The Belgian team came with ambitions to win Strade Bianche as many of the favourites for this race on paper were absent. Julian Alaphilippe came to the race with good form however crashed hard with 100 kilometers to go which saw him burn too much energy and putting him out of contention for the win. However, the team has had a pleasant surprise with the resurgence of Kasper Asgreen, who managed to climb onto the podium at the end.
“Our plans changed after Julian’s crash, which came at a bad moment. He came back, but to do that used a lot of energy which he didn’t have in the final part of the race. Even in these conditions, he worked hard and kept the pressure on, which later played into my favour. The way we worked as a team today was truly impressive, all the guys were great and did a fantastic job, and for that they deserve credit," Asgreen said after the finish.
After a long chase with some teammates from Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team, Julian Alaphilippe managed to return to the peloton after his crash, but despite looking initially sharp, he mentioned he had back pain and the team changed their plans, as Alaphilippe then went to chase eventual race winner Tadej Pogacar in the head of the peloton. Kasper Asgreen made his moves within the final 25 kilometers, which saw him back to top form after a less good start to the season following a Covid infection. The Dane managed to come home third behind Pogacar and Valverde, and saved the team's day which could've been much worst.
“When I got over the first steep ramps of Sante Marie I began thinking I could get something out of the race. I jumped from the chasing group at what I felt was the right moment, and kept going. It was hard, but I believed in myself and had a lot of motivation to show that I can perform at my third participation here. I am happy I could crack the podium and with how my shape is evolving. Now I’m looking forward to Tirreno-Adriatico and the Classics season," he concluded.
Both Alaphilippe and Asgreen are scheduled to be at Tirreno-Adriatico next week. The World champion's injuries will be evaluated tomorrow and a decision will be made then regarding his participation. As for the Dane, he is looking back on track for the cobbled classics, where he will be looking to defend his title at the Tour des Flandres.