This spectacular race is known as the La Primavera (the spring) and La Classicissima (the big classic) – the first Monument of the season. Milan-San Remo dates back to 1907 and is one of the most important races in Italian Cycling.
One of the toughest races to get the season kicked off, and often discussed as one of the easier races to ‘finish’ but the hardest to win.
Nearly 300km in distance, the race is incredibly gruelling and the word ‘torturous’ comes to mind, but Pro cyclists are some of the toughest – both mentally and physically, in the game! It’s largely a flat race, with a tough punchy climb thrown in at the end – just when the lactate is on the build.
Let’s take a closer look into Milan-San Remo 2022
293 Kilometres | 19th March 2022
Finish: San Remo
Good parts of the race to look out for
After two years without The Turchino being included in the race, it makes a return. The Passo Del Turchino isn’t a difficult climb, it appears after a long stretch on the Po Plain, a 25 kilometre false flat with a gradient of 1.4% - although we all know that false flats are not most people’s favourite… a place to watch intently, the race could push on here to try and split the group and get some attacks moving.
The midway point see’s the riders descend towards the coast, continuing to Capo Mele, Capo Cerva and Capo Berta, eventually confronting the riders with the next challenge. This will likely be where the race will start to spark up again, with around 40 kilometres left, the riders will be getting itchy feet and potentially heavy legs. Those who aren’t quick finishers will be considering attacks to try and finish in a breakaway, but can they wait a little longer to conserve some more energy?
Once they hit San Lorenzo al Mare, at the foot of the Cipressa, the flat lands start to dissipate. A mere 5.5 kilometres at an average gradient of 4.1%, with a 9% section halfway up often sees the sprinters start to struggle, and the climbers push on a little more.
Their job isn’t over at the top, 20 kilometres remaining, a quick descent to the coast for some flat lands – will they be recovering, chasing back on or pushing on to continue the splits?
Swiftly reaching The Poggio, the anticipated climb of the day, the climb that has made most of the decisions in past years, 3.7 kilometres with an average of 3.7% gradient doesn’t seem so challenging, but when the race is blowing up and they’ve got over 200 kilometres of lactate in their legs, this is a challenge many won’t experience anywhere else. The steepest section hits 8%, a mere kilometre before the summit.
The summit sees them take a hairy and limit pushing descent into San Remo before hitting the last 2.2 kilometres, along the flat.
A race where anything could happen, at any stage, depending on how riders are feeling. There are only two options for the winner… an overzealous climber creating a breakaway that sticks or a bunch sprint, we have witnessed attacks go away up The Poggio and stick to the finish. But who knows if it’ll come down to a bunch sprint or attack – it’s all to play for.
Who could win Milan-San Remo?
Word on the street is Caleb Ewan from Lotto Soudal has targeted this race, with two second places under his belt, he is keen to better them with a win.
We haven’t seen a bunch finish since 2016 and the field is possibly one of the strongest we’ve seen, leaving all options open.
There is no doubt that Ewan’s finish is quick, but he can also climb, we’ve seen him get up the shorter climbs in the faster groups – this guy just keeps improving. Last year, we saw him summit The Poggio in the lead group, a tough game for a quick finisher, or should we be calling him an all-rounder now?
What Type of Bike?
With a majority of the race being on flat lands and false flats, it’s almost a given we’ll see a lot of the peloton opting for aero bikes such as the Trek Madone or Pinarello F. Although, these days, many of the lightweight climbing bikes are also aero – so we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Trek Emonda tucked away in there either.
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Happy watching CE Legends!