Kristen Faulkner races to sixth place at Strade Bianche

American puts in a brave and powerful ride on the white roads of Tuscany

March 2, 2024

Kristen Faulkner never gave up.

Sixth place is the number on the final results sheet. Although Kristen was hoping to finish higher, she is proud of the way she raced all the way to the finish atop the Piazza del Campo in Siena.

She was a bit too far back when the winning move went on the penultimate climb, but Kristen then put her head down and rode back up to the first chase group, which she drove right to the end.

“I was kind of between a rock and a hard place there, so I tried to drill it and was doing most of the work but didn’t catch them,” she said over the cheers from the Italian crowds at the finish. “But yeah, I gave it my all. I wasn’t racing for third and knew that if I didn’t chase there was no chance of winning, so I might as well do my best.”

That’s what she did. Kristen left everything out on the road. She was strong today, spinning up the steep Tuscan climbs with the metronomic cadence she has honed racing TTs and on the track over the winter to prepare for the Olympics. All day, she had the race under control, making the right splits without wasting energy.

“It was pretty hard during the last loops,” she said. “There were a lot of attacks on the gravel sections. It was just so important to be in front the whole day, even if you were with a small group, because even if it was 15 people there were attacks off the front and with the narrow roads and the gravel it was just so hard to chase if you weren’t positioned well.”

Kristen is happy with her performance in one of her favorite races.

“I have always loved this race,” she said. “I was excited about this edition and it was really fun out there.”

Great ride, Kristen!

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