Het Nieuwsblad 15 MarchWhy does Greg Van Avermaet start while Vanmarcke, Stybar, Terpstra and Boom skip a « dangerous race »“In the Tour of Flanders they are also crashing every year, aren’t they?”
The 24th, 25th and 142nd of the 2016 Milan-Sanremo are not competing this year. Sep Vanmarcke, Lars Boom and Zdenek Stybar are leaving the Primavera for what it is. “The risk of a crash is way higher than a nice result”. Dwars door [should read “door België”, please] Vlaanderen capitalises on the dangerous image of Milan-Sanremo and gets an attractive field.
Last Monday [in Tirreno, that is] Tom Boonen finished 126th along with his lieutenant Julien Vermote: 127th. The final 10km were dangerous. They let it go and sweated 5’ behind their teammate Gaviria. Greg Van Avermaet also came against his nature only 62nd on the line. In Tirreno taking risks in order to possibly compromise your spring is a no-go.
Yet the trio races Milan-Sanremo next Saturday. Sep Vanmarcke, Zdenek Stybar, Lars Boom and Niki Terpstra let it go. Their reason is the same as Boonen and Van Avermaet last Monday.
You can see at the condition of the soil that the Italian economy is declining. The chance is 50% that you get floored in Milan-Sanremo. I don’t want to take that risk.
Stybar seconds Vanmarcke:
I’ve already done it 4 times. The first two times, the weather was very bad. The last two times I crashed heavily. Last year I broke a rib because of a crossing dog. I have no good memories from it.
The period when every classic rider badly needed to have the 290km of Milan-Sanremo in the legs eyeing on the spring seems bygone. Certainly with the classic riders without a sprint.
The chance is small that I could ever win this race. I’m not enough of a climber to attack on the Poggio and in the sprint there will always be faster men. At best I can be about 9th. I don’t want to take risks for that. I’ll take risks for the Flemish races in which I can always have a shot at the win.
Vanmarcke, Terpstra, Boom and Stybar are coming next Wednesday at the start of Dwars door Vlaanderen [“door België” for Christ’s sake]. The race belongs to the World Tour and ripes the benefits of it. For Vanmarcke, it’s the first participation since 2012. Stybar makes his debut in it.
Sanremo is a great race but I cannot get any results there. Our team always takes a sprinter with great chances. In the past it was Cavendish. Now it’s Gaviria. Even if I have the legs to attack on the Poggio I would not do it because of team tactics. In Waregem I can work out something.
Jasper Stuyven and John Degenkolb do race Milan-Sanremo for Trek Segafredo. They do have a strong sprint. Dirk Demol says:
Milan-Sanremo or not is a choice by the rider himself. Devolder did only once and said afterwards: Never again. For Cancellara considering not to start the Primavera was not done
Greg Van Avermaet has not hesitated a second about starting Milan-Sanremo either.
With all due respect to Dwars door Vlaanderen, it does not compare to Milan-Sanremo. You don’t let a monument aside like that. Not starting Milan-Sanremo would hurt my heart.
The risks that he did not wish to take in Tirreno, the Olympic Champion considers taking them in the descent of the Capi.
It’s true that they are crashing there every year. But so do they every year in the Tour of Flanders. Myself included last year.
Tiesj Benoot who combines Sanremo and Waregem seconds him
This week I crashed in Tirreno. So did Boonen. In which race don’t you nowadays?
Benoot makes his debut next Saturday in Milan Sanremo. Van Avermaet starts for the 10th time.
Last year I was 5th. There’s only one way to win this lottery: keep on trying.
He did show comprehension for Vanmarcke’s choice.
I’m more of a sprinter than Sep is and I have better chance of success, even if it be but 1%. I’m of the opinion that if you have a chance to win, you also should start. In Rio I also had but 1% chance at the start.
Post Merge: March 18, 2017, 10:35
Also according to the same Nieuwsblad edition, the 8 Lotto riders for the Primavera - Tim Wellens, Tiesj Benoot, Lars Bak, Tony Gallopin, Marcel Sieberg, Tomasz Marczynski, Jens Debusschere and the great Jürgen Roelandts - are not recognising the finale. They got to Milan last Tuesday and will stay there. I thought it was pretty unprofessional even though the route of Milan-Sanremo is not really tricky, always straight ahead but still given the conditions of the roads and especially for the newcomers (Tiesj Benoot & Tim Wellens). It don't really seem wise to me.