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Tadej Pogačar dominates the Strade Bianchi

Photo: Fabio Ferrari / AP

Cycling star Tadej Pogačar showed his top class in his season debut and won the Strade Bianche gravel race for the second time.

The two-time Tour de France champion took victory in Siena on Saturday after 215 kilometers.

At the finish, Pogačar had a lead of 2:44 minutes over second-placed Latvian Toms Skujins.

Last year's British winner Tom Pidcock came fourth behind the Belgian Maxim van Gils.

The German professional cyclists around Lennard Kämna played no role in the decision.

Bicycle lifted up

Pogačar had already broken away from the field 81 kilometers from the finish and could no longer be caught as he rode over the white gravel roads through Tuscany.

On the final climb to Siena with gradients of up to 16 percent, the UAE captain was even able to take it easy.

Pogačar had never achieved such a large lead in a solo victory in the professional sector.

At the finish line he raised his racing machine into the air.

Pogačar is aiming for the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France double for the first time this season.

In the last two years he has lost out to his Danish rival Jonas Vingegaard on the tour.

In the women's race, Belgian world champion Lotte Kopecky had previously won for the second time since 2022.

Elisa Longo Borghini came second.

The German Tour stage winner Ricarda Bauernfeind was unable to place in the front of the field and finished 29th, ten minutes behind.