Mathieu van der Poel won Saturday’s Milan-San Remo, the first Monument of the season. Van der Poel attacked a group containing Tadej Pogačar, Wout Van Aert and Filippo Ganna on the Poggio to claim a famous victory. He is the first Dutchman to win Milan-San Remo since Hennie Kuiper in 1985. In 1961, van der Poel’s grandfather Raymond Poulidor took the Milan-San Remo flowers.
La Classicissima di primavera is a long race at 294 km. Whew! Starting at the 52 km to go, the Capi climbs come in quick succession: Capo Mele, Capo Cervo and Capo Berta are all 2.5 to 3 km long and 4.1 to 5.2 percent. The key climbs are faced in the final half hour: the Cipressa, 5.6 km of 4.1 percent; and the Poggio, 3.7 km of 3.7 percent. From the Poggio’s crest the road plunges down past the greenhouses to finish on the Via Roma.
A race like no other, a race with an unpredictable outcome, a race won by 15 different riders in the last 15 years.
This is #MilanoSanremo, whose 114th edition ditches Milano as a start for the first time in the race’s history, replacing it with Abbiategrasso. pic.twitter.com/AABcSGDuUe
— Soudal Quick-Step Pro Cycling Team (@soudalquickstep) March 18, 2023
Tadej Pogačar crashed in the neutralized zone in the Milan-adjacent start town of Abbiategrasso. A breakaway of nine riders mostly from ProTeam outfits bounced free soon after the start. Soudal-QuickStep, Jumbo-Visma and Trek-Segafredo kept the nontet close. Near the top of the Passo del Turchino Julian Alaphilippe was caught up in a crash. After Turchino, the race reached the coast and headed for San Remo, Trek-Segafredo leading the peloton towards the Capi.
The race 2/3 completed, and the Capi 50 km to the southwest on the Ligurian coast, the escapees had a 2:30 gap, Deceuninck-Alpecin, EF Education-Easypost and Bora-Hansgrohe all pitching in with the pace-making. On Capo Mele, the first fugitive dropped away.
Those classic @Milano_Sanremo postcard views 😍
Full focus onto the Capi now and you know what comes afterwards 👀 pic.twitter.com/5vkbsjZdEH
— Lotto Dstny (@lotto_dstny) March 18, 2023
With frenetic positioning at the front of the fully focused peloton, more breakaways were unhitched on Capo Berta, and Mark Cavendish went out the back of the field. The final fugitives were sopped up before the Cipressa.
Ineos and then Lotto-Dstny took the reins at the foot of the Cipressa. UAE-Emirates grabbed the wheel. Lotto-Dstny’s…
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