The 2014 Milan-San Remo may be set for one final change with landslides near Sportorno causing concern for RCS Sport who could be forced to alter the route to safer roads. This would be a minor change in comparison to the inclusion and then removal of the Pompeiana climb which has tipped the balance back toward sprinters and away grand tour specialists. 2009 winner Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) is a starter while Alejandro Valverde will no longer take part in La Primavera and preliminary-favourite. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), has given up hopes for victory.
Sportorno comes 95km from the finish and the change to the route is unlikely to have a bearing on the overall result. The race can pass the town on the Via Aurelia now but with rain expected on both Saturday and Sunday, an alternative course is being looked at. The alternative option is to leave Aurelia before Spotorno, climb above the town and return seaside near Noli.
The gradient of the new climb is only 3% although a final decision is set to be made on Thursday as teams are still deciding on their final rosters for the first Monument of 2014.
"You've got to know the course before you select [your teams]," Team Sky's general manager David Brailsford said.”It's one of the joys of this sport that every year the same race has a different [route], that’s a great side of it, but what would be nice is that the course details come out early enough to make strategies.
"It'd be fair for teams to be given a lot more notice so we can sit down and prepare properly. You can get the riders in the right shape for the race rather than to do what we all do, which is choose riders for the races and wait for the course to come out to see if we got it right or not. If we had it earlier then the riders could prepare better and the racing would be better. Everyone would win."
The 105th edition of Milan-San Remo takes place on Sunday.