A number of events early in the race made Israel Start-Up Nation chase in the second half of Strade Bianche. Alessandro de Marchi’s 61st place was the highest result for the team.

Strade Bianche. The iconic race takes place in one of the most beautiful regions in Italy and includes eleven gravel sectors and over 3,000 meters of elevation.

Final starts early

Photogenic. But the riders don’t have much time to enjoy the scenery.

Strade Bianche 2021 – 15th Edition – Siena – Siena 184 km – 06/03/2021 – Scenery – Lucignano D’Assi – – photo Luca Bettini/Photo©2021

Climbing and descending. The gravel sections require full focus and attention, while positioning is key to having a chance on a good result.

Israel Start-Up Nation started the gravel race aggressively, and tried to position itself in the breakaway of the day. With other teams controlling hard it was hard to get a proper gap. “It was a superfast race”, Alessandro de Marchi would say after finishing in Siena.

The race exploded early, with several race favorites attacking with more than fifty kilometers to go. De Marchi: “They made it very difficult to position well towards the gravel sections.”

Prepared to fight

Alessandro de Marchi and Mads Würtz Schmidt, ISN’s two leaders on the gravel, were able to follow the moves for some time, but did not quite make it to the front groups.

That was partly due to some bike changes that both riders had to make at ‘unfortunate moments.’ Nicki Sørensen, ISN’s directeur sportif, saw multiple teams pulling hard when his riders arrived at the car for help.

He said that Würtz and De Marchi worked their way back to the peloton in an impressive way, “However, they spent a lot of energy to do so and a few riders already made some moves.”

The strong De Marchi himself said he started to feel tired with thirty kilometers to go. “This is Strade Bianche”, the Italian team leader said after his third race for ISN this year. “You always have to be prepared to fight yourself back into the race.”