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by Jessi Braverman
March 10, 2015
Photography by Balint Hamvas
NEWS & RACING BROUGHT TO YOU BY CHAPTER2 BIKES
Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) proudly stood on the top step of the podium in Siena on Saturday. The American winner of the inaugural women’s Strade Bianche soloed across the line. Thirty-seven seconds later Guarnier’s teammate Lizzie Armitstead bested Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle Honda) in a two-up sprint for second place.
The story of the season continues to be the collective strength of the Boels-Dolmans squad that has delivered six victories in three races (Ladies Tour of Qatar, Le Samyn des Dames, Strade Bianche) with four different riders. The race win belonged to Guarnier and her teammates, but the day was inarguably a victory for women’s cycling as well. The first-time women’s event, which finished four hours before the men’s race, delivered on the charm and challenge it promised.
The atmosphere before the race began in San Gimignano was electric. The nerves and excitement amongst the riders and the teams were palpable during the early morning team presentations and as riders shook out arms and legs to keep warm and loose as they staged ahead of the official start. And when the racing began, it was clear we were in for a real treat. It was feast for the eyes from start to finish – the white gravel roads, the stunning Tuscan landscape, the faces of focus and suffering and finally (for some) delight.
Emma Johansson said it best: “When I crossed the line, I was already starting to count down the days until I could race Strade Bianche again.”
Johansson wasn’t the only one Ella CyclingTips spoke with post-race. Our photo gallery includes comments from Elena Cecchini (Lotto-Soudal), Iris Slappendel (Bigla), Eric van den Boom (Rabo Liv team manager), Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS), Chloe Hosking (Wiggle Honda), Loren Rowney (Velocio-SRAM), Mara Abbott (Wiggle Honda), Ashleigh Moolman Paiso (Bigla), Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle Honda), and, of course, race winner Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans).
Looking for a more traditional race report. You’ll find that here. Want to watch the Strade Bianche highlights video? You can do that here.