with Greg Van Avermaet and Tim Wellens.

World champion Peter Sagan didn't feel well and was force to retire.

At 50 kilometers from the finish, a lead group of five with Thibaut Pinot, Quentin Jauregui, Jose Goncalves, Truls Engel Korsaeth and Simone Andreetta was closely followed by a chase group with strong riders like Greg Van Avermaet and Tom Dumoulin.

The leaders, down to four as Andreetta had already been dropped, were caught by the chasers at around 35 kilometers from the finish. A new front group of ten formed as the original chase group had split shortly before catching the lead group.

The high pace set by some of the stronger riders in the front group soon proved too much for several of those involved, but it wasn't high enough to increase the gap with Van Avermaet who had ended up on the wrong side of the split but soon found his way back to the front along with Tim Wellens and Luke Durbridge.

Wellens and Van Avermaet later attacked with Michal Kwiatkovski and Zdenek Stybar and immediately created a gap on the hilly Tuscan roads while having to stand the rain and the cold.

Dumoulin, Durbridge and Christopher Juul Jensen eventually rejoined the lead group but Kwiatkowski attacked shortly after to force his rivals to chase him down.

The winner of the 2014 edition gave it his all to increase the gap with the chase group, which split into two when Van Avermaet, Wellens and Stybar left the others behind in their attempt to catch the Polish leader.

The Team Sky rider remained out of sight however, and completed the final climb in Siena with a comfortable margin over his chasers. At the finish, the former World Champion had 15 seconds left in respect to Van Avermaet and Wellens, who finished second and third respectively.

With this victory, Kwiatkowski is the second rider to win the Italian race more than once. Only Fabian Cancellara hais won it three times.

Afterwards Kwiatkowski said: “I was thinking about last year when I crossed the line, and I feel so satisfied. The team has put big trust in to me and all the hard work I’ve done in preparation for this season has paid off.

“It’s the second victory at Strade Bianche in my career – it’s just amazing. Coming into the final stages alone was an incredible feeling.”

He went on to describe his attack saying: “We started to play a game after the Sante Marie section. I didn’t feel so good there, but the cooperation wasn’t so strong among the group, so I thought the best thing was to go at my own pace.

“I didn’t think they’d cooperate well behind me and I could choose my own pace, my own tempo, and go to the finish. I’m so happy that it worked out.”

VIDEO: 2017 Strade Bianche Final Kilometres

2017 Strade Bianche Top 10 Results

1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) 4:42:42
2 Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) +15”
3 Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) +17”
4 Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors) +23”
5 Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) +1’26”
6 Luke Durbridge (Orica-Scott) ,,
7 Christopher Juul-Jensen (Orica-Scott) +1’29”
8 Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) +2’20”
9 Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) +2’23”
10 Scott Thwaites (Dimension Data) +2’52”

Don't miss our PARIS-NICE LIVE STREAM action starting Sunday March 5th at approximately 10:30 EST, 15:30 GMT, 16:30 CET

2017 Strade Bianche LIVESTREAM REPLAY

14:48: Strade Bianche 2017 Top 10 Results

Strade Bianche 2017 Top 10 Results

14:45 Don't miss our PARIS-NICE LIVE STREAM ACTION Sun March 5th starting at 10:30 EST, 15:30 GMT, 16:30 CET

14:44 VIDEO: Kwiatkowski wins the 2017 Strade Bianche

14:42 GMT: 1. Kwiatkowski (SKY)  2. Avermaet (BMC) 3. Wellens (LTS)  4. Stybar (QST)  5. Dumoulin (SUN)

14:39 GMT: Kwiatkowski wins!

Kwiatkowski wins!

14:38 GMT: Kwiatkowski has got this. He's won this!

Kwiatkowski has got this. He's won this!

14:36 GMT: Kwiatkowski has got this, surely! 4h 40m in the saddle. 3kms to go.

14:35 GMT: Last climb is coming, can Kwiatkowski hang on. Stybar, Avermaet and Wellens aren't bringing this back!

14:32 GMT 4 kms to go - time to burn some matches Stybar, Avermaet and Wellens!

14:30 GMT: Kwiatkowski is pulling away from Stybar, Avermaet and Wellens.

Kwiatkowski is pulling away from Stybar, Avermaet and Wellens.

14:27 GMT: 14:25 GMT: Kwiatkowski is pulling away from Stybar, Avermaet and Wellens. He could do this ...

14:25 GMT: Kwiatkowski has attacked with 8 kms to go. Can he stay away?

Kwiatkowski has attacked with 8 kms to go. Can he stay away?

14:30 GMT: 18% section! here we go! 

18% section! here we go!

14:14 GMT: 13km to go. Kwiatkowski has a good gap.

13km to go. Kwiatkowski has a good gap.

14:13 GMT: So it's between Domoulin, Stybar, Wellens, van Avermaet and Kwiatkowski pretty much. 15 kms to go. Kwiatkowski has attacked.

14:09 GMT: Tom Domoulin has come across to the front.

14:08 GMT: Our leaders van Avermaet, Wellens, Stybar and Kwiatkowski. Who's got the legs? 

Our leaders van Avermaet,Wellens. Stybar and Kwiatkowski

14:04 GMT: Over 1,500 people on the LIVESTREAM! Enjoy Folks!

14:03 GMT: Van Avermaet is suffering, Wellens, Stybar and Kwiatkowski smashing it out!

14:00 GMT: Kwiatkowski turns on the gas

Kwiatkowski turns on the gas!

13:57 GMT: Lead group of 9 riders. Boasson Hagen doing no work ... 

13:53 GMT: 27km to go. Front group has come back, Stybar, Avermaet, Wellens, Kwiatkowski

13:52 GMT: Van Avermaet and Wellens bridge across. Stybar looks strong

Van Avermaet and Wellens bridge across. Stybar looks strong

13:50 GMT: Women's Strade Bianche 2017 Top 10

1. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle-High5, in 3-44-45
2. Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Energie, at 2s
3. Lizzie Deignan (GBr) Boels-Dolmans, at 5s
4. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb, at 8s
5. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica-Scott, at 9s
6. Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ, at 12s
7. Katrin Garfoot (Aus) Orica-Scott, at 18s
8. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-Scott, at 36s
9. Cecilie Uttup Ludwig (Den) Cervélo-Bigla, at 1-06
10. Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-SRAM, st

13:47 GMT: Van Avermaet and Wellens trying to bridge to the front of the race

13:46 GMT: Kwiatkowski is doing massive turns!

Kwiatkowski is doing massive turns!

13:43 GMT: BMC is trying to bring this back together for Van Avermaet

BMC is trying to bring this back together for Van Avermaet

13:38 GMT: Leaders with Pinot 24 secs. Next section is 0.8 kms but steep! Scott Thwaites is in group 2.

Leaders with Pinot 24 secs.

13:34 GMT: Chase group 2 is looking really strong. Pinot is only 30s in front. Next white roads is 15 kms.

3 sectors left but there are some cobbles to deal with too.

Chase group 2 is looking really strong.

 

13:31 GMT: Longo Borghini won the women's race.More on that in a bit.

Longo Borghini won the womens race.More on that in a bit.

13:29 GMT: Boasson Hagen has bridged across to group 2 with Van Avermaet, Stybar, Wellens. Awesome work!

Boasson Hagen has made back into group 2 with Van Avermaet, Stybar, Wellens

13:25 GMT: Tom Domoulin has joined the Van Avermaet group2. 4 leaders have 36 secs

Tom Domoulin has joined the Van Avermaet group2. 4 leaders have 36 secs

13:22 GMT: This is Epic! Wellens, Stybar, Van Avermaet chasing Pinot! Here we go! 

Wellens, Stybar, Van Avermaet chasing Pinot!

13:19 GMT:  LIVE video now available above, enjoy or watch our live updates! 

13:16 GMT: Wellens, Stybar, Pinot, van Avermaet in chase group, only 4 leaders left!

Wellens, Stybar, Pinot, van Avermaet in chase group, only 4 leaders left

13:09 GMT: 54kms to go. Domoulin, Stybar, Van Avermaet are in the chase group only 1m 40secs behind.

Some crashes earlier on, Drucker out, Sagan retired.

Domoulin, Stybar, Van Avermaet are in the chase group only 1m 40secs behind.

13:05 GMT: Situation: 5 riders have a lead of 1m 41s with 57 km to go

Situation 5 rider have a lead of 1m 41s with 57 km to go

12:56 GMT: Peter Sagan has retired. He wasn't feeling well but still wanted to race!

Peter Sagan has retired. He wasn't feeling well but still wanted to race!

12:52 GMT: Situation is 6 rider sin the lead have 2m 19 secs.

Situation is 6 rider sin the lead have 2m 19 secs.

Strade Bianche, Saturday March 4th, 176 km

LIVE VIDEO: 05:00 PST 08:00 EST, 13:00 GMT, 14:00 CET

The Strade Bianche, officially called Strade Bianche - Eroica Pro, is a road bicycle race in Tuscany, Central Italy, starting and finishing in Siena. It has been held annually since 2007, on the first or second Saturday of March. The name Strade Bianche (Italian for White Streets) stems from the historic white gravel roads that are a defining feature of the race. More than 50 km of the total distance are raced on dirt roads.

Despite its relatively short history, the Strade Bianche has quickly gained prestige. As from 2017, the event will be included in the UCI World Tour, cycling's highest level of professional road races. It is organized by RCS Sport - La Gazzetta dello Sport, and is held the weekend before Tirreno–Adriatico as an early spring precursor to the cobbled classics in April. Swiss Fabian Cancellara holds the record with three wins.

Since 2015, a women's event, the Strade Bianche Donne, is held on the same day as the men's race. The event is part of the UCI Women's World Tour and is raced at approximately half the distance of the men's race, containing 17 km of gravel roads spread over five sectors.

Strade Bianche, Saturday March 4th, 176 km

 
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