Milan-San Remo, which began in 1907, is the first of the 5 monuments in the cycling season and it runs tomorrow for this 103rd edition of the “sprinter’s” classic. The 298km route, which I am familiar with having ridden it in 2009, is the longest of the 5 monumental classics and is described to be the easiest classic to ride however the hardest to win.
The route begins in Milan and heads south-west toward the Mediterranean past Novi Ligure and the only thing standing between the riders and the beautiful coastline is the Passo Turchino, a steady climb over the coastal mountains, before a long descent to the sea-side. From there, it’s all along the coast with three more climbing points of interest: First, the climb at Le Maine at km 199 with the famous castle tower, then the Cipressa at km 270, and then lastly, the Poggio at km 287.
Last year’s winner, Matt Goss, looks to defend his title against a strong group of contenders including Oscar Freire, who has won the race three times, Alessandro Petacchi and Mark Cavendish who both have one win and Tom Boonen and Andre Greipel who are both looking for their first Milan San-Remo win.
Eddy Merckx holds the record with 7 wins, Constante Girardengo has 6 and Erik Zabel is tied for third most with Gino Bartali with 4 wins. He and Oscar Freire who are both working for Katusha now, with Zabel coaching Friere in hopes of his fourth win. The two take a closer look at the route in the following video from Canyon bikes.