Cancellara wins Strade Bianche
Fabian Cancellara stormed to victory in the Strade Bianche in Siena.
The Swiss rider finished 42 seconds clear of Maxim Iglinskiy (Astana) and Oscar Gatto (Varnese Vini) to take victory in the 190km race from Gaoile to Siena, which finished on the iconic cobblestones of Siena's Piazza del Campo.
Cancellara's Radioshack team-mates helped him into position late in the race with Daniele Bennati's break key, and Cancellara took his chance to break away from Greg Van Avermaet and Alessandro Ballan.
Ballan still had a chance to catch Cancellara as he trailed by 20 seconds with 7km to go, but he took a wrong turn at a roundabout and eventually finished fourth.
Cancellara was relieved to have earned a win to kickstart his season: "I always ride to win. Last spring I was close to a big win several times but it’s never easy to win. Maybe I was missing a little bit but you can't do anything about it.
"Today it all went perfect thanks to work of the team and especially Daniele Bennati. It was great to see how he raced and so I wanted to make sure I won.
"A lot of things came to mind during the race: winning, but also about the sacrifices we have to make. I also thought about my uncle, who I lost a few days. I won thanks more to my mental strength than my physical strength.
"You learn more about life and how short it is when you lose people. You understand that you have to be happy with your life and with things like family, and find quality in your life. Today I managed to transform my pain into something positive."
It is the second victory in the race for Cancellara, who won the event in 2008.
1. Fabian Cancellara (SUI) Team Radioshack - Nissan
2. Maxim Iglinskiy (KAZ) Astana Pro Team
3. Oscar Gatto (ITA) Farnese Vini – Selle Italia
4. Alessandro Ballan (ITA) BMC Racing Team
5. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL) BMC Racing Team