Team News: Benoot solos to win at Strade

Lotto Soudal’s Tiesj Benoot has won Strade Bianche after an impressive effort where he chased down two leaders, attacked and went on to win

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Team News: Benoot solos to win at Strade

Tiesj Benoot has won Strade Bianche today after an impressive effort! It’s the first pro victory ever for the nearly 24-year-old Lotto Soudal rider.

Photo: @StradeBianche

And what a victory it was. This twelfth edition of Strade Bianche (WorldTour) became an epic race because of the cold and the rain that made the gravel sectors very muddy.

The race started well for Lotto Soudal as European time trial champion Victor Campenaerts was part of a breakaway of eight riders. This front group got six minutes advantage over the bunch that split early on in the race. With sixty kilometres to go, Campenaerts and the other escapees got reeled in by a large chasing group including Tiesj Benoot. Next, about ten riders jumped away. Among those riders were Kwiatkowski, Van Aert and Valverde. A strong group, no doubt. After Campenaerts had pulled at the head of the chasing group to keep the gap as small as possible, Tiesj Benoot made the jump to the front on the eighth gravel sector, towards Monte Sante Marie.
… continued after advert


Not long after that move, Romain Bardet and world champion cyclo-cross Wout Van Aert attacked at the front. They got a gap of one minute. The pace in the chasing group slowed down and that was the sign for Tiesj Benoot to take initiative at thirty kilometres from the finish. He was accompanied by Pieter Serry. They reduced the gap to 35 seconds, but when the gap started growing again, Benoot decided to leave Serry behind.

Benoot closed the gap rather quickly to the leaders and joined Bardet and Van Aert with fifteen kilometres remaining. Benoot attacked on the last gravel sector and entered the last ten kilometres solo. He kept on increasing his lead and was able to enjoy the last moments of the race before triumphing on Il Campo in Siena. Romain Bardet finished second, ahead of Wout Van Aert.

Photo: @StradeBianche

Earlier this week, Benoot had said he wanted to do better than his two eighth places in the previous two editions of Strade Bianche. Mission accomplished!

Tiesj Benoot: “After the break with Victor Campenaerts had been caught, Victor did a lot of pulling. When there was no cooperation in the group anymore, both sports director Bart Leysen and I thought it would be best to attack. That turned out to be the right decision.”

“The same scenario got repeated when Bardet and Van Aert rode together at the front. I felt my legs were good and that I had to try something, because there was no team left that would close the gap.”

“Serry was the perfect companion, he immediately helped chasing. I noticed that I was better than him though and that’s why I decided to leave him behind. I knew the part where I accelerated from the past two years and I knew that it would be possible to still close the gap”.

“I succeeded in closing the gap pretty smoothly and then I realized I was the strongest at the front. I attacked on the last gravel sector and immediately had a nice lead. Then it was a matter of not crashing and having no flat tyre. When the team car rode behind me, I was less worried. I didn’t want to let my first pro victory slip through my fingers!”






Cycle Division’s New Shop

Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK