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by Matt de Neef
March 5, 2018
In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Arnaud Demare takes stage 1 of Paris-Nice; Tiesj Benoot solos to Strade Bianche win; Anna van der Breggen takes solo win at Strade Bianche; Matej Mohoric wins GP Industria & Artigianato; Remi Cavagna leads QuickStep Floors 1-2 at Dwars door West-Vlaanderen; Chloe Dygert smashes individual pursuit world record and takes rainbows; Richie Porte to miss Tirreno-Adriatico due to illness; Tejay Van Garderen out of Paris-Nice after team-car collision; Lucy Kennedy impresses in first European classic; UCI official suffers serious head injury at Track World Championships; Wout van Aert’s double-leg cramp.
Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) has taken his first victory as a professional after an impressively strong ride in the men’s Strade Bianche on Saturday.
In wet and muddy conditions the 23-year-old Belgian made his way to a leading group on the race’s eighth gravel sector. Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) and CX world champion Wout van Aert (Vérandas Willems-Crelan) then rode off the front and built a lead of a minute before Benoot attacked with Pieter Serry (QuickStep Floors).
Benoot made it across with 15km to go before attacking on the final gravel sector and riding the final 10km solo. Bardet would attack van Aert on the steep final ramp into Siena, the pair finishing on the podium in that order.
“I attacked on the last gravel sector and immediately had a nice lead,” Benoot said. “Then it was a matter of not crashing and having no flat tyre. When the team car rode behind me, I was less worried. I didn’t want to let my first pro victory slip through my fingers!
“I had a super day. It was cold and it rained, but I never had problems with that kind of weather. The Strade Bianche is one of my favourite races and one of the races that suits me best. Only strong riders have won this race and it’s wonderful to see my name among them!”