Katusha-Alpecin‘s best-placed rider at Strade Bianche may have crossed the line nearly 10 minutes back in 27th place, but the Swiss team definitely win the prize for best video from a brutal edition of the Italian race.
In the third episode of a series documenting the team throughout the season, fans of the team are given a look at some of the behind the scenes action from the team car as the riders fight through freezing, cold, and wet conditions, trying to cope with muddy gravel roads that mean just making it to the finish line can be considered a victory.
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In the end, only José Gonçalves and Jhonathan Restrepo made it across the line in Siena (and even Restrepo finished outside the time limit), but the video shows how much all seven of the teams riders suffered on the day.
From the start we see Russian rider Viacheslav Kuznetsov complaining about his brakes not working in the wet and muddy conditions, before another rider drops back to the team car, covered in mud, to tell the sports director (in slightly more colourful language) just how tired he was.
Perhaps the most touching moment of the film is seeing Nathan Haas, who had already pulled out of the race, putting his soigneur’s hat on as he helps an exhausted Mads Würtz Schmidt take off his wet jacket and gloves after the Dane abandoned the race in the feed zone.
Finally, just when the riders and the team staff thought a testing day had come to an end and were making their way away from Siena, the gravel roads come back to bit them one more time, with a team car getting a puncture, and Haas once again getting off the team bus to lend a hand.