News: Cancellera wins third Strada Bianche


Fabian Cancellara (Trek Segafredo) claimed his third victory in Strade Bianche Saturday, crossing the line just ahead of last year’s winner Zdenek Stybar (Etixx Quick Step).

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News: Cancellera wins third Strada Bianche


In a show that his final professional season will be one for the history books, Fabian Cancellara claimed his third victory in Strade Bianche Saturday, crossing the line just ahead of last year’s winner Zdenek Stybar (Etixx Quick Step).

“This year I really want to go out with a bang,” said Cancellara. “I want to thank all my teammates for supporting me today, and all these years. This is just amazing!

“I knew that Stybar is a cyclocross guy, so I had to be careful for him. He won last year as well, and he is very good at this last climb. I am very, very happy. Third time…and now they will name a white gravel section after me, and that’s exciting.”

Etixx-Quick Step teammate Gianluca Brambilla rolled across the line for the final podium spot after riding out front in the break for most of the race and trying his best to thwart the stronger legs of Cancellara and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) with a few attacks in the final eight kilometers.


Brambilla opened a dangerous gap with six kilometers to go, but the calm experience of Cancellara, and with reassurance from the team car, he played his last cards perfectly.

“For sure the car gave me the last confidence for the win,” explained Cancellara about the tactical battle in the closing kilometers. “They helped me play with the tactics of the Etixx guys. They told me also to let Sagan work [in the chase] and that we don’t give too many seconds to Brambilla. He was already in the front all day, so I could catch him in the last climb, and we can play there. Everything went perfectly well.

“I made the pace on the final climb because I knew that Sagan would not do it because I saw him already in a little bit of difficulty. I knew that it was probably going to be Stybar and me, so I had to play like this.

“This is special. I had to play at the end, it was a lottery. I knew I had to risk. I had trust in myself; it was experience. I knew that Etixx was going to play the team game and I just had to make sure that Brambilla did not take too much time.

“The most decisive moment was when Peter made the acceleration and I managed to jump up to him and Stybar. It wasn’t a big collaboration between us because we are all big riders, plus Etixx had a team game to play. I think my work in the last 5 kilometers was risky, but it was the only way. It all worked out and I am proud.”


Zdenek Stybar “The last corner is a key of the race, and we had again of confirmation of this today. I tried to overtake Fabian, but he was too strong and didn’t let me in. I’m not ashamed to lose to Cancellara.”

“When Gianluca was at the front, I was hoping he will be victorious, but got caught. It’s a pity for him, but we don’t have any reason to blame ourselves. To climb again on the podium at Strade Bianche gives me a lot of confidence for the next races, because I’m where I want to be with my form.”

Gianluca Brambilla, the lone leader at the end of the race until caught in the final k, “On the fifth gravel road sector, a lot of riders were being dropped, so I decided to go to the front and get a small gap, which I did.”  “Others joined in and we kept going until the final 20 kilometers. Then I distanced my breakaway companions and when Styby, Cancellara and Sagan bridged to me, I talked with my teammate and said I will play everything for him, so that he gets a free ride.”

“I attacked relentlessly, went full gas, but eventually I got tired after being all day at the front and got caught with 200 meters to go”, said Gianluca, who was greeted at the finish by his girlfriend.

“I can’t say I lost the race, as Fabian was very strong. Of course I am sad because we didn’t land the win, but I am happy for being at the front with such big champions. It’s something that’s happening more and more often since the beginning of the year, and it motivates me to get another victory sooner or later”, concluded the Brambilla.

Peter Sagan (4th): “I’m happy with today’s race.” Sagan said at the finish. “Weather conditions were good and it didn’t rain.I was in the front group but in the finale I didn’t have the legs to go.”

Greg Van Avermaet, a pre-race favourite for many, said it was a tough day in the saddle. “It was a hard race and I like this kind of racing. I think we did a pretty good job and we had Brent in the break. We put ourselves in a good position but when they went I was maybe a little bit too far behind and couldn’t make it back to the front. I tried a few times and was always close but could never quite get there.”

“It was good training for the other Classics and for Tirreno-Adriatico, which I’m looking forward to with the team time trial and a few good stages for me, as well as the GC for Tejay van Garderen.”

1. Fabian Cancellara, Trek Segafredo
2. Zdenek Stybar, Etixx Quickstep
3. Gianluca Brambilla, Etixx Quickstep
4. Peter Sagan, Tinkoff
5. Petre Vakoc, Etixx Quickstep

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