Great, epic, heroic, words that fall short to describe the victory of Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) in the Strade Bianche 2024. The Slovenian won solo after a distant attack 80 kilometers from the finish in Siena.

The two-time Tour de France champion, who was racing his first competition of the season, crossed the finish line first with a time of 5:19:45″, after riding 215 kilometers on the “white roads” of the Tuscan region, making a feat like those of the cycling of yesteryear.

“A very selective race from the start. There were no resources in the group and with the team we made the race hard and I decided to go 80 kilometers, I knew it was going to be long, but I wanted to go to the end. I felt good, the team made an incredible selection and why not do it to keep making the race harder. I started my season winning, my first race, my first victory and that mentally is very good,” said Pogacar at the end of the race.

The places of honor in the Italian classic were occupied by Latvian Toms Skujiņš (Lidl – Trek) and Belgian Maxim Van Gils (Lotto Dstny). While fourth place went to last year’s winner, Briton Tom Pidcock (INEOS Grenadiers).

As for the Colombians, Sergio Higuita (Bora-Hansgrohe) was the best in 34th place, more than 10 minutes behind Pogacar, followed by Daniel Felipe Martínez in 37th place, while Germán Darío Gómez (Polti Kometa) failed to finish the race.

In an attractive initial phase, Toms Skujins was the first to move the race. Then a breakaway of five formed with Dion Smith (Intermarché-Wanty), Mark Donovan (Q36.5), Lawson Craddock (Jayco AlUla), Nils Brun (Tudor Pro Cycling) and Anders Halland Johannessen (Uno-X Mobility), who joined forces and built a lead that hovered around two minutes. UAE Team Emirates and EF Education-EasyPost did not let the attackers get any further away and soon began to reduce the lead.

With 100 kilometers to go the breakaway was neutralized, which Quinn Simmons and Magnus Cort took advantage of and rode ahead of the peloton for a few minutes. When the two were recovered, the American champion launched another attack. On Mont Sante Marie, an 11.5-kilometer gravel section, all was calm again.

Minutes later Tim Wellens appeared, leading the peloton on Mont Sante Marie in the service of Tadej Pogacar, who attacked more than 80 kilometers from the finish. The Slovenian came out of the favorites and quickly built a big lead, which he maintained until the finish. Before reaching the Piazza del Campo he had a lead of more than three minutes.

Strade Bianche 2024 (1.UWT)
Results (215 km)

1 Tadej PogačarUAE Team Emirates5:19:45
2 Toms SkujiņšLidl – Trek2:44
3 Maxim Van GilsLotto Dstny2:47
4 Thomas PidcockINEOS Grenadiers3:50
5 Matej MohoričBahrain – Victorious4:26
6 Benoît CosnefroyDecathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team4:39
7 Davide FormoloMovistar Team4:41
8 Lenny MartinezGroupama – FDJ4:48
9 Filippo ZanaTeam Jayco AlUla4:49
10 Christophe LaporteTeam Visma | Lease a Bike5:17

Source: Revista Mundo Ciclístico