Profile. It will be on the 18th of March that the peloton will tackle the longest race in professional road cycling: Milano-Sanremo. This, the first monument of the season, is an incredibly important classic where the sprinters, puncheurs and classics specialists gather on the roads of the Ligurian coast in Italy to battle for a very prestigious victory.
The biggest pro race in the calendar! Albeit having a slightly different route the 294 kilometers (plus neutral start) will heavily weigh on everyone’s legs by the end, which has it’s usual features except for the first climb of the day. The race’s traditional route through the Ligurian sea, includes the Tre Capi. No important attacks will come here, however the teams looking to make damage on the climbs may look to push the pace.
Start Time: 10:10CET.
Finish Time: 17:10CET.
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PREVIEW | Milano-Sanremo 2023 - Pogacar, van Aert, van der Poel and Alaphilippe headline expected epic battle at Poggio
Capo Mele – 1,9Km; 4.2%; 51.8Km to go
Capo Cerve – 1.9Km; 2.8%; 46.8Km to go
Capo Berta – 1.8Km; 6.7%; 39Km to go
Quickly the riders will move on to the final and decisive features.
The Cipressa is 5.6Km at an average gradient of 4.1% it doesn’t make for a particularly hard climb, but taking into account when the riders top it they’ll have over 6 hours of racing. It doesn’t usually see attacks, but it is a familiar image to see the teams with puncheurs, climbers and punchy sprinters to come to the front and push the pace, this year the climbers too.
The purest sprinters try to remain hidden, but always well positioned as the descent from Cipressa is very technical, so not only will there be the teams trying to suffocate the sprinters early on as there will be the fight for positioning before the climb and in the summit of it, making for a very nervous and fast section of the race.
Preliminary startlist Milano-Sanremo with Pogacar, van Aert, van der Poel, Alaphilippe, Mohoric, De Lie and Girmay
And the final climb is the Poggio di Sanremo, the hardest easy climb in the world! Like everything in this race, it is influenced by the distance, 288Km raced at the summit. It is mostly a climb in false flat roads, starting with a set of bends still very near the sea, but in the last 800 meters the steepest ramp in it comes, a short one but 8% of gradient, and it’s a place regularly chosen by riders to make a final attack.
And just as important as the climb is the descent, it’s quite a technical one which allows some recovering after the climb, and it’s a big threat if anyone gets to the bottom solo, no surprise as in the base of it there are only 2200 meters to the line. This is where Matej Mohoric made his decisive attack in 2022 to victory.
The Via Roma will be the place where the winner will be crowned. The finish is familiar already, a flat straightforward road meaning leadouts and chasing are still very possible which is an advantage for the sprinters, but for that they need good support and a smart sense of positioning. And remember, a sprint after 7 hours of racing is different than after 4/5.
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