Mathieu van der Poel won Strade Bianche with a blistering final attack on the Via Santa Caterina climb up to the centre of Siena.
Just as he did on the final dirt sector, when only Julian Alaphilippe and Egan Bernal could stay in contact, Van der Poel rocketed away with an intense final effort out of the saddle, producing huge power while stomping on the pedals.
Van der Poel quickly distanced Alaphilippe and Bernal on the 16% gradient of the Via Santa Caterina, crested the climb with a gap and had plenty of time to celebrate in style. Alaphilippe finished five seconds down, with Bernal at a more distant 20 seconds.
Television struggled to capture the intensity and power of Van der Poel’s attack. However roadside fans got the shot, showing just how incredible Van der Poel’s attack really was.
Local journalist Tommaso Lorenzini posted his footage on Twitter, while ‘Solowattaggio’ posted a slo-mo video on Instagram.
“This is the attack by Van der Poel up Santa Caterina…. I’m scared….” Lorenzini wrote in his post.
He added below: “I hope they don’t ever think about changing the race route or the distance. It’s perfect, just look at the riders who emerged to fight for victory. It’s a race for (almost) everyone. It’s pure magic, the beauty of cycling.”
Solowattaggio highlighted how Van der Poel was able to produce such intensity.
“While the world of cycling thinks about saving grammes from wheels, losing weight, tubular pressures or the speed needed to change a disc brake wheel compared to rim brakes. While the world is thinking about FTP, riding hours and training at threshold. While normal people think just following a plan is enough, there is someone else who wins with a five-second acceleration. Mathieu van der Poel just thinks about one thing: intensity.”
Watch the two videos below.
Questo lo scatto di #VanDerPoel su per Santa Caterina… Ho paura… #StradeBianche pic.twitter.com/FTjId3ViSoMarch 6, 2021