Saturday, March 19 the Milan-Sanremo, one of the most exciting cycling competitions worldwide, will take place. The race, as for the last 107 years,opens the season of the great sporting events on two wheels, reason for which it is also known as Spring Classic.
The 2016 edition will start from Via della Chiesa Rossa in Milan to reach Sanremo after 291 km of track. Once you leave the capital of Lombardy, the riders will head to Pavia, reaching Voghera and Tortona; after Novi Ligure, the road will slowly start to rise, up to the Passo del Turchino, which will be taken from the slope of Ovada. The climb will be 25.8 kilometers, with an average gradient of 1.4%. The subsequent descent to Voltri is crossing the towns on the coast of Savona. Everything goes smoothly until Alassio then there will be to address the heights of Capo Mele, Capo Cervo and Capo Berta to reach the climb of the Cipressa and, then, at 9 kilometers from the finish line the Poggio one. The final descent is narrow and full of very challenging corners.
The route 2016, with altimetry
Milan-San Remo race for sprinters?
It is said that the Milan-Sanremo is a competition that favors the sprinters, athletes with a final sprint able to burn competitors for a few meters. In 106 editions, there have been 25 occasions when the race ended with a bunch sprint. Among these, the one of 1924 (94 riders at the start, a group of 24 on arrival); the one of 1940 (under the banner of the finish line there were 34 racers, the first was Gino Bartali); same winner in 1950 (this time in the sprint competitors are 53). In 1954, 60 cyclists have to fight over the victory, wins Van Steenbergen. In 1961 Poulidor won with 3″ ahead of the peloton. In 1973 Roger De Vlaeminck came under the banner with 2″ on Francioni, 4″ of Gimondi and 6″ on the group. In the past two years we have seen a sprint finish too, with the victory of the Norwegian Kristoff in 2014 and the German John Degenkolb last year.
Over a century of victories
In 106 editions of the Milan-Sanremo three nations who have won the most are Italy (50 times), Belgium (20 times) and France (12 times). Among the multi-winning athletes of the Super Classic we remember Eddy Merckx with seven victories (1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1975 and 1976); Costante Girardengo with six (1918, 1921, 1923, 1925, 1926 and 1928); Gino Bartali with four (1939, 1940, 1947 and 1950) and Erik Zabel (1997, 1998, 2000 and 2001); Fausto Coppi with three (1946, 1948 and 1949); same for Roger De Vlaeminck (1973, 1978 and 1979) and Oscar Freire (2004, 2007 and 2010). Seven racers won twice. These are Gaetano Belloni (1917 and 1920); Alfredo Binda (1929 and 1931);Giuseppe Olmo (1935 and 1938);Loretto Petrucci (1952 and 1953);Miguel Poblet (1957 and 1959);Laurent Fignon (1988 and 1989);Sean Kelly (1986 and 1992).
Ag2R La Mondiale (Fra), Astana Pro Team (Kaz), Bmc Racing Team (Usa), Cannondale Pro Cycling Team (Usa), Dimension Data (Rsa), Etixx – QuickStep (Bel), Fdj (Fra), Iam Cycling (Sui), Lampre – Merida (Ita), Lotto Soudal (Bel), Movistar Team (Esp), OricaGreenedge (Aus), Team Giant – Alpecin (Ger), Team Katusha (Rus), Team Lotto Nl – Jumbo (Ned), Team Sky (Gbr), Tinkoff (Rus), Trek – Segafredo (Usa) e le 7 Wild Card: Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec (Ita), BardianiCsf (Ita), Bora-Argon 18 (Ger), CccSprandiPolkowice (Pol), Cofidis, Solutions Credits (Fra), Southeast – Venezuela (Ita) e Team Novo Nordisk (Usa).