Strade Bianche photo gallery: Clouds of dust under the Tuscan sun

by Matt de Neef

The WorldTour season restarted at Strade Bianche on Saturday, but it wasn’t quite the Strade Bianche we’re used to. For starters, the races were held in scorching heat – you don’t get 37ºC temperatures at Strade Bianche in March. And then there was the dust that poured off the dry, gravel roads. So much dust.

The women’s race ended the way most expected it would — with Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) soloing to another victory — but it wasn’t the long-range win-by-minutes victory it might have been. Thanks to a tenacious ride by Spaniard Mavi Garcia (Ale BTC Ljubljana), Van Vleuten had to work hard not just to reach the front of the race, but to get clear as well. It was only on the final ramp into Siena that the world champion was able to open a gap.

In the men’s race, Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) took his third podium in three visits, this time adding a victory to his two third-place finishes. It was a commanding ride from the Belgian: he made it into the elite lead group, then attacked with 13 km to go before riding to the finish alone. Bellissimo.

Without further ado, here are some stellar photos from Saturday’s races, courtesy of our friends Kristof Ramon, Jered and Ashley Gruber, and Cor Vos.

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