The 37-year-old Dutchman overtook Spanish Mavi Garcia in the final kilometers of the Italian course and finished it expertly. In the last few hundred yards of the race, she showed Garcia Canellas her heels uphill.
The chances for Van Vleuten seemed to have faded early on. She missed the connection with a leading group of eleven riders. Garcia escaped from that group and she seemed to be heading for victory without any threat. 15 kilometers before the end, Van Vleuten joined the thinned chasing group quite unexpectedly and she ran away alone. The backlog on Garcia quickly decreased and the Spanish was also quickly cleared. Garcia was able to follow Van Vleuten for a while, but in the final climb to Piazza del Campo she had to let the world champion go.
The victory in Siena Van Vleuten did not come out of the blue. The reigning world road champion also won Strade Bianche last year. In 2018, another Dutch woman, Anna van der Breggen, triumphed.
Van Vleuten just before the start of strade Bianche.
Ⓒ ANP / HH
Van Vleuten was in top form last week. At the beginning of this year she won the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, after which the cycling season came to a halt due to the corona virus. At the resumption, the reigning world champion struck in the Basque Country last week. Van Vleuten won all three races where she appeared at the start.