UPDATE 18 MARCH 2022: Strade Bianche Gran Fondo champion Mikkel Videbaek has been accused of doping violations. Story HERE.
After the successes of pros Thomas Pidcock and Demi Vollering in Tuscany on Saturday at Strade Bianche, 6500 amateurs showed up on Sunday for Gran Fondo Strade Bianche, hoping to “live the pro dream” for a day by racing on the same white gravel roads with breathtaking views.
With over 30 percent of the participants traveling from abroad to Europe’s largest gravel event, the super-sized peloton rolled out from Sienna’s Medici Fortress at 08:00 on a 138km long course, including 9 gravel sectors.
Numerous super stars of road cycling joined the peloton, including Fabian Cancellara, Paolo Bettini, Mario Cipollini (in World Champion stripes), Filippo Pozzato and Sonny Colbrelli.
First to reach the finish line of Piazza del Campo was 29 year-old Dane Mikkel Videbaek (TESSERA GIORNALIERA) for the men and Italian Annalisa Prato (OM.CC TEAM) for the women.
Videbaek (3:46:48) crossed the finish line to the cheers of thousands of fans with a commanding 1:46 lead over Italians Paolo Colonna (3:48:24) and Giuseppe Orlando (3:48:25), followed by a long line of top Italians…Romano, De Marchi, Pozzetto, Elettrico, Cigala and Mauti and Passasrotto.
In the women’s race Annalisa Prato also earned her champion’s title with a commanding lead, finishing in 4:14:13, over six minutes up on Swiss rider Jutta Stienen (4:20:24) and Italian Samantha Arnaudo (4:23:13).
Orlando’s solid third place result in the men’s race is somewhat of a comeback for his disgraced ASD AUTORICAMBI MARRONE team that had three gran fondo riders banned for doping in 2022, including 2021 Gran Fondo Strade Bianche Champion Onofrio Monzilla.
Complete Gran Fondo Strade Bianche results HERE.
Media/Photos: Gran Fondo Strade Bianche
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