With a convincing attack at the final gravel sector, van Aert soloed onto the finish line to win on Italian soil – after already finishing third twice in Siena.

The Strade Bianche kicked off the renewed cycling calender on August 1. Wout van Aert immediately showed his form and claimed the highest step of the podium in an epic and extremely hot edition of the Strade Bianche, beating Davide Formolo and Max Schachmann.

With a brave move at the final gravel sector with 12 km remaining, van Aert took his chanche and powered away from an elite leading group of five riders. No one was able to respond as the Belgian rider established a comfortable gap to arrive solo on the Piazza del Campo.

A victorious Wout van Aert after the finish:

"Today was one long day of suffering and nobody felt that great. The heat was exhausting but I really focussed on hydration and keeping cool and, in the end, I got something left, I really fell in love with this race two years ago and it was my goal to win. I’m 25 and I’ve already done it. I’m really happy.”