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Strade Bianche 2018: Anna van der Breggen goes solo to take the win

Anna van der Breggen left it quite late but her attack paid off as she rode away to the win

Anna van der Breggan (Boels Dolmans) won the 2018 Strade Bianche on a day that was marked by heavy rain throughout, turning the famous white roads into slimy mudbaths.

The race marked the beginning of the 2018 Women's WorldTour.

Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5) was heading for second after she followed the winning move but could not get up to the wheel of the day's winner. A mechanical slowed her progress and she was caught by Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM).

Dutchwoman van der Breggan's lead was pushing 50 seconds with 12km to and at that point only bad luck looked like it could stop her from taking the win.

Despite the chasing pair working together, the leader's advantage went out to over a minute and she showed no signing off easing off the pace.

Niewiadoma crossed the line second for the third year in a row.

How it happened: 2018 Women's Strade Bianche

On the rain soaked sectors, the reduced peloton of around 25 riders was still together with 20km left to race. Many attacks were pinging off the front but nothing was sticking as the riders negotiated a parcours that would not have been out of place in a cyclocross race, but then that's the beauty and the drama of Strade Bianche.

With 16km left to the finish, van der Breggan attacked and was soon followed by Longo Borghini.

A chase group formed behind but could not close the 22 second gap to the head of the race, which soon increased, and nor could Longo Borghini get on terms with van der Breggen.

Strade Bianche 2018: Top 10

1. Anna van der Breggen (NED) Boels-Dolmans, in 4:10:48
2. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (POL) Canyon-SRAM, at 0:49
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA) Wiggle-High5, a 0:59
4. Chantal Blaak (NED) Boels-Dolmans, at 1:32
5. Lucy Kennedy (AUS) Mitchelton-Scott, at same time
6. Janneke Ensing (NED) Ale Cipollini, at 1:37
7. Amanda Spratt (AUS) Mitchelton-Scott, at 1:41
8. Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) Cervélo-Bigla, at 2:25
9. Ellen Van Dijk (NED) Team Sunweb, at 2:36
10. Cecile Uttrup Ludwig (DEN) Cervélo-Bigla, at 2:50

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