Kristoff wins Milan-San Remo

Cancellara and Swift round out top three

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) won the 105th Milan-San Remo taking the sprint ahead of Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and Ben Swift (Team Sky). He easily pulled away in the closing meters after a perfect leadout from his teammate Luca Paolini.

It was the biggest career win for Kristoff, who became the first Norwegian to win the race.

As expected, the race once again came down to a mass sprint, with most of the top names making it through to the end. However, Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) finished only fifth, last year's winner Gerald Ciolek (MTN Qhubeka) ninth, and heavy favourite Peter Sagan (Cannondale) only 10th in a rain-affected race that split and regrouped several times as the peloton tackled a more traditional looking edition of the race.

The top sprinters had all survived up until the foot of the final climb of the Poggio, at which point an attack from Vincenzo Nibali - who had attacked on the Cipressa - was neutralised. John Degenkolb unluckily punctured near the base of the climb but Team Sky, BMC and Belkin all attempted to split the field on the fast run-in to Sam Remo. It was Katusha who took control. Paolini powered to the front inside the final kilometre at a crucial moment when discipline and calmness were required.

Omega Pharma tried to position Cavendish on the right hand side and although he had enough power to overtake an fading Sacha Modolo, he was powerless to stop Kristoff from charging for the line in a sprint reminiscent of Oscar Friere's last win here in 2010.

Wet, wet, wet

The riders were served a taste of the conditions they would face during the race as they headed to the sign-in close to the Arco della Pace at the end of Corso Sempione. Showers and grey skies alternated in rapid frequency, with riders covered in rain jackets, leg warmers and gloves.

The riders rolled out from central Milan at 9:50 am as planned, with the official race start on the edge of the city in Via della Chiesa Rossa. With the 8.5km transfer and the 294km race route, the riders covered over 300km.

The roads and the Milan tram tracks were wet and slippery, with Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) crashing. He hurt his elbow and was forced to quit the race before it had officially begun.

The attacks came as soon as the flag as dropped, with Maarten Tjallingii (Belkin), Jan Barta (Netapp-Endura) the first to jump away. David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) was keen to get in the move in what is his final Milan-San Remo. However he was chased down and teammate Nathan Haas jumped across as a breakaway of seven riders formed.

The peloton was looking for a controlled race and let the magnificent seven go and they quickly gained a minute. The seven were Matteo Bono (Lampre Merida), Haas (Garmin-Sharp), Nicola Boem (Bardiani-CSF), Antonio Parrinello (Androni Giocattoli), Tjallingii (Belkin), Barta (NetApp-Endura) and Marc de Maar (UnitedHealthCare).

By the time the riders reached Pavia, after 35km, the break already had a gap of seven minutes. It reached 10 minutes after 45km but then the peloton began to react, with the first hour of the race covered at 47.7km/h.

Cannondale led the pursuit, with additional help from several other teams. However occasional rain showers dampened their enthusiasm and soaked the riders. A hailstorm also hit the race on the gradual slopes of the Passo Turchino, with temperatures falling to 5 degrees Celsius, but the gradual climb up from the Lombardy plain did little to change the race.

The break emerged from the 180m long Passo Turchino tunnel with a lead of eight minutes and a view of the Mediterranean offered hope of a dry finale. However it was not to be and spring had not yet arrived on the Italian Riviera. The rain returned as the riders headed west along the Aurelia coast road. Eating and drinking would be as vital as riding a tactically perfect race.

Peter Sagan stopped for a mechanical problem but was soon on his way and his Cannondale team continued to work on the front, with help from Orica-GreenEdge, Giant-Shimano and Trek Factory Racing.

As the riders reached the 175km point of the race, with still more than 100km to go, Boem struggled at the back of the break with cramp. All the seven breakaway riders were fatigued and wet after making a huge effort together, an effort of glory and sacrifice for their teammates rather than of personal ambition.

Before the second feed zone, at 70km to go, the break was reduced to just five riders. First Boem was dropped, then Haas sat up after an unfortunate puncture. After five hours of racing, much of it in the rain, the average speed was still above 42km/h. The gap between the breakaway and the peloton was down to 6:00 as the first capi climb, the Capo Mele, neared.

The gap was under three minutes as the peloton hit the Capo Berta, with the break down to only three riders. The rain let up as the Cipressa approached but the roads were still wet, and it had rained so heavily at the finish that the road was covered with several inches of water, a potentially dangerous situation which organizers hastened to clear away.

The hard conditions took their toll, as reports came through that Omega Pharma-QuickStep was starting to lose its sprint train, although Cavendish was still holding on.

On the Cipressa, Bono was the first to be dropped. Some 1:30 behind them, Cannondale led the way up, stringing out the field and with riders falling off the back with regularity. Nibali took off with 25km to go and quickly picked up a lead on the winding wet road. In no time he had caught and passed Bono.

As the road rose, the gap to the initial break continued to fall. The bad weather didn't seem to bother Nibali, who calmly made his way up to the two remaining leaders, catching and passing them with 20km left.

More and more riders tried to jump away from the chasing group, but Cannondale did their best to hold things together with Alessandro De Marchi providing Sagan with crucial support. Nibali built his lead up to 49 seconds with 15km to go, as Tjallingii tried unsuccessfully to follow.

Sky moved up to the front of the chase, riding for Edvald Boasson Hagen, and the gap had fallen to 20 seconds with 10km - and the Poggio - still to go. Nibali had started to fade and at the foot of the climb; he only held a 13-second advantage.

Lotto led the furious chase, catching the Astana rider on the ascent with 9km to go, but it was Trek's Fabian Cancellara who took off next with Gregory Rast, along with Enrico Battaglin of Bardiani going clear. There was a brief volley from Gilbert but he was unable to make an impression as up ahead as Rast and Battaglin tried to forge clear. They were caught near the top of the climb and it was Lars Petter Nordhaug (Belkin) and Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) who attempted to split the field on the treacherous descent.

Andre Greipel had lost contact on the climb but bravely fought back before the run-in to the line.

With 2km to go, many of the top names were still there as the mass sprint was set up. Katusha led the way to the 1km marker. Gilbert shot up the left hand side, and Cavendish put in his shot, but it was Kristoff who took the win with the Norwegian pulling away in the closing meters for a convincing win.

Full Results

Elite men
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha6:55:56 
2Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek Factory Racing  
3Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky  
4Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Movistar Team  
5Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
6Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
7Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
8Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
9Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN - Qhubeka  
10Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale  
11Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin Sharp  
12Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky  
13Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
14Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Garmin Sharp  
15Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team  
16Yoann Offredo (Fra)  
17Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team  
18Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo  
19Grégory Rast (Swi) Trek Factory Racing  
20Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing  
21Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) IAM Cycling  
22Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
23Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
24André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol  
25Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
26Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Team Europcar0:00:06 
27Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Garmin Sharp0:00:07 
28Davide Appollonio (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:34 
29Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Team Sky  
30Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:00:40 
31Thomas Leezer (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team0:00:54 
32Nicki Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
33Luca Paolini (Ita) Team Katusha0:01:12 
34Arnaud Demare (Fra) Fdj.fr0:01:22 
35Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol  
36Mauro Finetto (Ita) Yellow Fluo  
37Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team0:01:33 
38Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team0:01:35 
39John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano0:01:54 
40Lloyd Mondory (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:09 
41Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team0:02:38 
42Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol  
43Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:03:14 
44Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:03:15 
45Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
46Oscar Gatto (Ita) Cannondale  
47Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:22 
48Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:03:36 
49Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge0:03:50 
50Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN - Qhubeka0:04:10 
51Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team  
52Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Trek Factory Racing0:05:08 
53Marc Demaar (Ned) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
54Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano  
55Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin Sharp0:05:23 
56Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team0:05:29 
57Robert Förster (Ger) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
58Dayer Uberney Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team  
59Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Yellow Fluo  
60Mickael Delage (Fra) Fdj.fr0:05:34 
61Marco Marcato (Ita) Cannondale0:06:03 
62Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale0:06:06 
63Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:06:20 
64Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:06:23 
65Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky  
66Diego Rosa (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
67Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team Netapp - Endura  
68Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling  
69Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo  
70Hayden Roulston (NZl) Trek Factory Racing  
71Nicolas Roche (Irl) Tinkoff-Saxo  
72Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM Cycling0:07:49 
73Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Giant-Shimano  
74Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team0:07:51 
75Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Team Katusha0:10:04 
76Pavel Brutt (Rus) Team Katusha  
77Kiel Reijnen (USA) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
78Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
79Klaas Lodewyck (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
80Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano  
81Robert Wagner (Ger) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team  
82Johan Le Bon (Fra)  
83Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Lampre-Merida  
84Jos Van Emden (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team  
85Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra)  
86Dries Devenyns (Bel) Team Giant-Shimano  
87Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing  
88Jaco Venter (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
89Svein Tuft (Can) Orica GreenEdge  
90Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano0:11:42 
91Jan Barta (Cze) Team Netapp - Endura  
92Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol  
93Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling  
94Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
95Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar  
96Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
97Marco Coledan (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
98Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin Sharp  
99Karsten Kroon (Ned) Tinkoff-Saxo  
100Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
101David Boucher (Fra) Fdj.fr0:14:33 
102Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team Netapp - Endura  
103Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Movistar Team  
104Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka  
105Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp0:17:59 
106Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Androni Giocattoli  
107Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
108Rick Flens (Ned) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team  
109Christopher Jones (USA) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
110Rafael Andriato (Bra) Yellow Fluo  
111Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing  
112Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
113Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek Factory Racing  
114Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFIgnatas Konovalovas (Ltu) MTN - Qhubeka  
DNFLouis Meintjes (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
DNFDaniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka  
DNFJay Robert Thomson (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
DNFSteve Chainel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFPatrick Gretsch (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFMatteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFOmar Bertazzo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFMarco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFAntonio Parrinello (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFGianfranco Zilioli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFEnrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFFrancesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFAndrea Guardini (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFMaxim Iglinsky (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
DNFAlexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
DNFEnrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFNicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFMarco Canola (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFFilippo Fortin (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFStefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFJonathan Hivert (Fra) Belkin-Pro Cycling Team  
DNFMichael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
DNFPeter Velits (Svk) BMC Racing Team  
DNFDanilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
DNFMaciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale  
DNFDamiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale  
DNFAlan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale  
DNFPaolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Cannondale  
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra)  
DNFArthur Vichot (Fra)  
DNFNathan Haas (Aus) Garmin Sharp  
DNFDavid Millar (GBr) Garmin Sharp  
DNFStefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling  
DNFMartin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling  
DNFMatteo Pelucchi (Ita) IAM Cycling  
DNFThomas Lövkvist (Swe) IAM Cycling  
DNFDiego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFMatteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFManuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFLuca Wackermann (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFLars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol  
DNFPim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Belisol  
DNFJelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNFAndrey Amador Bakkazakova (CRc) Movistar Team  
DNFJose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFEnrique Sanz (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFJasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team  
DNFIljo Keisse (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
DNFMichal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
DNFAlessandro Petacchi (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
DNFMark Renshaw (Aus) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
DNFMatteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
DNFBrett Lancaster (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
DNFMathew Hayman (Aus) Orica GreenEdge  
DNFJens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica GreenEdge  
DNFBryan Coquard (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFJerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFTony Hurel (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFVincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFBryan Naulleau (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFBjorn Thurau (Ger) Team Europcar  
DNFTom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano  
DNFAlbert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano  
DNFVladimir Gusev (Rus) Team Katusha  
DNFAlexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha  
DNFGatis Smukulis (Lat) Team Katusha  
DNFAngel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Team Katusha  
DNFIker Camano Ortuzar (Spa) Team Netapp - Endura  
DNFDavid De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Team Netapp - Endura  
DNFZakkari Dempster (Aus) Team Netapp - Endura  
DNFErick Rowsell (GBr) Team Netapp - Endura  
DNFPaul Voss (Ger) Team Netapp - Endura  
DNFDario Cataldo (Ita) Team Sky  
DNFChristian Knees (Ger) Team Sky  
DNFGabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Sky  
DNFGeraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky  
DNFRoman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo  
DNFMichael Morkov (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
DNFLucas Euser (USA) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
DNFDavide Frattini (Ita) Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team  
DNFDaniele Colli (Ita) Yellow Fluo  
DNFFrancesco Failli (Ita) Yellow Fluo  
DNFSimone Ponzi (Ita) Yellow Fluo  
DNFMatteo Rabottini (Ita) Yellow Fluo  
DNFFabio Taborre (Ita) Yellow Fluo  


Related Articles

Back to top