Philippe Gilbert won a spectacular Strade Bianche, across the white gravel roads of Italy. With 57.2 of the 190 km raced on unpaved roads it was Gilbert who after 189 km left Italians Alessandro Ballan and Damiano Cunego behind to claim victory.
The early break attracted twelve riders, but they were never more than three minutes ahead. The break contained danger men Martin Kohler (BMC), Thomas Peterson (Garmin-Cervélo), Adam Hansen, and Greg Van Avermaet (OmegaPharma-Lotto), Patrick Sinkewitz (Farnese-Neri), Peter Velits (HTC), Joost Posthuma and Stuart O’Grady (Leopard-Trek). At twelve kilometers from the finish it was the Lampre team that finally caught the break in the hopes of setting up Cunego for the victory.
In the final kilometer the lead group shattered with Ballan leading into the final corner. Through the final corner Gilbert took the inside and sprinted clear of Ballain and Cunego
"I waited until 250 meters from the line to go. In the last corner I chose the right side of the road. “My last race here in 2010 was Lombardia and the first one here this year is Strade Bianche, and they’re two wins that I’ll never forget,” said Gilbert.
"It was a very nervous race, especially in the finals," Gilbert added. "Luckily yesterday I was able to explore the last 60 km. Racing on unpaved roads is very special. It makes me think back to the early days of cycling. It is important on such a surface to always stay focused."