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Jasper Philipsen wins first Monument with Milan-San Remo victory

Jasper Philipsen wins first Monument with Milan-San Remo victory

Alpecin-Deceuninck kept the Milan-San Remo title, but it was Jasper Philipsen who claimed his first career Monument on Saturday, not last year’s victor Mathieu van der Poel. The first Monument of 2024, La Classicissima di primavera concluded with a wild, small bunch sprint where Tadej Pogačar made the podium but van der Poel had to be satisfied with 10th. It was the fastest Milan-San Remo at 46 km/h, the winning time 6:15:44.

The exuberant Belgian after the finish line.

The Course

The first half of the 288 km traveled south from Pavia to the first climb of the day, sharp little Passo Turchino. After a 12 km descent to Genoa, the race headed southwest along the Ligurian coast, finally reaching the three Capi at the 234 km point. Kilometre 260.5 was where 6-km Cipressa made a selection. The famed Poggio crested with 5.5 km to the line. A harrowing descent past the greenhouses led to the finish line on Via Roma.

The Canadian contingent was Hugo Houle in his sixth La Primavera and 30th Monument, and teammate Guillaume Boivin, racing his third Milan-San Remo and 13th Monument.

Seven former winners were on the start line: champion Mathieu van der Poel, Matej Mohorič, Jasper Stuyven, Julian Alaphilippe, Michał Kwiatkowski , Arnaud Démare and Alexander Kristoff.

After several hours on low simmer, the race found a breakaway of ten riders, mostly from Italian ProTeams, tipping over Passo Turchino 1:45 ahead of the peloton. Alpecin-Deceuninck and Lidl-Trek led the chase, while UAE-Emirates stood off a bit. As the Italian Riviera showed off, the gap increased.

‘Twas a beautiful day for a 288-km bicycle race.

The Capi

By the first Capi, Cappo Melo, the gap was still 2:00. UAE-Emirates finally got to work with 53 km to go and by Cappo Cervo the squad had chopped off a half minute. The steepest and last of the three, Cappo Berta, started with a crash at the middle of the field. UAE-Emirates carried on pacing. Christophe Laporte and Kristoff were dropped.

The Cipressa

The fugitives only had 40 seconds on the peloton by Cipressa’s foot. UAE-Emirates disappeared…

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