Pogacar, Van Aert, Van der Poel, but not only
The Monumento season opens on Saturday 18 March with the 114th edition of the Milano-Sanremo.
The Spring Classic retains the charm of tradition combined with a very difficult forecast. There are many possible variables in a race finale with a well-known route but which always gives strong emotions.
This year we will start from Abbiategrasso but it doesn't matter: there are always kilometers to go 294 km : after Passo del Turchino in the middle of the route, the usual Capi that lead to Cypress (5.5 km uphill) and al hillock (3.7 km), always faced at a frightening speed. From the top there will be 5.5 km to the finish line. Then a very technical descent that will take the runners on the Aurelia and towards the finish line on Via Roma.
Difficult to understand where the race will be decided but in the meantime we indicate who could be the protagonist. The first name on the list is definitely that of Tadej Pogacar, recent winner of the Paris-Nice, who seems to be the only one capable of making the difference uphill. In case of attack who could try to hold his wheel? Despite a Tirreno-Adriatico that didn't see them shine, we have to mention Wout Van Aert and Mathieu Van der Poel , the first winner of Sanremo in 2020, the second who finished Sanremo in third place in 2022, in his first road race of the season. The thought then turns to some outsiders, but not too much. It is the case of Julian Alaphilippe that he will have a team all to himself, or Mads Pedersen , brilliant at Paris-Nice until he retired due to mild flu symptoms.
And then how not to bet on Matej Mohoric , winner last year after making an extreme descent. The Slovenian will also have Pello Bilbao , another good downhill skier, as a foothold in the finale.
Then there are some fast riders who, if they resist on the Poggio, will surely be up front to play the success: we quote Magnus Cort of EF, Arnaud Demare of Groupama, Biniam Girmay of Intermarché, Christophe Laporte of Jumbo, Jasper Philipsen of Alpecin and Arnaud De Lie of Lotto . The latter is expected, for the first time, to compete in a 300 km long race. However, the Belgian team has a second card to play, that Caleb Ewan who finished second two years ago. Finally, there is curiosity in seeing it in action Filippo Ganna , who could finally have a chance as captain given the absence of Thomas Pidcock.
And then beware of surprises. A tip for your training? Aim at least for a name that tastes like a bet to try and make a difference. Not forgetting to find the first hour fugitives to bring home many bonus points.
Happy Sanremo everyone!
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FAVORITES MILAN SAN REMO 2023 - Pogacar against everyone! - YouTube