Ben Healy's brave ride at Strade Bianche

Team raced through bad luck

March 2, 2024

Ben Healy gave it his all in a historic edition of Strade Bianche.

The Irishman tried to mount a chase from the elite group that had formed behind a storming Tadej Pogacar, but paid for his efforts in the end. After 215 kilometers of racing with 3,669 meters of climbing over the steep hills of Tuscany, Ben rolled into Siena’s Piazza del Campo in 12th place.

“I tried to do an aggressive race and it didn’t quite work out,” he said, through his exhaustion. “I paid for it in the final.”

Before rolling to the bus, Ben paid tribute to winner Tadej Pogacar’s attack.

“We could see it coming, but when he went no one had the legs to go,” Ben said.

Our race was hampered by bad luck on the white gravel. Strade Bianche is one of the most spectacular races on the professional cycling calendar. The white dirt roads that crisscross the countryside south of Siena push riders skills and equipment to the limit. The surface is rutted and unpredictable. After a very promising start, a series of mishaps left Ben alone in the first chase group. Chance was not on our side.

“The team was really on it from the first sector,” said sports director Matti Breschel. “Then, we had a number of mechanicals at very critical moments and from there on we were kind of on the back foot and started chasing. Richard fell down. Mikkel fell. Ben ended up in the final, but crashed afterwards as well and kind of lost his mojo a little bit, so it was not really our day. But that is part of cycling isn’t it? The riders followed the plan and were super organized. Sometimes it turns into nothing unfortunately.”

Nevertheless, Ben did a brave ride. Despite his crash, he pushed on, attacking again and again to try to get a group to go off the front and reduce the gap to Pogacar. In the end, he just ran out of strength.

“It was just a slog at the finish and whoever had any legs left was there,” Ben said. “That’s racing. I did what I could.”

Ben and his teammates will now regroup and focus on Tirreno-Adriatico and Paris-Nice. The two prestigious stage races start this week.

We’re going to give it our all.

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