Siena (AP) - professional cyclist Maximilian Schachmann narrowly missed victory in the 14th edition of the Italian gravel race Strade Bianche. The 26-year-old German champion from the Bora-hansgrohe team performed well and finished third after 184 kilometers around Siena.

The Belgian Wout Van Aert celebrated victory in the first WorldTour race after more than four months of a Corona break, ahead of Davide Formolo from Italy. Born in Berlin, the chess man drove in the top group for a long time in the race, which was postponed due to the Corona crisis of March 7th - despite temperatures of up to 40 degrees in the shade and 63 kilometers on the dusty gravel roads of Tuscany.

Around 13 kilometers from the finish line, this year's winner of the traditional Paris-Nice tour had to let former cross world champion Van Aert go. In the sprint for second place, Schachmann lost to his former teammate Formolo.

The classic Strade Bianche was the start of a mammoth program in the WorldTour. All major cycling races are to be completed in 101 days. The Tour de France takes place from August 29 to September 20.

© dpa-infocom, dpa: 200801-99-08210 / 3

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