Good work, but bad luck at Strade Bianche

A late crash took Alberto Bettiol out of the running at the Tuscan classic

March 4, 2023

Alberto Bettiol really wanted to put on a show for his home fans at Strade Bianche.

Unfortunately, a touch of wheels in the elite group sent Alberto's chances tumbling to the dirt with 38 kilometres left in the Tuscan classic, after he had opened up festivities with a powerful attack on Monte Sante Marie. Alberto is now a bit bruised and sore, but luckily escaped any worse injuries. Alberto was assessed for a concussion after the crash but showed no signs of concussion upon initial assessment. Our doctors will continue to monitor him closely. He was disappointed to miss the sprint up the Via di Santa Caterina and onto the Piazza del Campo in front of his supporters in Siena, but very encouraged by the work that his teammates did to set him up for the finish.

“The team was unbelievable,” Alberto said after the race. “Every single teammate gave a 100% effort to put me and Honoré in the front, and I hit most of the sectors in first position, so I can never say thank you enough to each of them. It’s a positive thing for the coming races. Today, I was just unlucky. I didn’t fall at high speed, so my body is okay.”

Sports director Matti Breschel was also heartened by the work our team did to set up Alberto and Mikkel Honoré, his co-leader for the race, who also ran into bad luck on the gravel with two flat tires. Pink jerseys led the peloton into each of the key sectors, before Alberto’s attack. Although Alberto lost race winner Tom Pidcock’s wheel on the dirt descent down Monte Sante Marie, he was well positioned in the elite chasing group, before the touch of wheels took him down.

“We were riding very, very organised as a unit,” Matti said. “The riders all followed the plan and were very committed. Mikkel felt really good, but had bad luck with two flat tires. As we all saw on television, Bettiol was among the best, but had bad luck and couldn’t follow Pidcock on the descent, but was still very much in the game, until he fell. We need to take those positives and learn from them and learn from our mistakes. We are definitely going to take the commitment and togetherness with us.”

Next up, we’ve got Paris-Nice and Tirenno Adriatico in the run up to Milano-Sanremo, where Alberto will race for redemption. That's where our focus now lies, but we're already looking forward to returning to the white roads of Tuscany. Strade Bianche wasn’t our race this year, but it sure is beautiful.

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