Cycling: Tadej Pogacar wins the Strade Bianche solo

Slovenian Tadej Pogacar won a resounding victory at the Strade Bianche this Saturday March 2 in Siena after sweeping away the competition with a solo attack 81 kilometers from the finish line.

Tadej Pogacar, winner of the 18th edition of Strade Bianche, March 2, 2024. AFP - MARCO BERTORELLO

By: RFI with AFP


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Tadej Pogacar started 2024 as he finished 2023: with impressive success in Italy.

Since his victory in the Tour of Lombardy on October 7 - his third in a row in the last Monument of the year - the Slovenian phenomenon of the UAE team has changed his haircut with peroxide highlights, but not his champion habits .

He disgusted the competition, then reduced to a group of around twenty runners under the leadership of two of his teammates and washed out by a violent downpour, leaving him company 81 km from the finish line.

Already winner of this Italian event in 2022

The Slovenian, already winner of this Italian event in 2022, picked up the pace on the difficult path to Monte Sante Marie.

No one, not even the Briton Tom Pidcock (Ineos), winner in Siena last year, could resist him.

Pogacar quickly counted twenty seconds in advance, without giving the impression of being 100%.

Under the returning sun, the double winner of the Tour de France, his bike stained with the white dust of the Tuscan roads, continued his effort and quickly made his pursuers give up, relegated to more than two minutes.

Extended by thirty kilometers, the 2024 edition of the Strade Bianche looked like for Pogacar, all smiles in the finale, like a simple training outing through the superb Tuscan hills until arriving at the monumental Piazza del Campo.

Tour of Italy and Tour de France on the program


No one probably expected me to attack so early, I wanted to toughen up the race quickly (...) The team did a great job, but it was a difficult race

,” he said. he judges.


When you start your season, it’s tough from a mental point of view, I’m happy with how the day went

,” he added.

 He had to wait more than two minutes for him to discover the identity of his two podium neighbors, the Latvian Toms Skujins (Lidl-Trek), 2nd at 2 min 44 sec, and the Belgian Maxim Van Gils (Lotto), 3rd at 2 min 47 sec.

Like his great rivals, the Belgian Remco Evenepoel and the Dane Jonas Vingegaard, Pogacar finished victorious in his first race of the year.

Italy will be the common thread of a season that "Pogi" hopes will be fantastic: he is aiming for the Tour of Italy (May 4-26) and the Tour de France, which will start on June 29 from Florence, for a rare double which has not been achieved since the Italian Marco Pantani in 1998. If Pogacar is proud, Julian Alaphilippe looks grim: the Frenchman, winner of the event in 2019, was forced to abandon after a fall, for the second weekend in a row.


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