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Gerrans wins in Milan-San Remo

Susan Westemeyer

Australian national champ outsprints Cancellara, Nibali

Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge) captured an enthralling Milan-San Remo, outsprinting Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) at the end of the race. The three had gotten away on the final climb, the Poggio, and maintained a narrow lead to the end.

"I still haven't realized what we actually did today," said Gerrans. "This is an amazing feeling to win this monument. The team rode perfectly, and we played our cards just the right way."

The first decisive moment in the race came on La Manie, as World Champion Mark Cavendish fell back, and despite the great efforts of his teammates and in particular Matt Hayman, he was unable to rejoin the favourites. The Cipressa, the penultimate climb, saw no changes, but as so often happens, the Poggio played the deciding role.

Several attacks were made but the key moment came as Nibali and Gerrans attacked close to the summit. Cancellara quickly joined them, and from then on there was little doubt as to the race's outcome. The Swiss rider was unable to drop his companions though, either on the descent or the final flat run-in, and having led most for most of the finale, couldn't summon up the last bit of strength to beat Gerrans.

"We rode as a team all day. The guys were always looking after one another and making sure that Gossy was in the right position at the key moments. Simon had free reign to cover any big moves, and he certainly did. Boys rode super today. I'm very, very proud, " said GreenEdge's Matt White.

A moment of silence

The race started with a minute’s silence for the victims of the coach crash in Switzerland earlier this week.

But the racing began when a group of nine got away 21 kilometers into the race: Cheng Ji (Project 1t4i), Juan Pablo Suarez (Colombia-Coldeportes), Dmitriy Gruzdev (Astana), Angelo Pagani (Colnago-CSF), Vergard Stake Laengen (Team Type 1), Juan Jose Oroz (Euskaltel), Pierpaolo De Negri (Farnese Vini), Michael Mørkøv (Saxo Bank) and Oleg Berdos (UtensilNord). Their advantage ran out to 13 minutes.

With just under 100 kilometers to go, La Manie loomed, and as GreenEdge and Liquigas set the pace, the most notable victim was none other than Cavendish, who fell off the back of the field. Bernhard Eisel worked long and hard to try and bring his Sky teammate back up, while those at the head of the field increased their speed.

A serious crash with about 78 kilometers to go saw Carlos Quintero (Colombia Coldeportes) carried into an ambulance with suspected head injuries.

Eventually a group formed around Cavendish – he was not the only one to suffer – but even that proved futile.

BMC moved to the front and along with Omega Pharma-Quick Step kept the pace high. Philippe Gilbert put in a turn or two at the front, looking very comfortable.

With 60 kilometers to go, the break was caught by the chasing field. Behind them, and some 10 kilometers later, Cavendish called off the chase. He thanked his teammates for their work.

Favourites charge up Cipressa

BMC led the charge up the Cipressa, with Liquigas moving in to help. As they neared the top, the expected attacks came. The first to go was Francisco Javier Villa of UtensilNord-Named, with Vacansoleil's Johnny Hoogerland catching him. They gradually pulled away, causing Liquigas to pick up its speed again.

A crash with 22 kilometers to go took down Philippe Gilbert, amongst others. The Belgian champion was back on his bike again quickly but his chances of victory were over.

Hoogerland led the way on the descent, but the chasers were catching up. By the time they hit the bottom, a group including Tom Boonen, Cancellara and Daniele Oss came up and caught the two escapees.

The favourites all re-grouped on the seven flat kilometers between the Cipressa and the Poggio. Rabobank jumped into the lead with 11 to go, setting a blistering pace as they headed up the climb. Valerio Agnoli of Liquigas jumped out of the field, soon followed by Movistar's Angel Madrazo, as Rabo kept pace.

Madrazo pulled away from Agnoli on the steep, twisting climb. Hoogerland jumped again and Agnoli fell back into the field. Nibali and Gerrans were the next to go and quickly took the lead, with the Italian giving his all. Cancellara joined them, and the three forced a gap as they hit the sharp left hand turn which started the dizzying final descent.

The four-time World time trial champion had a few meters on his companions as they hit the bottom but he didn't pull away, as expected. The trio took a 12 second lead into the final two kilometers, with Katusha leading the furious chase.

Cancellara led out the sprint but Gerrans moved around to the right to take it by a nose, the second Australian victory in a row. A crash in the chasing field within sight of the finish line saw Omega Pharma-Quick Step's Trentin hit the barriers. Peter Sagan (Liquigas) won the sprint of the field, with John Degenkolb of Project 1t4i rounding out the top five.

Full Results

# Rider Name (Country) Team Result
1 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Greenedge Cycling Team 6:59:24  
2 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Radioshack-Nissan    
3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale    
4 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:02  
5 John Degenkolb (Ger) Project 1T4I    
6 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
7 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Katusha Team    
8 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
9 Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale    
10 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Radioshack-Nissan    
11 Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Katusha Team    
12 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team 0:00:12  
13 Simon Geschke (Ger) Project 1T4I    
14 Oscar Gatto (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
15 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Greenedge Cycling Team 0:00:20  
16 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team    
17 Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Astana Pro Team    
18 Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team    
19 Koen De Kort (Ned) Project 1T4I    
20 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
21 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team    
22 Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
23 Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
24 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox    
25 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling    
26 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
27 Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
28 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar Team    
29 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team    
30 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Sky Procycling    
31 Matti Breschel (Den) Rabobank Cycling Team    
32 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
33 George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team    
34 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
35 Francesco Reda (Ita) Acqua & Sapone    
36 Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar Team    
37 Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
38 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha Team    
39 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale    
40 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Greenedge Cycling Team    
41 Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
42 Simone Ponzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team    
43 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD    
44 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox 0:00:31  
45 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:01:05  
46 Patxi Javier Vila Errandonea (Spa) Utensilnord Named 0:01:24  
47 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
48 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:01:35  
49 Francesco Failli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
50 Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
51 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team    
52 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team 0:01:48  
53 Dominique Rollin (Can) FDJ-Big Mat    
54 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Radioshack-Nissan    
55 José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team    
56 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
57 Andrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team    
58 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre - ISD    
59 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre - ISD    
60 Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
61 Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank Cycling Team    
62 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
63 Danilo Di Luca (Ita) Acqua & Sapone    
64 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
65 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo Bank    
66 Elia Favilli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
67 Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
68 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Garmin - Barracuda    
69 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:02:20  
70 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:02:41  
71 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale    
72 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Team Saxo Bank    
73 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:02:44  
74 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Team Saxo Bank 0:03:23  
75 Kiel Reijnen (USA) Team Type 1 - Sanofi 0:03:27  
76 Rémi Cusin (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi 0:03:39  
77 William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:04:09  
78 Grégory Rast (Swi) Radioshack-Nissan 0:04:44  
79 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Radioshack-Nissan    
80 Steve Chainel (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
81 Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin - Barracuda 0:05:37  
82 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team 0:07:37  
83 Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep 0:07:43  
84 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
85 Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
86 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
87 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team    
88 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:09:28  
89 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team    
90 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team    
91 Frederik Willems (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
92 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team    
93 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
94 Baden Cooke (Aus) Greenedge Cycling Team    
95 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team    
96 Paolo Bailetti (Ita) Utensilnord Named    
97 Juan Pablo Suarez Suarez (Col) Colombia - Coldeportes    
98 Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
99 Andreas Klier (Ger) Garmin - Barracuda    
100 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:14:39  
101 Frederico Rocchetti (Ita) Utensilnord Named 0:15:54  
102 Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia 0:17:04  
103 Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol Team 0:20:18  
104 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team    
105 Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin - Barracuda    
106 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
107 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin - Barracuda    
108 Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale    
109 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Barracuda    
110 Robert Wagner (Ger) Radioshack-Nissan    
111 Hayden Roulston (NZl) Radioshack-Nissan    
112 David Millar (GBr) Garmin - Barracuda    
113 Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team    
114 Murilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) Garmin - Barracuda    
115 Marzio Bruseghin (Ita) Movistar Team    
116 Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Radioshack-Nissan    
117 Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
118 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol Team    
119 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
120 Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
121 Jeffry Johan Romero Corredor (Col) Colombia - Coldeportes    
122 Oleg Berdos (Mda) Utensilnord Named    
123 Juan Pablo Forero Carreno (Col) Colombia - Coldeportes    
124 Filippo Baggio (Ita) Utensilnord Named    
125 Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
126 Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Vacansoleil-Dcm Pro Cycling Team    
127 Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Colombia - Coldeportes    
128 Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
129 Arnaud Gerard (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat    
130 Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale    
131 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha Team    
132 Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
133 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
134 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
135 Jure Kocjan (Slo) Team Type 1 - Sanofi    
136 Julien El Fares (Fra) Team Type 1 - Sanofi    
137 Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Type 1 - Sanofi    
138 Tom Veelers (Ned) Project 1T4I    
139 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Project 1T4I    
140 Cheng Ji (Chn) Project 1T4I    
141 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol Team    
142 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
143 Diego Caccia (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
144 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Selle Italia    
145 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:23:02  
146 Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale    
147 Marco Coledan (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox    
148 Gianluca Maggiore (Ita) Utensilnord Named    
149 Daniele Righi (Ita) Lampre - ISD    
DNF Stuart O'grady (Aus) Greenedge Cycling Team    
DNF Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu) Greenedge Cycling Team    
DNF Svein Tuft (Can) Greenedge Cycling Team    
DNF Matthew Wilson (Aus) Greenedge Cycling Team    
DNF Claudio Corioni (Ita) Acqua & Sapone    
DNF Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Acqua & Sapone    
DNF Paolo Ciavatta (Ita) Acqua & Sapone    
DNF Francesco Ginanni (Ita) Acqua & Sapone    
DNF Danilo Napolitano (Ita) Acqua & Sapone    
DNF Fabio Taborre (Ita) Acqua & Sapone    
DNF Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team    
DNF Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz) Astana Pro Team    
DNF Franck Osorio (Col) Colombia - Coldeportes    
DNF Luis Felipe Laverde Jimenez (Col) Colombia - Coldeportes    
DNF Victor Hugo Pena Grisales (Col) Colombia - Coldeportes    
DNF Carlos Julian Quintero (Col) Colombia - Coldeportes    
DNF Marco Canola (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox    
DNF Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox    
DNF Paolo Locatelli (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox    
DNF Angelo Pagani (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox    
DNF Filippo Savini (Ita) Colnago - Csf Inox    
DNF Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
DNF Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
DNF Gabriel Rasch (Nor) FDJ-Big Mat    
DNF Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha Team    
DNF Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha Team    
DNF Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre - ISD    
DNF Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre - ISD    
DNF Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - ISD    
DNF Davide Vigano (Ita) Lampre - ISD    
DNF Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale    
DNF Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale    
DNF Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team    
DNF Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
DNF Roy Curvers (Ned) Project 1T4I    
DNF Roger Kluge (Ger) Project 1T4I    
DNF Thomas Leezer (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team    
DNF Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team    
DNF Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling    
DNF Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling    
DNF Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky Procycling    
DNF Jeremy Hunt (GBr) Sky Procycling    
DNF Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky Procycling    
DNF Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling    
DNF Jonas Aaen Jörgensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
DNF David Tanner (Aus) Team Saxo Bank    
DNF Gabriele Bosisio (Ita) Utensilnord Named    
DNF Matteo Fedi (Ita) Utensilnord Named    
DNF Daniele Colli (Ita) Team Type 1 - Sanofi    
DNF Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) Team Type 1 - Sanofi    
DNF Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Type 1 - Sanofi