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t-72

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Milano - Sanremo 2018
« on: March 12, 2018, 22:52 »
Get monumental: Time for La Clasississima! Classicisima!  Classiccisima! Classi ...---...

eh... .... La Primvera! Ok?

Milano-Sanremo 2018, Saturday March 17th.

The start: Milano, via dell Chiesa Rossa (09:45 with the offical start schduled for 10:20)

The route:
you know it, this is probably the most conservative race of all when it comes to route changes. An endlessness of lines have been written all over the internet because of the inclusion and exclusion of three hills into the percorso for this race. If you have been a cycling fan for more than a year, «Cipressa» and «Poggio» already  has a familiar ring to it. If you have been a cycling fan for more than ten years, the «Manie» will also be on your repertoire – but it is not coming back, not this year either, so here we go:
291 Km – southwards across the plains of Po, over the Passo Turqino, to the sea and follow the Via Aurelia westwards.



The finish: Sanremo, via Roma.
(used traditionally and recently since John Degenkolb won in 2015.)
sometime around 16:40 -17:30 depending on the events of the day.

Poggio starts 9 km from the finish line.

Length 3.7 km  average gradient < 4% , maximum 8% near the top
Four hairpin turns in the first 2 km.
Crazy descent into Sanremo.
Final 2 km on mostly straight, wide city streets.
Last bend is 750 m from the finish line.
Finish line: on Via Roma



The longest race.
The most exciting finale of the monuments, even if you think you know more or less exactly what will happen.
The one monument that most riders can win.
Yet one that is not so difficult to win, if the other riders will let you...

The actors
So you know the script, but who will do the well-known roles?

Last year’s winner #sky Mihail Kwiatkowski will be back with the intention of winning again, and if he fails, there’s trattore, italian cycling’s bad boy,  to take over his place. Kwiatek is of course a favorite since he wins more or less every race he starts this year.

Except last year’s runner up, #bora #rainbow Peter Sagan. He’s back at it, doing a long row of  2nd place sprint finishes again. Last year, he needed to play a different card to win, and the thunderbolt attack up the final section of the Poggio seemed to be just that. It left the remains of the peloton asphyxiated, except Kwiatkowski and #quickstep Alaphilippe. Eventually the attack did not pay off, will he try the Cipressa this year?[1]What else? The usual, 2nd place, sir rainbows??

So, the usual? That means none of the attacks stick, and there will be a group sprint on the Via Roma? Previous winners #fdj Arnaud Démare, #trek John  Degenkolb, #uae Aleksander Kristoff will presumably be there to serve up your little adrenalin rush, local heroes #bahrain Sonny Colbrelli, #quickstep Elia Viviani and #mitchelton Matteo Trentin are determined to give them a run for the money. The italians dominated this race from 2002 to 2006 but haven’t been near the top spots since Nibali won the 3rd place in 2012. The last italian to win was Pippo Pozzato back in 2006. It’ been a while.

The table is set, the pieces are lined up, the game can start.

The peloton will roll out of Milano at 09:45 with the offical start schduled for 10:20. The will pass the Turqino at 13:30 – 13:50,  and the finish in Sanremo sometime around 16:40 -17:30 depending on the events of the day.

Weather forecasts, wild speculations and what will quickstep do (that might be one theme, not two, actually?) to follow in the next days.
 1. (Nah, that’s #bahrain Nibali’s job, isn’t it?)
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  • « Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 07:13 by t-72, Reason: fixed some typos...too zzleeepy last night to paste the right version :) »

    AG

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #1 on: March 12, 2018, 23:26 »
    what Quickstep might do ... might well change in the next day or so.  Gaviria is out now so need a new game plan
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  • Yellow Peril

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #2 on: March 13, 2018, 05:29 »
    Time to wander in from the cold as the first monument takes place this weekend. Lots of people have little time for this race but i love it. My picks for the day are Mr Sonny Colbrelli and Jens Debusschere. I'm sure i'm wrong but this race remains deliciously unpredictable in terms of who will cross the line first.
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 07:34 »
    what Quickstep might do ... might well change in the next day or so.  Gaviria is out now so need a new game plan

    not sure if it really makes much of a difference. Alaphilippe and/or Gilbert will still try to attack, and now it's Viviani waiting for the sprint instead of Gaviria
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    L'arri

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 08:34 »
    I hope that #quickstep will shake things up because it seems like a lot of other teams won't want to make the first move. MSR has recovered a bit of its erstwhile unpredictability in the last few editions, which is encouraging, but I would still rather see a race that starts sooner than the Poggio.
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 11:57 »
    Sagan says "I don't care about victories, it's more about the show". So another attack on the Poggio unless he's telling fibs.
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #6 on: March 13, 2018, 20:18 »
    http://teamsunweb.com/injury-updates-5/

    Quote
    MICHAEL MATTHEWS

    Michael has been progressing very well after fracturing his shoulder at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. He has been able to do some high quality training in the past week, with tolerable pain levels and we are confident he’s ready to race again on Saturday at Milano-Sanremo.
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #7 on: March 13, 2018, 20:41 »
    Bouhanni out, Cofidis says he is sick

    http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/nacer-bouhanni-ruled-out-of-milan-san-remo-due-to-bronchitis/

    Bouhanni says he is not. Sweet :D
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  • t-72

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #8 on: March 13, 2018, 21:03 »
     :D These news doesn't surprise me.
    #cofidis Bouhanni looked positively annoyed every time the camera caught a glimpse of him in the Paris-Nice. It was very difficult to understand that body language, if you still haven't managed to figure out when a 5-year old is upset.
    On the positive side, #cofidis Christophe Laporte has been riding very well this spring, winning stages in the Besseges and Provence, 3rd and 6th in Paris-Nice stages. While I don't think he matches Bouhanni (the  sunny-side up version) on a stage-race boulevard sprint, after 290 km, the Cypressa and the Poggio it's not a given which one of them has the best legs to sprint with. Both made it to the Via Roma in the 50-amn group behind Alaphilippe, Sagan and Kwiatkowski last year, and Bouhanni finished 8th.
    In case of doubt I would choose the one that doesn't portray an image of the team as bad loosers that can't control their tempers.  :-x

    In other news, Sagan is reportedly still upset about Kwiatkowski stealing the victory last year - and Kwiatkowski replied "to win you sometimes have to be the smartest". This will be fun  :P


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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #9 on: March 13, 2018, 21:50 »
    Weather forecasts indicate overcast with chances of rainshowers, but overall,  not very wet. Moderate temperatures around 10 degrees celsius. 
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  • t-72

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #10 on: March 13, 2018, 21:59 »
    what about

    ?
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #11 on: March 14, 2018, 09:45 »
    with so many sprinters struggling at the moment (or out of it already), this looks like Sagan's best chance so far to finally win the race.

    And as a big plus, there's a realistic chance to even have a team mate in the select group over the Poggio, as Oss really seems to be in the shape of his life
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  • Yellow Peril

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #12 on: March 14, 2018, 19:44 »
    Agree re Oss, he's my current man fan crush. A great breakaway rider who has performed well in the bid for glory stakes in this race previously.
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #13 on: March 15, 2018, 05:05 »
    Agree - Sagans best shot ... and Oss will be a massive help for him, not just here but also on the cobbled races.

    I actually thought the year that Ciolek won that Sagan would win.  I thought that essentially unless he crashed I could not see a situation where he wouldnt win.  He could out climb the puncheurs and outsprint the sprinters - and essentially win from any circumstance that evolved.   And he managed to find a way to come second :D

    He does deserve to finally win this race ... but hopefully not this year.   This year is for Phil Gil   :P
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #14 on: March 15, 2018, 08:51 »
    And he managed to find a way to come second :D

    He came second because Fabs taught him a lesson on how to act like an adult that day and 5 years later he's still a kid ...
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #15 on: March 15, 2018, 14:21 »
    . . . I would still rather see a race that starts sooner than the Poggio.

    Nah, it's springtime! A 20 km finale is perfect! :D

    If we are to learn from history, I think the lesson is that the solo break needs to be on the Poggio, or on the descent - but it has to stick. If you drag someone else along, it is bad news bears for the dragger, and glory for the draggee. I agree with Sagan that Kwiatkowski owes him a few beers, but I don't think he owes him anything more than that. Whether finding a wheel to suck is smart or not depends a lot on who you are cheering for.

    . . . 5 years later he's still a kid ...

    Who you talkin' 'bout! Bouhanni? Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah!
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  • . . .He had the bit between his teeth, and he loiked the taste, mate . . .

    t-72

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #16 on: March 15, 2018, 19:57 »
    He came second because Fabs taught him a lesson on how to act like an adult that day and 5 years later he's still a kid ...

    Hi Echoes! Great to see you back here! you've been missed!
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  • t-72

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #17 on: March 15, 2018, 20:27 »
    What can Quickstep do?
    I really don't know but even with Gaviria out, Quickstep is a dominating team in the classics. However, if they wait until the Poggio, that doesn't really matter. 2 puncheurs on the Poggio isn't twice as good as one and there are a lot of teams that can field both a strong puncheur and a decent sprinter. How can they make the difference in number of podium candidates in the team make a difference in the race.

    And --- I dont know this, maybe someone that knows Belgium better know - how much is Quickstep really behind Philippe Gilberts 5 monuments ambition? If they back him just a little bit, they must let him have a go. Milano-Sanremo is one of the missing ones in his collection. He must have been more times in the finale than anyone else:

    2004 14   #fdj
    2005 6     #fdj
    2006 32   #fdj
    2007 21   #fdj
    2008  3    #fdj
    2009 23   #quickstep
    2010  9    #quickstep
    2011  3    #quickstep
    2012 87   #bmc
    2013 32   #bmc
    2014 13   #bmc
    2015 55   #bmc
    2016 --    #bmc
    2017 29   #quickstep

    Of course, he has had quite a few chances but still hasn't managed to climb to the top spot. I think this means: take the risk of doing something radical, or lose the chance. If you can solo from 65 km in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, a long range attack is not unfeasible, but the difference is, there is usually a larger chase group with better legs late in the Milan-Sanremo compared to in the Ronde. Might as well go on early abos and try to destroy the chase with destructive tactics from other team members?
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  • AG

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #18 on: March 15, 2018, 23:25 »
    From what I have read on their social media stuff, they are pretty well behind him.

    Probably enough to give him a free role at least, but not enough to put a whole team behind him for it.  He will get a shot, but if it doesnt come off, he will be expected to lead out Vivianni I would think.
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #19 on: March 16, 2018, 07:39 »
    there was a special in Het Nieuwsblad exactly on that topic today:



    I may be able to translate some of the key statements on "how he can win" later on
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #20 on: March 16, 2018, 07:45 »
    former winner #bmc Simon Gerrans is out. He will be replaced by Fran Ventoso.

    Quote
    Dr. Max Testa: “Simon Gerrans developed a respiratory infection at Paris-Nice which triggered his asthma. We hoped he would be able to recover in time for Milan-San Remo but over the past two days, his condition has worsened. Given the poor weather and the length of the race, it is in Simon’s best interests to not line up on Saturday. Fortunately, Simon will be able to resume training in a few days and his illness won’t affect his race program.”

    Why is Valverde not racing this year by the way?
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #21 on: March 16, 2018, 09:53 »
    I actually thought the year that Ciolek won that Sagan would win.  I thought that essentially unless he crashed I could not see a situation where he wouldnt win.  He could out climb the puncheurs and outsprint the sprinters - and essentially win from any circumstance that evolved.   And he managed to find a way to come second :D
    He thought that himself, too - and was then outsprinted by 'that guy from this new ProConti team'. Never underestimate your opponents, Peter! :shh
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    L'arri

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #22 on: March 16, 2018, 11:27 »
    I would love to see Gilbert win just for the history of the sport but the odds are stacked against him, especially because I think he has lost some of his sprint speed in the last couple of years (yeah, he outsprinted Kwiatkowski in Amstel Gold last year but the Pole had burned too many matches).
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #23 on: March 17, 2018, 07:45 »
    Stars!

    *it Gazzetta
    :*:*:*:*:* Kwiatkowski, Sagan
    :*:*:*:* Alaphilippe
    :*:*:* Demare, Kristoff, Viviani
    :*:* Trentin, Moscon, van Avermaet
    :* Nibali, Ewan, Kittel, Cort


    *fr l'Équipe
    :*:*:*:*:* Sagan
    :*:*:*:* Kwiatkowski
    :*:*:* Alaphilippe, Demare, Moscon, van Avermaet
    :*:* Gilbert, Matthews, Viviani
    :* Trentin, Naesen, Kristoff, Greipel, EBH


    *be Het Nieuwsblad
    :*:*:*:*:* Sagan
    :*:*:*:* Kwiatkowski, Démare
    :*:*:* Trentin, Viviani, Greipel
    :*:* Cort, van Avermaet, Colbrelli, Gilbert
    :* Kittel, Modolo, Stuyven, Moscon, Kristoff
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  • t-72

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #24 on: March 17, 2018, 16:41 »
    If you ask me, that was a total blast!

    Hope all the crashers are ok.

    What would be the odds of #academy Kris Neilands setting up the decisive move of this race  :S
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  • L'arri

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #25 on: March 17, 2018, 17:37 »
    If you ask me, that was a total blast!

    Hope all the crashers are ok.

    What would be the odds of #academy Kris Neilands setting up the decisive move of this race  :S

    Bit of a slo-mo this year, with the sprinters making it comfortably over most of the capi. Hanging tough were Greipel, who was eventually unlucky to DNF after a second crash, and Cavendish, who went the same way but in much worse circumstances (no word on that yet). The big exception was Marcel "I'm here for research" Kittel who was already busted before the Cipressa and would finish unscathed over 16 minutes down.

    What we ended up with in the result were nine heavyweights that nobody before the start would have been surprised to see in the final top 10 and Caleb Ewan. Maybe the pint-sized Aussie is entitled to expect a big future after all.

    Big shout to Démare, who brought a great team and showed that he could, despite the naysayers, get up the capi without holding on to cars and still finish on the podium.

    And finally a thoroughly deserving winner, one of the sport's most complete riders, who has turned up here every year to try out essentially the same tactic - a charge on the Poggio - despite the slimmest chance of holding on to the line in the face of heavier opposition. Indeed it was like watching Fondriest in 1993 all over again. Forza Nibs!
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #26 on: March 17, 2018, 18:42 »
     Talking of crashes.

    https://twitter.com/BrainOnWheels/status/975042586275667968

     Looks like Cav reacted to the awful crash, pretty well.
    Seems to stay loose and just accept the inevitable.
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #27 on: March 17, 2018, 19:15 »
    If you ask me, that was a total blast!
     . . .
    What would be the odds of #academy Kris Neilands setting up the decisive move of this race  :S

    Yes it was, and he gave Nibali quite the lift to the top of the Poggio. I think if it had been anybody better known, the move might have been more aggressively covered. At the end, Nibs only took it by yards. Even if Nibs hadn't stopped to raise his arms, I think Ewan would have crossed the line in under a second off.

    Hell of a finish.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #28 on: March 17, 2018, 20:04 »
     But for the reported crash victims, just about everybody made it home inside the time.
    Confirming Cav's comment from earlier in the week.
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo 2018
    « Reply #29 on: March 17, 2018, 21:35 »
    I can say one good thing about Cav's crash - when he landed he came down in a traditional judo roll position. It might have been completely unintended, but it would help to absorb shock.

    Keeping my fingers crossed and hoping. Guy just seems to be a magnet for being in the wrong place.
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