Historic and Heroic
A week of snow and rain led to a memorable race in Tuscany, as new stars and new technologies shone in the 2018 Strade Bianche. In the women’s race, Anna van der Breggen of Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team soloed to victory on SRAM RED® eTap® HRD, with Canyon//SRAM Racing’s Kasia Niewiadoma, also on eTap HRD, close behind in second place. This marks a historic first win for disc brakes in a major one day Classic, but it will surely not be the last. Boels-Dolmans and Canyon//SRAM are racing the entire 2018 season on eTap HRD disc brakes.
The sloppy limestone gravel of Strade Bianche provided the perfect showcase for discs, as van der Breggen and Niewiadoma both used the final gravel sectors to launch their solo moves. Since switching to disc brakes, our professional riders have reported that disc brakes (on SRAM RED® eTap® HRD) provide power and control for all conditions, as well as the ability to carry speed longer and brake later in corners.
In the men’s race, cyclocross superstar Wout van Aert, with the Veranda’s Willems-Crelan team, confirmed his talents carry over to the road with a gritty third place finish. Trading in his ‘cross bike for an eTap-equipped Stevens road rig, van Aert bridged across to an attacking Romain Bardet with 50k to go, never to be seen by the peloton again. Battling leg cramps on the final climb to Siena, he held on to his first podium place in a Spring Classic, leaving all racing fans excited for his future on the road.
In addition to the wireless SRAM RED eTap group, van der Breggen, Niewiadoma and van Aert race with Zipp Firecrest 303 Tubular wheels and Quarq RED DZero power meters, proven technology built to handle the apocalyptic conditions of the spring Classics.