Attila Valter has breakthrough Strade Bianche: "It was so spectacular"

This year's Strade Bianche was a chaotic one that has seen a reshaped startlist in Siena, and then several of the pre-race favourites who did start took a tumble on a massive crash with 100 kilometers to go. From what was a brutal race, several riders emerged to bring brilliant results, one of them being Groupama - FDJ's Attila Valter who finished fourth.

“It was a bit of a hectic race with the wind and this big crash. I did my best and tried to stay calm. Antoine gave me very good advice yesterday. He told me that even if I felt good, I had to try to hit the brakes because many others could feel just as good, and I would have to fight them in the end," Valter said, satisfied, after the finish.

“From the recon we did two days ago, I knew that the last section was a hard one, but I knew that it could suit me if I still had the legs. On the bottom, I followed a guy who was setting a good pace, and I told myself that if I wanted to get a result, I had to open the gas now. I did my best, and arrived at the top alone. Then Bilbao came back to me, and we worked very well together to come back to the three riders ahead," he added. After eventual race winner Tadej Pogacar attacked at Monte Sante Marie, there was little that could be done in the peloton to bring him back. However, the fight for the podium was wide open, and when Kasper Asgreen attacked with 23 kilometers to go he took a small group with him that did not include Valter.

The Hungarian, who took perhaps the biggest result of his career, set off from the peloton in the latter sectors alongside Pello Bilbao and eventually connected with the chasing group. He still had good legs at the finale where at Via Santa Caterina he managed to distance the group to come home just outside the podium.

"We were therefore five for the places from 4th to 8th. It was a little more tactical, but we still worked pretty well because we didn’t want to see another group come back. I needed to breathe for a moment, but then I felt that I would still have the legs to go again on the steep final climb. It was so spectacular, with a lot of the fans, and I felt I had to go full," he concluded.

Only two days after this result, Valter is now set to keep his good run of form at Tirreno-Adriatico where he will be an outsider for the overall classification.

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