First Endurance rider Fabian Cancellara (TREK/SEGAFREDO) won Strade Bianche for the third time in an epic battle.
“This year I really want to go out with a bang,” said Cancellara. “I want to thank all my teammates for supporting me today, and all these years. This is just amazing. I am happy as a kid!”
“I knew that Stybar is a cyclocross guy, so I had to be careful for him. He won last year as well, and he is very good at this last climb. I am very, very happy. Third time, and now they will name a white gravel section after me – sector 6 – I am honored.”
Etixx-Quick Step teammate Brambilla rolled across the line for the final podium spot after riding out front in the break for most of the race and trying his best to thwart the stronger legs of Cancellara and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) with a few attacks in the final eight kilometers.
Brambilla opened a dangerous gap with six kilometers to go, but the calm experience of Cancellara, and with reassurance from the team car, he laid his last cards flawlessly.
“For sure the car gave me the last confidence for the win,” explained Cancellara about the tactical battle in the closing kilometers. “They helped me play with the tactics of the Etixx guys. They told me also to let Sagan work [in the chase] and that we don’t give too many seconds to Brambilla. He was already in the front all day, so I could catch him in the last climb, and we can play there. Everything went perfectly well.
“I made the pace on the final climb because I knew that Sagan would not do it because I saw him already in a little bit of difficulty. I knew that it was probably going to be Stybar and me, so I had to play like this.
“This is special. I had to play at the end; it was a lottery and I knew I had to risk. I had trust in myself; it was experience. I knew that Etixx was going to play the team game, and I just had to make sure that Brambilla did not take too much time.” More here about First Endurance EFS Supplements.