Temperatures soared in Tuscany on Saturday and the riders occasionally disappeared in clouds of pale dust as they crossed the dirt roads.
Strade Bianche was a brutal return to the World Tour for the riders and in this episode we assess Wout Van Aert's victory. The Belgian made his breakthrough at the same race two years ago, finishing third behind Tiesj Benoot and Romain Bardet. He was third again last year but this time he made it onto the top step of the podium.
We also hear from Van Aert about the long road back from his crash during the time trial in Pau at last year's Tour de France. Richard spoke to him in Gent in late February before the start of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Who were the other hits at Strade Bianche and did the race tell us anything about what to expect now competition has resumed?
We also wrap up Remco Evenepoel's win at the Vuelta a Burgos and look forward to what could be a very different edition of Milan-Sanremo with smaller teams, a different route and possibly very different weather to contend with.
The Cycling Podcast is supported by iwoca and Science in Sport.
My first Tour de France
Our four-part series, My First Tour, is available for Friends of the Podcast. Sign up on our website
. In the series, Richard, Lionel, Daniel and François take turns to recall their first Tours – whether it be the first they saw on television or from the roadside, the first they covered or, in Lionel's case, the first they covered in a camper van.
Also, with the peloton set to return to the Giant of Provence this week, we've made the 2016 Friends Special about Mont Ventoux – Heat, Wind and Fear – available for current Friends of the Podcast.
OUR NEW CLOTHING RANGE
We have teamed up with Katusha to produce The Cycling Podcast Collection. The launch range is a cycling jersey and a t-shirt in both men's and women's cuts. To check out the range go to our website
iwoca became The Cycling Podcast’s title sponsors in March 2020. iwoca specialises in supporting small businesses and can lend between £1,000 and £250,000. iwoca have been accredited by the British Business Bank to offer CBILS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loans Scheme) – the scheme is now open, so businesses can apply for a loan rather than just register interest. To find out more, go to iwoca.co.uk
Science In Sport is The Cycling Podcast’s longest-standing supporter. It’s a relationship that stretches back to the 2016 Giro d’Italia. Listeners can get 25% off Science In Sport’s range of energy drinks, bars, gels and cakes at scienceinsport.com
with the code SISCP25
This episode is also supported by WHOOP, the fitness wearable that helps you understand how much stress you're putting on your body and how well you recover so you can tweak your training to help avoid injury and maximise your improvements. WHOOP is offering 15% off with the code CYCLE at checkout. Go to whoop.com
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