Milano-SanRemo is not a race suited for pure climbers like Marco Pantani was, but after landing the Giro-Tour double the previous year, he was compelled to put on a show during 1999 edition of the classic.
Pantani excited the tifosi by attacking on Cipressa and he quickly gained a gap of several seconds. But the fancied riders reacted immediately and a small group formed over the top of the Cipressa. Michele Bartoli, in particular, chased him up the Cipressa.
“I wasn’t worried by Pantani and Bartoli’s attack,” race winner Andrei Tchmil shrugged afterwards. “I knew they wouldn’t work together.”