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Milano - Sanremo
« on: March 21, 2019, 09:25 »
Milano - Sanremo

Saturday, March 23rd

Cycling has changed over the years. The competition seasons have become longer and longer, growing out of all proportion. They begin in January in Australia for closing in October in China, but the pilasters which support the whole movement are still the same, the Grand Tours, and the Monumental Classics, and to begin with, the Sanremo…

The “Classicissima” will always be considered as one of the most charismatic race of the cycling year. And it actually is, because its characteristics are, technically speaking, unique. No other race can compete with a 300 kilometers long bicycle ride. And moreover it is open to everybody’s dreams. Every true sprinter dreams of celebrating on the Via Roma one day - but as not only the last two years have proven, also for a climber or puncheur there's reason to hope.

Milan-Sanremo started in 1907 and more than 100 editions later the race is no doubt still a cycling icon. An icon that was able to shake the dust off its clothes offering an ever fresh and up-to-date look. And this is the reference we wish to cling to in a fervent ride into the future[1]


The race follows the classic route that has connected Milan to the Riviera di Ponente for the past 110 years, namely via Pavia, Ovada and Passo del Turchino, before descending towards Genoa Voltri.


From here, the route heads west, passing through Varazze, Savona, Albenga, Imperia and San Lorenzo al Mare where after the classic sequence of the “Capi” – Capo Mele, Capo Cervo and Capo Berta – the peloton negotiates two climbs that have become part of the route in recent decades: the Cipressa (1982) and Poggio di Sanremo (1961). The Cipressa is just over 5.6km long with a gradient of 4.1%. The descent leading back down to the SS 1 Aurelia road is highly technical.


The ascent of Poggio di Sanremo starts 9km before the finish line. The climb is 3.7km long with an average gradient of less than 4% and a maximum of 8% in the segment shortly before the crest of the climb. The road is slightly narrower, with four hairpin turns in the first 2km. The descent is extremely technical, on asphalt roads, narrow at points and with a succession of hairpins, twist and turns as far as the junctions with the SS 1 Aurelia. The final part of the descent enters urban Sanremo and the last 2km are on long, straight urban roads. 850m from the finish line there is a left-hand bend on a roundabout. The last bend, leading into the home straight, is 750m from the finish line.

Additional to the 18 World Tour teams, the following PCT ones will participate as well:
  • #androni ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI - SIDERMEC (ITA)
  • #bardiani BARDIANI CSF (ITA)
  • #cofidis COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS (FRA)
  • #direct DIRECT ENERGIE (FRA)
  • #academy ISRAEL CYCLING ACADEMY (ISR)
  • #neri NERI SOTTOLI SELLE ITALIA KTM (ITA)
  • #novonordisk TEAM NOVO NORDISK (USA)
Since the new UCI Pro Tour system was introduced in 2005, the only winner from one of the invited teams was #mtn Gerald Ciolek in 2013 though.

Looking at the competition, this is unlikely to change this year, even if T-72 will keep all his fingers crossed for #academy Davide Cimolai to finally take his first big victory.

The most named sprinters to challenge Cimolai for the win on the Via Roma are #deceuninck Elia Viviani, #lotto Caleb Ewan, #bora Sam Bennett, but with former winners #uae Alexander Kristoff, #trek John Degenkolb and #groupama Arnaud Demare not to be undererstimated as well. Also #jumbo Dylan Gronewegen has proven his speed over the past weeks, but as a late additoin and with this race not initially on his schedule, the distance could turn out to be a problem for him.

#bora Peter Sagan always used to go into the race as the big favourite, almost imposible to shake off on the climb, super fast in a sprint, but now things have changed a bit. His preparation wasn't ideal, losing lots of weight and training time due to sickness, and with Bennett a potentiall quicker man has emerged in the same team. This may give him a bit more freedom on the one hand, but it also means that he likely needs to attack on the Poggio to have a chance to win the race.

Others who will have the same plan, and have showed better shape recently, are for example #deceuninck Julian Alaphilippe, #ccc Greg van Avermaet, #astana Alexey Lutsenko or the #ef pair of Simon Clarke and Alberto Bettiol. Mind you, Clarke has alomost won the race before. According to Carlton Kirby that is.

#bahrain Vincenzo Nibali last year showed how important descending skills are to take a solo victory, so also his team mate Matej Mohoric springs to mind as a potential winner, while guys like #jumbo Enrico Battaglin - as he does so every year - or #academy Krists Neilands look almost certain to give it a go in an attack again, but will probably have difficulties really finishing it off.

And then there's the #rainbow World Champion of course. And Trentin. And Naesen. And Matthews. And many others... :cool
 1. this is an edited version of JSG's introduction from 2015. No idea where he stole it from back then ;D
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  • « Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 07:36 by LukasCPH »
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #1 on: March 21, 2019, 09:58 »
    Others who will have the same plan, and have showed better shape recently, are for example #deceunick Julian Alaphilippe, #ccc Greg van Avermaet, #astana Alexey Lutsenko or the #ef pair of Simon Clarke and Alberto Bettiol. Mind you, Clarke has alomost won the race before. According to Carlton Kirby that is.

    #bahrain Vincenzo Nibali last year showed how important descending skills are to take a solo victory, so also his team mate Matej Mohoric springs to mind as a potential winner, while guys like #jumbo Enrico Battaglin - as he does so every year - or #academy Krists Neilands look almost certain to give it a go in an attack again, but will probably have difficulties really finishing it off.

    As I just noticed, Lutsenko - for whatever reason - is not on Astana's roster for Milano Sanremo, and Battaglin is now racing for #katusha Katusha, which is not good for their chances to win ;)
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  • Drummer Boy

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #2 on: March 21, 2019, 12:53 »
    What's the best placement Valverde has ever had in San Remo?

    I don't think he's ever been close, has he?


    Caleb Ewan has proven that he has what it takes to get over the Poggio. If he can time it right, could his super-aero posture see him move up a spot this year?

    ------------------

    As far as I can tell, there's no TV coverage available for me. Even the paid subscription "NBC Sports Gold Cycling Pass" doesn't include the race. And streaming possibilities have proven to be extra difficult this season, so...
     :S
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #3 on: March 21, 2019, 13:16 »
    As far as I can tell, there's no TV coverage available for me. Even the paid subscription "NBC Sports Gold Cycling Pass" doesn't include the race. And streaming possibilities have proven to be extra difficult this season, so...
     :S
    all the RCS races are now on Flobikes and Fubo.tv, as far as I know. Flobikes actually covers a lot of races, so it may even be worth the money.

    and Valverde has indeed never done better than 15th. He also didn't race in Italy for a couple of years though, because of the CONI ban and so on
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #4 on: March 21, 2019, 13:35 »
    Flobikes also has some good free content on the site (and the Youtube channel) by the way, like this one for example:



    or also the "Pros Respond: How To Win San Remo, Poggio Or Sprint?" Video:

    https://www.flobikes.com/events/6255301-2019-milano-san-remo/videos?playing=6402165&limit=60

    Try to stay away from everything with "Ian & Friends" though.
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #5 on: March 21, 2019, 14:55 »
    Talking about tv coverage... here's RCS's "where to watch" guide:

    https://mailchi.mp/rcssport/110th-milano-sanremo-where-to-watch-it
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #6 on: March 21, 2019, 16:54 »
    Talking about tv coverage... here's RCS's "where to watch" guide:

    https://mailchi.mp/rcssport/110th-milano-sanremo-where-to-watch-it

    Any idea what time they are expected to start the Cipressa?

    By the way, a detail but correction, the Poggio was introduced in 1960 (win for René Privat), not 1961. ;)
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #7 on: March 21, 2019, 18:12 »
    Any idea what time they are expected to start the Cipressa?

    The race timetable says they'll hit the foot of the Ciprese between 16:07 and 16:44. So probably something in between.

    ...if RCS is to be believed. The part about the Poggio up there is also copied from their press release ;)
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  • t-72

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #8 on: March 21, 2019, 20:59 »
    What's this thing with monuments on a Saturday? :angry Pagans! Sundays are for Monuments!

    And of course #academy Cimolay will take this, he's even in shape now!

    By the way, I actually think this is the best race on the calendar. It just keeps getting better, and #bahrain Nibali's win last year was a fantastic one. I hope the race will be won differently this year, someone goes on the Cipressa (for once in 30 years or so) or a group sprint.
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  • LukasCPH

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #9 on: March 22, 2019, 07:40 »
    As I just noticed, Lutsenko - for whatever reason - is not on Astana's roster for Milano Sanremo, and Battaglin is now racing for #katusha Katusha, which is not good for their chances to win ;)
    #astana bring Magnus Cort, though. And while he may not be as all-conquering as Lutsenko, The Sun King is in good form. Plus he's Danish. :cool

    What's this thing with monuments on a Saturday? :angry Pagans! Sundays are for Monuments!
    Not pagans. Catholics. It's so that everyone can hurry into church the day after and the attendance at Sunday service isn't diminished by people prioritising a bike race over hearing the word of the Lord.

    I'm not kidding. :angel
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #10 on: March 22, 2019, 14:21 »
    #astana bring Magnus Cort, though. And while he may not be as all-conquering as Lutsenko, The Sun King is in good form. Plus he's Danish. :cool
    Not pagans. Catholics. It's so that everyone can hurry into church the day after and the attendance at Sunday service isn't diminished by people prioritising a bike race over hearing the word of the Lord.

    I'm not kidding. :angel
    Maybe once upon a time (and therefore establishing the tradition), but far more likely to be avoiding a clash with football, I would suggest.

    Catholic Masses generally take place on Sunday mornings, not mid-afternoon when the race would have high viewership.  If morning disruption in Milan were the issue, then there would be far more shoppers inconvenienced on Saturday than churchgoers on Sunday, I suspect.
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  • ciranda

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #11 on: March 22, 2019, 15:34 »
    Sanremo and Lombardia have always been on saturdays even though Sanremo was moved to sundays some years. Yeah I think it has more to do with football than church.
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #12 on: March 22, 2019, 17:44 »
     More like beach weather than classics weather forecast for the race.
    Low 20s and wall to wall sunshine. Should be a fast race.
    Advantage sprinters?


    I thought there was talk a few years ago about bringing the Italian monuments in line with the Northern ones, by moving to Sunday?
    If there was, it seems to have gone quiet...
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #13 on: March 22, 2019, 18:41 »
    Saturday is just better. What I tried to say above was that Sanremo was raced on sundays for a couple of years not that long ago as far as I remember.
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #14 on: March 22, 2019, 18:59 »
    yeah, they moved it back to Satuday in 2016, the years before it was on a Sunday.

    Edit: here's some more about it:

    Quote
    Until the mid 1930's the race was run on a Sunday in the second half of March or the first half of April. Then, until the late 1980s it was run on March 19, St. Joseph's Day. From then until 2012 it has been run on a Saturday close to March 19. In 2013 the organizers moved Milan-Remo to Sunday. where it will probably stay.

    Uh, no. In 2016 it was moved back to Saturday.

    http://www.bikeraceinfo.com/classics/Milan-San%20Remo/milan-san-remo-index.html
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #15 on: March 22, 2019, 19:22 »
    Kristoff is feeling good by the way. He wants to win. Or maybe lead out Gaviria, but still win himself. Sounds definitely like a good recipe for some drama at #uae UAE :D



    https://www.procycling.no/gaviria-a-laere-kristoff/
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  • Arb

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #16 on: March 23, 2019, 06:57 »
    I can justify staying up for the 15mins of excitement on a Saturday... woooo.
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #17 on: March 23, 2019, 07:05 »
    star ratings!

    *it Gazzetta dello Sport
    :*:*:*:*:* Alaphilippe, Viviani
    :*:*:*:* Trentin, Ewan, Gaviria, Sagan
    :*:*:* Valverde, KWiatkowski, Démare
    :*:* Nibali, GvA, Degenkolb, Gilbert, Cort
    :* Bettiol, Groenewegen, Colbrelli, Bennett, Dumoulin

    *be Het Nieuwsblad
    :*:*:*:*:* Alaphilippe
    :*:*:*:* Ewan, Sagan
    :*:*:* Viviani, Gaviria, Démare
    :*:* Cort, Gilbert, Trentin, Kwiatkowski
    :* Degenkolb, Naesen, van Avermaet, Bennett, Colbrelli

    *fr l'Équipe
    :*:*:*:*:* Alaphilippe
    :*:*:*:* Sagan, Kiwatkowski
    :*:*:* Viviani, Gilbert
    :*:* Gaviria, Trentin, Valverde, van Avermaet, Nibali
    :* Ewan, Colbrelli, Bennett, Groenewegen, Degenkolb, Matthews, Démare

    *lu le Quotidien
    :*:*:*:*:* Alaphilippe
    :*:*:*:* Viviani, Bennett, Kwiatkowski, GvA, Groenewegen, Ewan, Gaviria, Sagan
    :*:*:* Nibali, Stuyven, Degenkolb, Mohoric, Matthews, Kristoff, Démare
    :*:* Naesen, Cort, Gilbert, Gatto, Rowe, Valverde
    :* Bonifazio, Terpstra, Dumoulin, Langeveld, Modolo, Mezgec, Stybar, Laporte
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #18 on: March 23, 2019, 07:53 »
    Always a brilliant last hour that needs the 4 hours before to be extra fun.

    Best right hand corner in cycling
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #19 on: March 23, 2019, 08:58 »
    and as there's no real classic without Pippo:



    He thinks Gaviria is the favorite. But according to him, Gilbert stands a good chance as well, winning in the same fashion as he did himself back then as a team mate of Bettini & Boonen.
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #20 on: March 23, 2019, 09:08 »
    I've also always heard the Saturday schedule had to do with football. Besides, the nice thing about Milan-Sanremo held on Saturday is that the Via Roma is full of shops. So when held on Saturdays, you could see crowds on the balconies cheering because the shops are open. When it was held on Sundays a few years ago, there were nobody there because shops are closed of course.

    Just have a look at those 1970 pictures with Michele Dancelli winning.


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  • t-72

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #21 on: March 23, 2019, 12:22 »
    A possible reason (apart from the unsafe descent) that Le Manie is not coming back to the MSR could be the fact that the location for the stereotypical picture from the race is at the not-so-well-know Cabo Noli, on the section that will be skipped if the percorso is over Le Manie. The location was also used by Audi in new TV ads that started to air one or two weeks ago. Ad for used vehicle sales. (If you are an American, if a car is used it means it is "pre-owned"  :) )

    This is the typical media release on MSR:
    https://twitter.com/cyclingweekly/status/1109424810705256449

    sharing also the audi commercial, it is a bit funny :)

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  • M Gee

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #22 on: March 23, 2019, 18:05 »
    Aaaaaand! It's AAAAaaaaalaphillipe! On FIRE!
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #23 on: March 23, 2019, 21:37 »
    Fantastic race! 20km out, and Bonifacio  #direct creates a gap on the descent of the Cipressa. IMPRESSIVE!!!!!! DESCENDING!!!! He gets the gap to 22 sec, but gets brought back before the Poggio - and the Poggio! O my.

    You know we whinge about how Sky has such a strong team - but today Alaphillipe has Stybar and GILBERT as doms!  :o

    It was 8 or so in a pack on the descent of the poggio. Kwiat, Dumoulin, Alaphillipe . . .elite.

    Inside the last km, and Alaphillipe is on SAGAN's wheel with Sagan on the front!

    Great race.

    Matt Stephens as announcer - I like. Very sober approach, very knowledgeable.
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  • AG

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #24 on: March 24, 2019, 00:31 »
    actually wasnt too bad considering absolutely nothing happened on the Cipressa ... so we thought it was to be another bunch sprint.

    Ended up being pretty good though - and kudos to Alaphilippe, he deserved the win.  Quickstep did a lot of work to put him up there, and he finished it for them beautifully.

    I do always like to see the teams that do the work get the win ... much better than say GVA winning when CCC didnt so much as make the front 20 guys at any stage during the race.    DQS, Sky, Bora. Mitcheloton Scott and FDJ all did a fair amount at the front so all deserved their shot at the title.
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  • Echoes

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #25 on: March 24, 2019, 11:41 »
    Unlike AG, I'm usually amused when a team that did all the work fail to have a winner. Usually those teams account for a boring race, preventing any breakaway from holding through and paving the way for a bunch sprint. So I guess it would make my day.

    In this case however it was really well deserved win for Julian Alaphilippe. He initiated the decisive move on the Poggio, he did much of the work afterwards along with Michal Kwiatkowski and then won the sprint. What more can we ask. Amazed by Oliver Naesen and Wout Van Aert too, I didn't even know they were in the group. However why the hell did Wout have to chase Trentin, it wasn't his job to do so.

    The great thing once again is that Milan-Sanremo does not end in a bunch sprint, three years in a row, three finishes on the Via Roma and three breakaway prevailling. No need for an additional climb, no need for Le Maniè. Milan-Sanremo on this course is a major classic and a hard one. I guess there's going to be some bunch sprints again in a near future but not as consistently as in the noughties. That was really abnormal back in the days. Back then everybody said I was crazy claiming that Milan-Sanremo was not essentially a race for sprinters and that we were living an abnormal era. Now we seem to be back in the norm. 27 seconds between the winning group and the peloton with all the sprinters, pushed back to 12th place. Really, let me cheer.  :cool :P :lol
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  • Mellow Velo

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #26 on: March 24, 2019, 12:06 »

    The great thing once again is that Milan-Sanremo does not end in a bunch sprint, three years in a row, three finishes on the Via Roma and three breakaway prevailling. No need for an additional climb, no need for Le Maniè. Milan-Sanremo on this course is a major classic and a hard one. I guess there's going to be some bunch sprints again in a near future but not as consistently as in the noughties. That was really abnormal back in the days. Back then everybody said I was crazy claiming that Milan-Sanremo was not essentially a race for sprinters and that we were living an abnormal era. Now we seem to be back in the norm. 27 seconds between the winning group and the peloton with all the sprinters, pushed back to 12th place. Really, let me cheer.  :cool :P :lol

     It seems that puncheur teams have figured out that the best way to get rid of the sprinters is to leave it to one massive effort on the Poggio. Unfortunately, smaller team size and the need to preserve troops for this big push, has meant that the Cipressa has become neutralized.
     Essentially, the "finale" has been further distilled to just the last 10kms of the 290km race.
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  • t-72

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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #27 on: March 24, 2019, 20:37 »
    I think the last time a move on Cipressa went in was in 93 or something (there is one successfull move on the Cipressa since 1982), so it isn't really new that it doesn't work as a launchpad, and then I think you are blaming the 7-man teams for other stuff that happens in the race. Ironically one of the reasons that it is only one successful move that originated on the Cipressa is the fact that the year they included Cipressa, is the one year in almost modern times that the break actually made it. That could count as 2, if you wish...

    I read some interviews with #uae Aleksander Kristoff before the race and for him, Cipressa is the major obstacle, the harder climb and the one he struggles with. The Poggio, in contrast, is considered a much easier climb. I haven't checked with all the other sprinters  :angel but extrapolating a little the Cipressa can still be verdy deciding in how the race is going to end, but we don't see all of the effect of it until the Poggio. The lactic acid in the sprinter's legs is sometimes well hidden on the descent.

     .. and by the way, what's wrong with a bunch sprint ?  :)
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  • t-72

    • Road Captain
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #28 on: March 24, 2019, 21:51 »
    no one added the results yet so here's the accountant on duty:

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  • Drummer Boy

    • Classics Winner
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    Re: Milano - Sanremo
    « Reply #29 on: March 25, 2019, 02:35 »
    https://twitter.com/Cyclocosm/status/1109968870926741504

    An exceptionally astute breakdown for this race, even by Cosmos standards. He really does possess quite the keen eye for details.

     :cool

    How The Race Was Won™ – Milan-Sanremo 2019
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