Belgian Wout Van Aert wins Strade Bianche one-day race

Siena (Italy) (AFP) –


Belgian Wout Van Aert of the Jumbo-Visma team won the Strade Bianche one-day race on Saturday, as elite cycling returned after a five-month coronavirus lockdown.

The Jumbo-Visma rider, who had finished third in the previous two editions of the 184km race through Tuscany, finished ahead of Italy's Davide Formolo of UAE Emirates on the Piazza del Campo in Siena.

Germany's Maximilian Schachmann, riding for Bora-Hansgrohe, finished third.

Earlier Dutch rider Annemiek Van Vleuten won the women's race for the second year in a row.

The 37-year-old Mitchelton-Scott rider crossed 22 seconds ahead of Margarita Garcia Canellas of Ale BTC Ljubljan with the Spaniard having led for much of the 136km race over four hours through the rolling hills and white gravel roads of Tuscany.

American Leah Thomas of Equipe Paule Ka was third fastest at 1min 53sec.

Originally scheduled for March 7, the Strade Bianche was run on its famous white dirt roads with temperatures in the high 30s Celsius in the heat of the Tuscan summer.