Zdenek Stybar's Strade Bianche win in pictures

Etixx-Quick-Step rider Zdenek Stybar beat out Greg van Avermaet and Alejandro Valverde to take the Strade Bianche crown, here's how it looked on camera

Cyclists in the 2015 Strade Bianche race (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

The Strade Bianche is regarded by many as one of the most picturesque races on the cycling calendar. With the wide open countryside bisected by the dusty white roads that give the race its name, the riders are tested by long gravel sections on the 200km route.

As Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-Quick-Step) took the win, take a look at the best of the action through the lens of Graham Watson.

1. Vincenzo Nibali warmed up for his battle with Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana at Tirreno-Adriatico with a ride at Strade Bianche.

Strade Bianche

Vincenzo Nibali alongside Fabian Cancellara (Photo: Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

2. Trek Factory Racing took to the front of the peloton to keep two-time winner Fabian Cancellara out of trouble in the early stages.

Trek riders lead the peloton (Watson)

Trek riders lead the peloton (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

3. The final quarter of the race saw the decisive nine-man breakaway make its move. Stybar, Greg van Avermaet, Alejandro Valverde, Sep Vanmarcke, Peter Sagan, Cancellara, Diego Rosa and Daniel Oss all went off the front, with Nathan Haas struggling to keep contact at the back.

Alejandro Valverde leads an escape in the 2015 Strade Bianche race (Watson)

Alejandro Valverde leads an escape in the 2015 Strade Bianche race (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

4. The group was whittled down to four when an attack saw Vanmarcke, Stybar, van Avermaet and Valverde power away from their rivals.

Sep Vanmarcke leads an escape in the 2015 Strade Bianche race (Watson)

Sep Vanmarcke leads an escape in the 2015 Strade Bianche race (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

5. Behind, the gravel surface on the Tuscan roads played havoc in the peloton, with punctures and crashes disrupting the chase.

A crash disrupts the peloton on the dusty roads (Watson)

A crash disrupts the peloton on the dusty roads (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

6. Greg van Avermaet upped the pace inside the final 20km to leave his breakaway partners trailing in his dust.

Greg Van Avermaet attacks off the front in the last 20km (Watson)

Greg Van Avermaet attacks off the front in the last 20km (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

7. Van Avermaet was hauled back in by Vanmarcke, Stybar and Valverde, as Cancellara, Oss and Rosa chased in vain 30 seconds down the road.

Sep Vanmarcke leads the breakaway (Watson)

Sep Vanmarcke leads the breakaway (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

8. Vanmarcke cracked as the race reached the outskirts of Siena, leaving Valverde, van Avermaet and Stybar alone to attack the final kilometres.

Alejandro Valverde leads Zdenek Stybar and Greg van Avermaet in the final kilometres (Watson)

Alejandro Valverde leads Zdenek Stybar and Greg van Avermaet in the final kilometres (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

9. Van Avermaet attacked on the steep Santa Caterina climb in the race's last kilometre, but the effort was too much for him as Stybar eased past and rolled to the line.

Zdenek Stybar wins the 2015 Strade Bianche (Watson)

Zdenek Stybar wins the 2015 Strade Bianche (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)

10. Stybar picked up a pretty impressive trophy for his efforts.

Zdenek Stybar receives his trophy (Watson)

Zdenek Stybar receives his trophy (Watson)
(Image credit: Watson)