March 07, 2018
Milano-Sanremo 2018 – Milano – Sanremo : 291 km
Milan–San Remo (in Italian Milano-Sanremo), also called “The Spring classic” or “La Classicissima”, is an annual cycling race between Milan and Sanremo,
March 07, 2018
Milano-Sanremo 2018 – Milano – Sanremo : 291 km
Milan–San Remo (in Italian Milano-Sanremo), also called “The Spring classic” or “La Classicissima”, is an annual cycling race between Milan and Sanremo, in Northwest Italy. With a distance of 298 km (~185.2 miles) it is the longest professional one-day race in modern cycling. It is the first major classic race of the season, usually held on the third Saturday of March. The first edition was held in 1907.
Milan-San Remo is a race that crescendos like no other. Once again, the build-up was long and slow but the seven hours of calm were more than redeemed by a breathless final 15 minutes over the Poggio and onto the Via Roma, where Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) claimed a solo victory that will live long in the memory.
The Italian went clear on the Poggio, flew down the vertiginous descent, and held off the chasing peloton in the final two kilometres. It was an absolute nail-biter of a finale but Nibali was a picture of cool as he sat up and celebrated in the final 50 metres while futile sprints were unfurled behind.
Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) was the best of the rest, backing up his 10th place debut last year, while 2016 champion Arnaud Démare (FDJ) was third, but the day belonged to one man.
Already a winner of all three Grand Tours and twice Il Lombardia champion, Nibali adds another dimension to his palmares with a third Monument victory. He also ends 12 years of hurt in becoming the first Italian to triumph at La Primavera since Pippo Pozzato in 2006.
Beyond the finish line he was mobbed by his entourage and the Italian fans, and the exhaustion soon made way for exhilaration. “I don’t have words,” he told the TV cameras.
Nibali was nominally working alongside teammate Sonny Colbrelli as an unaggressive race, which started out in driving rain before being slowed by a headwind on the Ligurian coast, seemed destined to culminate in a bunch sprint. As it was, he almost went away by stealth on the Poggio, following an attack from Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy) before finding himself alone with a surprisingly big gap over the large bunch.
“In the last 15km I had really good sensations,” said Nibali. “On the Poggio I worked with Colbrelli and in the last 5km I only followed the other rider. When my director came on the radio and gave me the time gap, I only thought ‘full gas’.”
Having dropped Neilands, and having kicked again to fend off a chase from Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin), Nibali continued to pull away and crested the Poggio with 10 seconds in hand. An artist of a descender, he cut through the tight corners without fault and carried a lead of eight seconds onto the flat roads in the final two kilometres. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) tried a last gasp attack, while FDJ and Quick-Step Floors mounted late chases, but Nibali’s resilience proved too much.
Everyone expects Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) to add Milan-San Remo to his palmares one day but the world champion had to settle for sixth place today. He had been active in the chase towards the top of the Poggio and followed his teammate Daniel Oss down the descent before tracking Trentin, but was unable to make the podium in the sprint. Quick-Step Floors led out for Elia Viviani but the Italian faded badly. Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emriates), another former winner, finished fourth, with Jurgen Roelandts (BMC) taking an impressive fifth. Michael Matthews (Sunweb), Magnus Cort (Astana), and Colbrelli, all sprinters who can climb, came in next, while Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) rounded out the top 10.
Earlier in the race Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) was forced to abandon, the former winner hitting a bollard just ahead of the Poggio and catapulting over the top before being hit from behind as other riders ploughed in to him.
How it happened
The riders woke up to heavy rain in Milan, and it continued to pour as they arrived at the start in the shadow of the Castello Sforzesco in central Milan to sign on and prepare for seven hours and 294 kilometres in the saddle, bellies full from the morning’s feast of carbohydrates.
Despite the conditions, the riders seemed happy to be racing and excited to contest the first Monument of the season. Teams signed on together, with Bora-Hansgrohe and Team Sky the last on stage, reflecting their importance and success in 2017. UCI President David Lappartient was also at the start and posed for photographs with Sagan.
The riders rolled out of central Milan under pouring rain, with only the forecasts of dry, sunny conditions in San Remo to boost their morale.
The race officially started on the long straight via della Chiesa Rossa, 7.6km south of Milan. The flag dropped at 10:13 and the race was on, with 294km to race. Loïc Chetout (Cofidis) was the only non-starter.
As per tradition, the break soon formed, with the peloton happy to let the early attacks go. Surprisingly nine riders got in the move and worked smoothly to escape to glory.
The nine riders were Mirco Maestri and Lorenzo Rota (Bardiani-CSF), Evgeny Koberniak (Gazprom Rusvelo), Guy Sagiv (Israel Cycling Academy), Dennis Van Winden (Israel Cycling Academy), Sho Hatsuyama (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Charles Planet (Novo Nordisk), Matteo Bono (UAE Team Emirates) and Jacopo Mosca (Wilier Selle Italia).
Only Bono was from a WorldTour team but the Italian loves to be in the Milan-San Remo break. He was also in the move in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The peloton let the nine go away on the flat roads of Lombardy and they pushed their lead out to 6:00 after an hour of racing at 41.2kph, with Bora-Hansgrohe, Team Sky and Quick-Step Floors setting the tempo behind. The rain eased in Novi Ligure but the road remained wet on the way to the Passo Turchino.
The Passo Turchino rises to 532m but climbs gradually from Ovada. However, it helped the peloton pull back time on the break, with BMC upping the pace slightly as the race headed into the clouds. At the summit it was down to 4:30 and even less after Team Sky lead the peloton down the descent. The peloton eased as they smelled the sea air for the first time and the break of nine pushed their lead back out to 5:00.
Wet roads and traffic furniture raised the tension in the peloton a little and the pace eased after a crash saw Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) go down and dirt his white kit. Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal) was also involved, as was Lukasz Wisniowski of Team Sky and Mitchell Docker (EF Education First-Drapac). Docker and the Polish rider were unable to continue, leaving Team Sky a rider down for the finale.
Sagan was wisely riding up front in the wheels of Team Sky, who were protecting Michal Kwiatkowski and Gianni Moscon.
With 140km left to race, with 161.7km in their legs, Luke Rowe (Team Sky), Tim Declercq (Quick-Step Floors) and Juraj Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) continued to take turns on the front to keep the break in check.
Sun shines and speeds rise
The rain fell hard and heavy in Savona but the riders could see blue skies along the coast as they snaked along the coast. Their odyssey in the rain ended with 70km to go, with the roads finally turned dry in Ceriale. The break was being gradually reeled in thanks to the work of Juraj Sagan, Rowe and Quick-Step Floors.
Rider began to take off their rain jackets, overshoes and swap gloves, with Sagan getting a push from a Bora-Hansgrohe teammate on the front of the peloton as he prepared for the finale. The speed rose as did the tension but the rain meant 2018 would be one of the slowest editions of recent years. With 50km to go, as the first Capi climbs began to bite the riders’ legs, the break was just 2:00 head of the peloton.
As they reached the Cappo Berta, with 39km to go, the gap was down to half a minute, and already Marcel Kittel was being distanced from the bunch. Ahead, the attacks started to shatter the breakaway, with Maestri having a go on the high-speed descent. The climb left only four men out front, with Van Winden, Bono, and Rota surviving the acceleration.
Kittel had Nils Politt to haul him back into the bunch, and with enough flat roads before the Cipressa, he tacked back onto the bunch with time to recover. The breakaway had no hopes of surviving to the base of the climb as Groupama-FDJ set a furious pace as they headed toward San Lorenzo al Mare. With 30km to go, the bunch was all back together, the sky was blue, the sun warm, and possibilities endless.
Calm on the Cipressa
Mitchelton-Scott was at the front for Matteo Trentin as they hit the base of the Cipressa, and Nathan Haas was on the wheel of Nibali awaiting the inevitable attack as once again, his teammate Kittel was spat out the back as soon as the road tilted upward. Peter Sagan was placidly tucked in the midst of the peloton, while Arnaud Demare sat fourth wheel, in the back seat of his Groupama-FDJ train with Ignatas Konovalovas driving.
The pace was well controlled, with weaker riders heading out the back, but the sprinters and puncheurs biding their time as Team Sky headed to the front to take over from FDJ.
Dylan van Baarle’s efforts strong out the bunch but Demare was still looking comfortable just behind, while Kristoff, Cavendish, Ewan and more still in the mix. Astana came to the front before the top, but the pace was still relatively sedate leading to some elbows being thrown in the bunch as riders fought to hold position.
A huge peloton sped to the Poggio, with a full-on lead-out into the base of the climb from Groupama-FDJ and Astana driving the pace flat out. But the traffic furniture just before the climb caused a horrific crash, with Cavendish nailing the bollard in the middle of the road and crashing heavily.
Bahrain-Merida took over the pacemaking as the gradient began to bite, before Marcus Burghard opened a gap, with BMC’s Jempy Drucker tacking onto the move.
Drucker left Burghardt behind before the top, but Bahrain-Merida kept up the pressure behind and reeled him in.
Krists Nielands launched the attack before the crest of the Poggio that Nibali took advantage of, and although Nielands was soon dropped, Nibali forged on alone with a suddenly large advantage.
Over the top, the gap was 12 seconds for one of the best descenders in the peloton with a long history of blasting down the Poggio, and it was panic stations behind, as Matteo Trentin sensed the danger and set off in pursuit.
Nibali still had nine thin seconds and a long line of riders chasing him as he reached the bottom, with defending champino Michal Kwiatkowski, Michael Matthews, Sagan and Ewan all eyeing each other behind.
With all of Italy clenching their teeth down upon on their fingernails, Nibali entered the final turns with the peloton bearing down on him, with last year’s runner-up Julian Alaphilippe leading the bunch in.
But he’d finally timed his Poggio attack correctly, and after a dozen years of disappointment, Italy finally had a champion in La Classicissima in Vincenzo Nibali.
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 7:18:43
2 Caleb Ewan (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
3 Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
4 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
5 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) BMC Racing Team
6 Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
7 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
8 Magnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro Team
9 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
10 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
11 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
12 Matti Breschel (Den) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
13 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
14 Sacha Modolo (Ita) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
15 Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
16 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
17 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
18 Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha-Alpecin
19 Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
20 Maximiliano Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:04
21 Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
22 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:05
23 Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy
24 Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
25 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
26 Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
27 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team
28 Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team
29 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky
30 Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-Scott
31 Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb
32 Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:10
33 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:11
34 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:15
35 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
36 Oscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:17
37 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
38 Julien Vermote (Bel) Dimension Data 0:00:32
39 Edward Theuns (Bel) Team Sunweb
40 Scott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension Data
41 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
42 Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
43 Koen de Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
44 Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates
45 August Jensen (Nor) Israel Cycling Academy
46 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
47 Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy
48 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:34
49 Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ
50 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL-Jumbo
51 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:45
52 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia 0:00:53
53 José Gonçalves (Por) Katusha-Alpecin 0:01:02
54 Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
55 Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
56 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team
57 Carlos Barbero (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:21
58 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:27
59 Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Israel Cycling Academy
60 Igor Boev (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:02:23
61 Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
62 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
63 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
64 Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
65 David Lozano (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk
66 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani CSF
67 Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
68 Koen Bouwman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
69 Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling Academy
70 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
71 Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Groupama-FDJ
72 Artem Nych (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
73 Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data
74 Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
75 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
76 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
77 Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team
78 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
79 Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
80 Juan José Lobato (Spa) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
81 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
82 Marco Tizza (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
83 Neilson Powless (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:56
84 Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:52
85 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:04:00
86 Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
87 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:04:50
88 Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo
89 Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
90 Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky
91 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar Team
92 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
93 Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
94 Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
95 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:05:20
96 Simone Ponzi (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
97 Michael Valgren (Den) Astana Pro Team
98 Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSF
99 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky
100 Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF
101 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
102 Davide Villella (Ita) Astana Pro Team
103 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
104 Sam Bewley (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott
105 Lennard Kämna (Ger) Team Sunweb
106 Roger Kluge (Ger) Mitchelton-Scott
107 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:05:22
108 Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:06:14
109 Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:06:42
110 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:07:53
111 Gregory Rast (Swi) Trek-Segafredo
112 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:08:30
113 Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
114 Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:08:37
115 Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo 0:09:37
116 Joonas Henttala (Fin) Team Novo Nordisk
117 Ryan Mullen (Irl) Trek-Segafredo
118 Andrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk
119 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal
120 Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
121 Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team
122 Marco Coledan (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
123 Victor De La Parte (Spa) Movistar Team
124 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
125 Iljo Keisse (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
126 Maarten Wynants (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo
127 Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky
128 Simone Andreetta (Ita) Bardiani CSF
129 Mickael Delage (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:11:40
130 Lars Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal
131 Charles Planet (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk
132 Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
133 Stepan Kuriyanov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
134 Dennis van Winden (Ned) Israel Cycling Academy
135 Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF
136 Sam Brand (GBr) Team Novo Nordisk
137 Guy Sagiv (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy
138 Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
139 Truls Engen Korsaeth (Nor) Astana Pro Team
140 Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Sunweb
141 Jay Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data
142 Umberto Poli (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk
143 Boy van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
144 Damiano Cima (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
145 Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
146 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky
147 Nikolai Cherkasov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:13:19
148 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:15:03
149 Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
150 Sho Hatsuyama (Jpn) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini
151 Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team
152 Svein Tuft (Can) Mitchelton-Scott 0:16:13
153 Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
154 Taylor Phinney (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
155 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
156 Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:16:32
157 Juraj Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
158 Brian Kamstra (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk
159 Matteo Busato (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
160 Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
161 Filippo Ganna (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:16:53
162 Liam Bertazzo (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia
163 Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:21:00
164 Evgeny Kobernyak (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNS Loic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNF Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team Sky
DNF Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNF André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal
DNF Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data
DNF Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data
DNF Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
DNF Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
DNF Daniel McLay (GBr) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
DNF Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb
DNF Matteo Bono (Ita) UAE Team Emirates