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Tadej Pogacar crushes his rivals on the White Roads of Tuscany

Slovenian attacked on the hardest gravel sector with 80 km to go to build up a lead of over 4 minutes as rivals fought for the podium scraps


Tadej Pogacar dominated Strade Bianche, with a show of force that demonstrated the Slovenian is in form to go for the Giro - Tour double this year.

In a stunning display of strength, Pogacar rode away from what was left of a decimated peloton of around 25 riders with 80 kms to go.

Commentators immediately pronounced he went too early, but they'll be eating their words this evening.

By the time the men’s live coverage began, the weather had deteriorated just like the peloton. In the first 115 kilometers seven riders got in the day's breakaway after 10 km of racing, but it was quickly reeled back in. Small attacks were attempted throughout the early kilometers but were also shut down by the eager peloton.

Everything came together again on Monte Sante Marie, an 11.5 kilometre long gravel section which Pogacar jokingly said before the race is where he would attack. Quite a few riders had alreadybeen dropped, including former winner Julian Alaphilippe, who had crashed earlier and abandoned the race.

Tim Wellens set the pace for Tadej Pogacar up the Monte Sante Marie. The Slovenian champion attacked a few kms from the top and no one could follow him, Vuelta winner Sepp Kuss tried. Pogacar left his rivals behind and opened up an impressive lead. At the end of that gravel section he had over 1 min on Maxim Van Gils. 30 seconds behind the Belgian, there was around 20 riders left in the peloton. Four riders from Visma | Lease a Bike; Attila Valter, Ben Tulett, Christophe Laporte and Sepp Kuss, along with Ben Healy, Matej Mohoric and Tom Pidcock. They chased but to no avail, Pogacar increased his lead. Pidcock later stating he felt like he was in the grupetto.

As the sun came out, Pogacar had plenty of time to celebrate his second victory in the Piazza del Campo in Siena long before any other rider, after winning two years ago.

Behind Skujins and Van Gils battled it out for second place on the steep slopes of the Via Santa Caterina, the last climb of the day. It was the Latvian who came second with Van Gils third. Last year’s winner, Tom Pidcock took fourth and UCI Gravel World Champion Matej Mohoric took fifth.

Strade Bianche was harder this year with a distance over 200 kilometres for the first time. The past six editions were raced over 184 kilometres, the riders had to cover 215 kilometres. Four new gravel sections were added to the route to make a total of fifteen sectors on the white roads of Tuscany, over 70 km of gravel.

2024 Strade Bianche Top 10

1  POGACAR Tadej UAE Team Emirates 5:19:45
2  SKUJINŠ Toms Lidl - Trek 2:44
3  VAN GILS Maxim Lotto Dstny 2:47
4  PIDCOCK Thomas INEOS Grenadiers 3:50
5  MOHORIC Matej Bahrain - Victorious 4:26
6  COSNEFROY Benoît Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team 4:39
7  FORMOLO Davide Movistar Team 4:41
8  MARTINEZ Lenny Groupama - FDJ 4:48
9  ZANA Filippo Team Jayco AlUla 4:49
10  LAPORTE Christophe Team Visma | Lease a Bike 5:17

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