Caleb Ewan has said that strength in numbers will be the key to Milan-San Remo success for him and his Lotto-Dstny team on Saturday.
The Australian has twice finished second at La Primavera, two years ago leading home the chasing pack just metres behind Jasper Stuyven, and he’ll be joined as co-leader of the Belgian squad by rising star Arnaud De Lie.
In an era where late attacks and riders shedding the sprinters on the Poggio are the order of the day, bringing two sprinters to lead a team at Milan-San Remo almost seems anachronistic.
But Lotto’s pairing are a versatile duo, both able to cope with the hills and strong enough to live with the strongest over the decisive final climb.
“Numbers are key,” Ewan told the media at the team presentation in Abbiategrasso on Friday. “It’s often a lottery if you survive the Poggio. People can jump away at any moment on the descent or at the bottom.
“In that scenario, I can’t bring everyone back and also be good enough to win the sprint. Hopefully, Arnaud De Lie and I can survive, and we have one more teammate. That way, we can reduce the risk of a late break. But that’s easier said than done.”
Ewan has a win at the non-UCI Schwalbe Classic criterium this season, and controversially missed out on the victory in a photo finish at the recent GP Monseré. De Lie, meanwhile, has started his sophomore pro season with three wins plus a second place at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Both men are among the major contenders for the 294km race, even if the likes of Tadej Pogačar, Wout van Aert, and Mathieu van der Poel enjoy shorter betting odds. For Ewan and De Lie to succeed, they’ll have to work together if they find themselves among the leaders heading down into San Remo.
“I think we are the two sprinters who have the biggest chance of surviving the Poggio,” Ewan said. “The most important thing is that we can communicate openly with each other. We have the advantage of having two. But I don’t want to reveal too much about our tactics.”
Team directeur sportif Allan Davis agreed that having the two sprinters in the line-up is a boon for the Belgian squad.
“Caleb has the experience with five participations and two podium spots. In two editions he was the fastest of the bunch, so hopefully, we can sprint for victory this year,” he said. “For Arnaud De Lie, it will be a first and it will all be about…
Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at CyclingNews RSS Feed…