It was an incredible day for Team Dimension Data Continental as young South African, Stefan de Bod, rode to victory at Strade Bianche di Romagna. Crossing the line alone, de Bod soloed to victory ahead of Alessandro Covi and Carloalberto Giordani, both from Team Colpack.
Strade Bianche di Romagna, the u23 version of Strade Bianche took place over 150km around Mordano and included no less than 18 white gravel road sectors. 126 riders from 21 different teams took to the start of this, the 2nd edition of the u23 Strade Bianche.
After overcoming 2 early mechanical problems, de Bod took the race into his own hands with a long solo effort, attacking the break of the day with still over 60km to the finish line. A strong time trialist, the 21-year-old South African was feeling at home out on his own, and would not be caught, taking a fine victory.
Stefan de Bod – Rider
This has been a really good day for me. The plan was for me to go in the breakaway but it was difficult because everyone wanted to go in the breakaway, as it’s better in the break because you can choose your own line on the gravel. I didn’t know what to expect on the gravel but when we hit the first sector, it was worse than anything I could’ve expected.
In that first sector I punctured and I basically thought my race was over. I stayed calm, changed the wheel and got back. Then after 70km I crashed, there was just nowhere to go when guys stopped in front of me. I broke my Garmin mount so I had to put my Garmin in my pocket and then chase back again.
When I got back to the main bunch, I saw there was a group going up the road and it was close to the first GPM climb. My strength lies in the climbs and I know I have good form at the moment so I went across and nobody followed me. It was a big effort to get across, especially after having been chasing all race already.
When I got to the break I saw the guys were not going to ride the pace I wanted to ride. With still 14 gravel sections left I thought, it’s not a bunch in the gravel but a single line anyway, so they not going to work together to catch me. So I attacked from there and just kept opening up a gap. I was first over the two GPM’s and then I was just going full gas to the finish. I am really happy with this win.