Matthews’ Classics preparation jarred by fracture, is out of Strade Bianche; Van Garderen to make ‘solid push for GC’ at Paris-Nice; Former winners Gilbert and Sybar chasing repeat success in Strade Bianche; Johansson empathises with Rissveds’ decision to step back from cycling; Girdlestone: ‘I’m nowhere near where I used to be’; Deda goes gravel with Gravel100 flared handlebar; Video: Roadies get dissed
Fracture sidelines Matthews, van Garderen aims for Paris-Nice GC: Daily News Digest
Fresh from his runner-up slot to teammate Niki Terpstra in Tuesday’s Le Samyn, Philippe Gilbert is vying for success in this weekend’s Strade Bianche. He and teammate Zdenek Stybar will lead the QuickStep Floors squad in the event, which will be held on Saturday.
The event is 184 kilometres long, takes in 11 gravel sectors and is one of the most testing early-season events. Gilbert won the race in 2011 while Stybar was victorious four years later.
“We make no secret of the fact that we have several guys capable of winning on Saturday,” said sports director Davide Bramati. “But it won’t be easy, because there’s a star-studded field out there, with many strong riders all wanting the top prize.
“Unlike other years, the weather could play a bigger role this time, as we expect low temperatures and rain during the race, but we’ll do our best to kick-start the month of March on the right foot.”
The duo will be backed by Eros Capecchi, Fernando Gaviria, Iljo Keisse, Maximilian Schachmann and Pieter Serry.