107th Milano - Sanremo, 19th March 2016, 291 km, WT




The Primavera has come, yet another year. The route is the same as last year, so I hope you don't mind if I don't waste time analysing it.

Fun Fact: March 19th is actually the proper date of the Classicissima. In ancient times, in fact, this race used to be ridden on March 19th by rule, as it was celebrating Saint Joseph. Even now, the race is supposed to be held on the Saturday (or Sunday) which is closest to the 19th.

NOTABLE WINNERS:
7 Wins: Eddy Merckx
6 Wins: Costante Girardengo
4 Wins: Gino Bartali and Erik Zabel
3 Wins: Fausto Coppi, Roger De Vlaeminck and Oscar Freire
2 Wins: G.Belloni, A.Binda, G.Olmo, L.Petrucci, M.Poblet, L.Fignon, S.Kelly

Other fun fact: None of those is still riding today :p
 
Re:

carolina said:
cavendish to win and show all the haters he's not finished
I wouldn't say he's finished, but I seriously doubt that he will ever be able to win races like this again. Those days are gone. Still an excellent sprinter but not at the very top anymore.
 
Re:

GP Blanco said:
As usual Cancellara will go on the Poggio.
well, with the way sagan is racing this year, he won't wait for the sprint either, and actually it seems he could have some team mates that would make it hard for the sprinters, not only on cipressa like in the past, but gatto, bennatti and kreuziger should be able to try to do some carnage on poggio too.
 
Re: Re:

Squire said:
Akuryo said:
Lets see if Gaviria can stand the distance. If so, he could very well take it with his first try. :D
Has anyone other than Cavendish ever won the first monument they rode as a pro in somewhat recent times?
Evgeni Berzin Liege 1994
Gabriele Colombo Milano-Sanremo 1996

I checked Hamilton (Liege 03) and Bobrik (Lombardia 94) but they rode it the year before
 
Re: Re:

pastronef said:
Squire said:
Akuryo said:
Lets see if Gaviria can stand the distance. If so, he could very well take it with his first try. :D
Has anyone other than Cavendish ever won the first monument they rode as a pro in somewhat recent times?
Gabriele Colombo Milano-Sanremo 1996

I checked Hamilton (Liege 03) and Bobrik (Lombardia 94) but they rode it the year before
Quite a rare feat if Gaviria can do it. The distance is his main obstacle I guess, he should easily handle the climbs.

Where do you check those results? Cyclingarchives only has the top 30 for older MSRs.
 
There aren't many strong teams interested in a sprint. Katusha is clearly weaker than the past two years without Paolini and Cofidis is not built to control a race of this caliber. Etixx could probably do it but I don't see them putting all the eggs in one basket. Orica will have to work a lot.

Despite the probable good weather and the absence of Le Manie, I think it's a good year for an attacker.
 
Re: Re:

Squire said:
pastronef said:
Squire said:
Akuryo said:
Lets see if Gaviria can stand the distance. If so, he could very well take it with his first try. :D
Has anyone other than Cavendish ever won the first monument they rode as a pro in somewhat recent times?
Evgeni Berzin Liege 1994
Gabriele Colombo Milano-Sanremo 1996

I checked Hamilton (Liege 03) and Bobrik (Lombardia 94) but they rode it the year before
Quite a rare feat if Gaviria can do it. The distance is his main obstacle I guess, he should easily handle the climbs.

Where do you check those results? Cyclingarchives only has the top 30 for older MSRs.
I remembered those 2 odd wins, and I went to check on procyclingstats
 
Re: Re:

pastronef said:
Squire said:
pastronef said:
Squire said:
Akuryo said:
Lets see if Gaviria can stand the distance. If so, he could very well take it with his first try. :D
Has anyone other than Cavendish ever won the first monument they rode as a pro in somewhat recent times?
Evgeni Berzin Liege 1994
Gabriele Colombo Milano-Sanremo 1996

I checked Hamilton (Liege 03) and Bobrik (Lombardia 94) but they rode it the year before
Quite a rare feat if Gaviria can do it. The distance is his main obstacle I guess, he should easily handle the climbs.

Where do you check those results? Cyclingarchives only has the top 30 for older MSRs.
I remembered those 2 odd wins, and I went to check on procyclingstats
Thanks! I'm using Procyclingstats a lot, but never realised their historical results database is that good.

But it seems like neither Berzin nor Colombo won their first ever monument. Berzin rode MSR, Lombarida and MSR again before he won Liege, and Colombo rode Paris-Roubaix in 1995. But maybe you were thinking about their first try in the specific monument they won.

I only know for sure Merckx and Cavendish have done this, but I reckon there has to be others in between.
 
Re:

SafeBet said:
There aren't many strong teams interested in a sprint. Katusha is clearly weaker than the past two years without Paolini and Cofidis is not built to control a race of this caliber. Etixx could probably do it but I don't see them putting all the eggs in one basket. Orica will have to work a lot.

Despite the probable good weather and the absence of Le Manie, I think it's a good year for an attacker.
They won't though. They'll just tell Matthews to follow someone like Sagan or Cancellara whenever they attack - like he was told to do with Gilbert at Amstel Gold last year. He almost certainly wouldn't beat Kristoff or Bouhanni anyway if it came to a bunch sprint.

Etixx will be the key to whether or not a bunch finish is likely. I guess it depends whether or not they believe Stybar has more chance of winning from a small group, or Gaviria from a bunch sprint. Not an easy decision to make though.
 
Is Guardini injured? Because it seems odd for him not to be in Astana's provisional team.

Really hoping for an attacker to win, but I could do without it being GVA or Stybar. If it can't be Rebellin, then Nibali, Cancellara, Sagan, Trentin, Ulissi, Gallopin, Pozzato, and even Cummings would be fine. In an attacking edition, Navardauskas should podium, too.

Finally, if the race was an eight-man sprint train over the Poggio, Sky might have the best team: Kennaugh, Kwiatkowski, Thomas, Stannard, Rowe, Puccio, Swift, Viviani... I'm just not sure Viviani is more likely to win than Kristoff, Cavendish, Gaviria, Bouhanni, Bennett or Démare, so let's hope one or more of the other seven Sky riders choose to animate the race. Swift in particular is obviously better at climbing than usual.
 
Re: Re:

DFA123 said:
SafeBet said:
There aren't many strong teams interested in a sprint. Katusha is clearly weaker than the past two years without Paolini and Cofidis is not built to control a race of this caliber. Etixx could probably do it but I don't see them putting all the eggs in one basket. Orica will have to work a lot.

Despite the probable good weather and the absence of Le Manie, I think it's a good year for an attacker.
They won't though. They'll just tell Matthews to follow someone like Sagan or Cancellara whenever they attack - like he was told to do with Gilbert at Amstel Gold last year. He almost certainly wouldn't beat Kristoff or Bouhanni anyway if it came to a bunch sprint.

Etixx will be the key to whether or not a bunch finish is likely. I guess it depends whether or not they believe Stybar has more chance of winning from a small group, or Gaviria from a bunch sprint. Not an easy decision to make though.
Etixx's team doesn't look super strong so I would put more money on Stybar.
 
Re:

TMP402 said:
Is Guardini injured? Because it seems odd for him not to be in Astana's provisional team.

Really hoping for an attacker to win, but I could do without it being GVA or Stybar. If it can't be Rebellin, then Nibali, Cancellara, Sagan, Trentin, Ulissi, Gallopin, Pozzato, and even Cummings would be fine. In an attacking edition, Navardauskas should podium, too.

Finally, if the race was an eight-man sprint train over the Poggio, Sky might have the best team: Kennaugh, Kwiatkowski, Thomas, Stannard, Rowe, Puccio, Swift, Viviani... I'm just not sure Viviani is more likely to win than Kristoff, Cavendish, Gaviria, Bouhanni, Bennett or Démare, so let's hope one or more of the other seven Sky riders choose to animate the race. Swift in particular is obviously better at climbing than usual.
Yeah, Sky is really strong, but its very hard to envisage a scenario where any of their riders actually win. A Kwiatkowski / Thomas attack is surely a better bet though than a bunch sprint with Viviani/Swift.

No doubt they will end up just relentlessly driving the peloton most of the day, hoovering up all breaks before running out of ideas in the last 10km.
 
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