Valverde -13th after a crash and a energy-costing puncture-, Visconti and impressive Andrey Amador take top-20 finishes in spectacular 2013 Strade Bianche – Moser (CAN) wins
Just as it happened in 2012, Movistar Team did not find the fair prize to work done during the Strade Bianche, whose 7th edition saw the return into racing by Alejandro Valverde after an exhilarating month of February. The Spaniard claimed the 13th place of the day after a spectacular race -188km between Gaiole and the Piazza del Campo in Siena, with eight sections and a total 57k of ‘sterrato’ or white dirt roads- won by Italy’s Moreno Moser (CAN), who imposed his sheer strength in the final uphill after attacking into the slopes of the Colle Pinzuto section.
Valverde, struck by a crash and a puncture into the Monte Sante Marie section, 50k from the finish, had to struggle alongside team-mate Ángel Madrazo to bridge a gap of nearly one minute after both incidents and reach the group of favourites. However, most of his energy was off after such an effort he’d end up paying in the closing stages.
The team’s alternative was left on the shoulders of Andrey Amador. The Costa Rican rider, eventually 15th, tried several moves: a pacemaking one into the penultimate dirt section, trying to close the gaps behind the 4-man breakaway that led most of the race, and ultimately, with Moser already in his chase for glory, with an acceleration together with three other riders -Nocentini (ALM), Slagter (BLA) and Caruso (KAT)- that would get caught before the final 1.5km uphill.
Movistar Team’s combativity -with Cobo, Madrazo and Visconti (17th) also making the front group before the ‘red zone’- would find no prize, but the Blues will have two other shots on Sunday: the Roma Maxima, over 180k in and around Rome and an interesting, mid-mountain course also featuring the cobblestones from the Via Appia Antica, and the technical Paris-Nice prologue (3km) in Houilles.