Known also as “La Primavera” or “La Classicissima”, Milano-Sanremo is not only one of cycling’s five Monuments, but by some accounts also the most difficult to win, due to its course which suits sprinters, attackers and climbers alike, giving all a shot at eternal glory.
As usual, the race will kick off early in the morning in Milan, but it will take several hours until the peloton will face the day’s first difficulty, Passo del Turchino, the climb used as launch pad to victory by Fausto Coppi in 1946. Capo Mele, Capo Cervo and Capo Berta will soften the bunch before the Cipressa (5.6 km, 4.1%) and the Poggio. The latter was introduced on the course at the 1961 edition, averages 3.7% over 3.7 kilometers, and will weigh heavily in the outcome as it features just nine kilometers from the finish on the iconic Via Roma.
Julian Alaphilippe, winner of the green and white jerseys at Paris-Nice will make his debut at the Italian race, where 36-year-old Tom Boonen is set to record his 40th outing in a Monument.
Jack Bauer, Fernando Gaviria, who last year came very close to taking the honors at the century-old classic, Philippe Gilbert, Fabio Sabatini, Matteo Trentin and Julien Vermote will also be part of the strong Quick-Step Floors team who will line up on Via della Chiesa Rossa for the 108th running of Milano-Sanremo.
“We have a squad with a lot of depth, capable of playing different cards, depending on the race scenario. It goes without saying that we hope to get a good result, but you can never be sure about anything when it comes to Milano-Sanremo. This race is like a Jack-in-the box, it can always spring a surprise”, said sport director Davide Bramati. “Things will become really nervous once the succession of Capi begins, as riders will fight for positioning, so it will be very important to stay safe and overcome these obstacles before Cipressa and Poggio, the main difficulties of the day.”