Paris-Nice is like a good bottle of wine: it gets better with age. Today, the…
Every year, when the dust settles, we always find ourselves longing for the next edition of Strade Bianche. For a race that has only been on the WorldTour calendar since 2007, the race has cemented itself in cycling lore.
There is so much that makes this race iconic: the white gravel roads that are the namesake of this beautiful race, the finish in the Piazza del Campo at the heart of Siena, the dust that cakes the riders’ sweaty faces, the constant action of the race. This race really has it all.
“It doesn’t have the same long history as the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, or Il Lombardia, but most of the riders in the peloton regard it as one of the Monuments and everyone wants to win it,” said Alberto Bettiol who grew up only a few hours away in the outskirts of Florence.
Last year, the race marked the return to racing for the WorldTour peloton. Alberto Bettiol rode brilliantly all day under the August sun and managed to pull off a fourth place finish in a hotly contested race. This year, after crashing on one of the gravel sectors, Alberto Bettiol’s race was in essence over but that didn’t stop him getting back on his bike and racing hard until the end. “I don’t race a lot in Italy, racing hard at home is really important,” said Alberto.
Simon Carr was our top finisher on the day with an 11th place finish in his first WorldTour race. “After the work the team did all day, I felt pressure to do well and I didn’t want to disappoint them,” said Simon Carr after the finish in Siena. “I’m really grateful to everyone for the help, for all the advice throughout the race and for the opportunity to race for myself in my first WorldTour race which was pretty special. I got eleventh in the end but I got everything out of myself so I couldn’t really do any better. I think it was a really good start for a first WorldTour race and it was a fun day.”
It’s only been two days since the race, but we are already counting down the days until we are back racing on the “strade bianche” of Tuscany.
Photos: Jared & Ashley Gruber