04.03.2023 World-Tour, News, Race news
KASIA 7TH AT STRADE BIANCHE
Kasia Niewiadoma finished seventh in another stunning edition of Strade Bianche in Siena, Italy.
Only small breakaways featured in the 132km race until the final hour when Kirsten Faulkner went solo and could hold her lead until within the city walls. Behind, various chase groups formed and dissolved. Ricarda Bauernfeind, who had ridden strongly for CANYON//SRAM Racing in the early part of the race, was in a strong chase with just over 30km remaining. When they were caught, Agnieszka Skalniak-Sójka was next in a breakaway. Ahead, Faulkner’s lead came close to two minutes while the pressure in the peloton rose slowly.
The peloton strung out on the third last sector, and Kasia entered an elite group of seven riders over the penultimate sector. The group exploded on the final gravel sector, Le Tolfe, and Niewiadoma lost contact. In the final eleven kilometres, Lotte Kopecky bridged across to teammate Demi Vollering. The duo caught Faulkner on the steep slopes of Via Santa Caterina before Vollering nudged Kopecky for victory in a photo finish.
Kasia said, “The final of Strade Bianche always makes you realise how brutal the race is. After 100km of staying concentrated and focused on what’s ahead, you hit the most important and difficult parts. Saving energy for the final is the challenge of Strade.”
“Seventh place feels weird. My legs just exploded on Le Tolfe. This is racing. That’s also the beauty of Strade Bianche. Sometimes you arrive at the final feeling like you’re flying, and other times you wonder what happened when you explode. We’re motivated to work harder toward our next goals, and there are many in spring. Personally, I don’t feel great about the result, but more races are coming, and I need to work harder.”