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At just 12 years old, Strade Bianche doesn’t have the same history or prestige as the five one-day Monuments. But after Saturday’s 2018 edition, many have been speaking of the Tuscan one-day race with the sort of reverence normally reserved for the likes of Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix.
The weather certainly played a part — heavy snow in the lead-up and constant rain on the day turned the white roads of Tuscany into muddy clay pits. Images of exhausted riders crossing the finish line, caked in mud, only served to emphasise the extreme nature of this beautiful race.
The victor was Belgium’s Tiesj Benoot, a rider of great promise who first emerged with fifth at the 2015 Tour of Flanders — his first “Ronde”, at just 21 — and who has nibbled away at the front of the biggest races since then. The win was his first since turning pro, not that you’d know it from the way he raced. He made the ride moves, attacked when he needed to, and eventually outmuscled all of his rivals.
Our photographer friends Kristof Ramon, and Ashley & Jered Gruber were in the thick of the action on Saturday, capturing the spectacular images you see below. We hope you love these images as much as we do.