Milan San Remo Title



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Route Map

Teams and Riders


The Capi

The opening race of the men's World Cup competition, the Milan-San Remo, will be held today. It is called "La Primavera" as it is raced on the first weekend of spring. The Milan-San Remo has a change of route this year due to landslides and will not take in the Turchino Pass, which has been ever present in its 94-year history.

Instead the riders will tackle the 773m climb of Bric Berton some 143 km into the race. This is followed 20km later by the 516m Colle del Giovo. The total distance covered has been reduced to 287km. What this increase in climbing will do is debatable. The climbs may be too far from the finish to have much effect. They may on the other hand be enough to take the sting out of the legs of the sprinters. The descent onto the coast road is reported to be difficult and may see breaks forming. The run in along the coast road remains the same.

So who will win the 92nd edition of this great classic? The Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico stage races provide a clue to who is going well at this time of year. Which is better preparation for Milan-San Remo is a matter of opinion.

Among the favourites must be last years winner Erik Zabel, who has 4 victories already this year. His team have the experience to get him to the Via Roma for a 4th win.

Omloop Het Volk winner Michele Bartoli is also on good form. Bartoli has an obsession for the race. Following his win in Het Volk he commented-

"Now I want San Remo... I raced it with one leg last year, now I have two I finally want to win it."

His preparation includes the Paris-Nice rather than Tirreno as it gives him an extra two days to recover. He said before the start-

“I’ll not be starting the race with the object of gaining classification, but I shall be thinking of doing a good job and preparing myself ready for the Milan to San Remo race. If I’m able to shake off the bronchitis that I have been suffering with the last few days, then I shall try my best to obtain a result in one or two stages…”

Mirko Celestino (21st in La Primavera last year) the impressive winner of the Trofeo Laigueglia has Milan-San Remo as his first big objective of the season.

Mario Cipollini, winner of this years Giro della Provincia di Siracusa on March 11, starts for the 14th time. His best finish was 2nd in 1994 and the 'Lion King' is unlikely to go one better.

Others with a chance include World Champion Romans Vainsteins, Peter Van Petegem and Paolo Bettini.