On Saturday I participated for the third time, since I moved into the elite category, at STRADE BIANCHE, one of the hardest races in the entire calendar and, in my opinion, also one of the most difficult to interpret. Not for nothing is it also called the northern classic further south of Europe, there are no cubbles sectors, but there are eight sectors of dirt road, for a total of 31.6 kilometers of white roads.
This race has always been particularly difficult for me, last year despite being part of a good break-away I went into crisis in the last twenty kilometers of races. Also this year it has not been a simple and lucky day. On the second sector of white roads, the same where I had a puncture in 2020, I fell: the girl in front of me slipped and I couldn’t do anything to avoid her. Fortunately I hade no serious consequences, but I cut myself on the eyebrow and, since it is a very sensitive part and that loses a lot of blood, the race doctor preferred to medicate me immediately so I had to wait several minutes before I could get back into the race. I chased for more than ten kilometers, so when I saw a few meters in front of me the group, I had already exhausted some of my energy. Despite this, my teammates and my sporting director cheered me not to give up and thanks to their support I tightened my teeth managing to stay in the first group on the longest and hardest stretch of gravel: nine kilometers! Afterwards the speed of the group was high and there were numerous attacks, until, a few kilometers before the third last sector on which the race usually gets on fire, there was a crush and many of us had to put our foot on the ground and we were delayed. Unfortunately I was now cut out of the fight for the first twenty/thirty positions but I still decided to give my best up to the finish line because I knew that riding all 136km would be an excellent training for the upcoming races. So I arrived in the beautiful Piazza del Campo for 55th, but survived a difficult day!!
Even though I came home with a black eye (nothing serious), I think it was a pretty positive day both because my condition is growing, and because probably the past few years I wouldn’t have been able to get up, react, suffer and finish the race.
The goal is to be able, in the next few years, to overcome the bad luck that binds me to the second sector of white roads in order to have more energy to spend in the second part of the race, although I am aware that it is not a test very suitable for my characteristics but … me and the STRADE BIANCHE have a pending account!
My next commitments will be two races in Belgium: GP Oetingen on Sunday the 14th and Danilith Nokere koerse on Wednesday the 17th!
I will keep you updated but if you have any questions or curiosities do not hesitate to write in the comments you find below!