Tiesj Benoot: “I had expected a better result”

Tiesj Benoot finished eight on the Piazza del Campo in Siena. It was his début in this Italian race.

Lotto Soudal could soon be found in front. Jens Debusschere and Pim Ligthart were part of an early breakaway of eight. Five new riders attacked later and one of them was Maxime Monfort. In the peloton Monfort still had three teammates: Benoot, De Clercq and Polish champion Marczynski.

It was a hard day, but I knew that before I started,” Benoot said. “I have mixed feelings because I had hoped for a better result. On the other hand I was in the finale at the side of top riders. I can conclude that I didn’t have a great day, but that I was good, otherwise I wouldn’t have finished eighth.

“The team was strong today with Jens, Pim and Maxime who joined a breakaway and in the peloton the others kept me out of the wind, I’m grateful to all of them. In the end the strongest riders in the race took off. The images are clear, we had to pass. I was riding in a good position, but the first four just had more punch.

”With the chasing group we came pretty close, but everyone was riding à bloc. When Nibali and Kwiatkowski get dropped you know that we were setting a high pace as well.

”I’m definitely looking forward to the next editions of Strade Bianche. This is a beautiful race and I want to come back for more. Next week I’ll ride Tirreno-Adriatico where I will further prepare myself for the Classics and assist our GC riders.”