Cycling: Thomas Pidcock wins Strade Bianche in front of Valentin Madouas

The British of Ineos-Grenadiers won the first great classic of the season and his career, Sunday in Siena (Italy), by ahead of the French and the Belgian Tiesj Benoot.

by Vincent Daheron

Even in his absence, the shadow of Tadej Pogacar hangs over Tuscany. Saturday March 4, Thomas Pidcock won the classic of Strade Bianche, Italy, thanks to a sharp attack more than fifty kilometers from the finish, in the same place as the Slovenian, winner a year earlier.

The Briton won on the Piazza del Campo de Siena twenty seconds ahead of Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) and Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma). It is the fourth professional victory of the runner of ineos-grenadiers, the second this season after that acquired on the fourth stage of the Tour of Algarve on February 18. A prestige success in the white paths of Tuscany, a race sometimes considered as the sixth monument of cycling.

“It was not at all the plan even if the sector was conducive to attacks, reacted the 23 -year -old runner at the microphone of Eurosport. I saw the opportunity in a descent and I said to myself “Go ahead”. I had the feeling that this day could be mine. I do not realize what I did. “

Tom Pidcock is the 𝙛𝙞𝙧𝙨𝙩 British Man to Win the Straude Bianche 🇬🇧
It was touch and go with 7km to go – but wow, di…

– Eurosport (@eurosport)

Thomas Pidcock escaped in the Monte Sante Marie sector, fifty kilometers from the line, with Alberto Bettiol and Andrea Bagioli. At the same time, Julian Alaphilippe was released, like Mathieu Van der Poel later. Pidcock quickly set up his two companions before resuming, thanks to his technical ease of the gravel from his cyclo-cross experience, the last two morning escapes: Sven Erik Bystrom and Alessandro de Marchi. He finally dropped the latter 23 kilometers from Siena, theater of the arrival.

Solitarian, the winner of the Alpe d’Huez stage during the Tour de France 2022 resisted the pack of competitors launched in pursuit. The latter did not agree to return to the Olympic mountain bike champion and had to be satisfied with the accessits on the podium. 2>

Julian Alaphilippe and Mathieu van der Poel disappoint

At this game, the French Valentin Madouas was the strongest by extricating from the hunting group – composed of five runners – with Tiesj Benoot in the last climb to join the Piazza del Campo. He beat the Belgian in the sprint to seize second place. A good omen for the runner of the Groupama-FDJ team less than a month from the Tour of Flanders, where he had finished third last season.

Winner here even in 2019, Julian Alaphilippe did not experience the same race as his compatriot. If he did not fall as in the previous edition, he was never able to play the victory. However, he won two weeks earlier, on the Ardèche Classic but facing a less raised plateau.

Also already victorious of the Strade Bianche, in 2021, Mathieu Van der Poel missed his resumption on the road after a winter spent in the plowing of the cyclo-crosss concluded by a fifth world title. He tried to return to Thomas Pidcock 42 kilometers from the finish, in vain, before cracking.

The good surprise came from another French: Romain Grégoire. At only 20 years old and for his first season in the World Tour of Groupama-FDJ team, the 2021 European junior champion took the eighth position.

/Media reports cited above.