Tom Pidcock asks for a place at the table of the greatest. The Briton prevailed at the Strade Bianche after signing an exhibition from another time, attacking 48 from the finish line and entering the Piazza del Campo de Siena alone.
The new Ineos star adds his second win of the course after a stage in the Algarve and earns respect for what is coming to him in Italy: Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo. Madouas and Benoot accompanied him in the box. Pello Bilbao was the best Spaniard (7th).
Arriving at Santa Catalina with Van der Poel, a priori, was suicide and Pidcock moved the hornet’s nest in the classic sector for hostilities: Monte Sante Marie. Alberto Bettiol jumped and the Briton, who sacrificed the Cyclocross World Championship to fight for the classics, released them on the first descent, making it clear that he handles himself like no one else in that luck. We repeat that he was 48 from the finish line in a movement that was a carbon copy of Pogacar’s in 2022.
Under the uneven road surface and a cloud of dust, the Briton’s Pinarello swayed as he slid over the gravel as if it were a choreography. He fine when he traced and sticking when the sandy road steepened.
The great favourite, Mathieu Van der Poel never had the legs to be with the best. He rose in the last meters of Sante Marie in an attempt that in the end was discerned as desperate. When the brawl began he was no match. Let’s see how he assimilates this for Flanders.
To say that Pidcock has won by relegating him is not true. The Briton managed his advantage brilliantly, assuming responsibility in the breakaway, without speculating and with a chasing group that tried to organize, but could never beat him.
Pello Bilbao fell at the key moment. He took the good cut, but gave up when the final selection came after an attack by Benoot to which Rui Costa and Modouas responded. The Belgian felt that he was facing his second Strade, but he did not know how to manage his strategy and finished third after starring in an ugly snub to his teammate Valter after he caught up with his wake, attracting other rivals. Two Jumbo unable to manage the hunt after getting nine seconds behind.
Mohoric, Costa, Valter… they all tried, but Le Tolfe finished and Pidcock went first. And no one took it. A monumental exhibition in Siena that Pogacar himself would have signed in Siena. Or Van Aert. Or Van der Poel, but that bears the stamp of the last guest at the table of the greats: Tom Pidcock.