After a long winter, the gran fondo season finally arrived. Strade Bianche had the honor of being the first big name to open the season. The riders were luckier than the pros: the weather was fine and there was much less wind. It was on the chilly side, but the sun shone brightly and it stayed dry.
If we look at the results, we see that this gran fondo is dominated by Italians. Luca Chiesa won the men's race. Mattia Demarchi, who came in second in last year's Ötztaler, now became 2nd again. The podium was completed by a third Italian: Tommaso Elettrico. The ladies also had an all-Italian podium, with Sara Mazzorana winning, Silvia Vissagi in 2nd and Frederica Baldassatici in 3rd.
Some 3500 riders (m/f) reached the finish line. The best Belgian was Bart van Damme in 13th place. Ruud Goorden of BEAT Cycling Team was the best Dutchman in 32nd place. An honorable mention goes to our local reporter Rick Groeneweg (NL). He finished 49th overall and 5th in his category. Michiel Minnaert (BE) was unfortunately unable to start due to stomach flu.
Rick sent our some great photos. Enjoy and get in the mood for the GF season!