2006 Milan-San Remo - Filippo Pozzato
"It's the race I've always dreamed about; the most beautiful day of my life," Pozzato said. "We all worked together well and won. It's incredible, the only year I haven't talked about Sanremo I achieved the win! I haven't got so many supporters, but today I think I made some friends among the tifosi. I'm one of the most criticized riders in Italy, many did not believe in me but now... We're a great team: Bettini made the gap for me, Boonen told me not to give up, ever. To have champions like these work for me is the greatest of all. On the Cipressa I spoke with Tom, I decided to make the pace to the top. Ballan did a great move on the Poggio, and I wanted to work with them, but couldn't... Today I showed that I'm right there; that when I have to make the race I don't pull back. And I'm only 24 years old..."
2007 Milan-San Remo - Oscar Freire
"I didn't find it hard to stay put; I trusted my sprint completely," Freire said after taking the wheel of Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) and then jumping around for the win. "He had a nice little train in front of him with three teammates I knew exactly where I had to be - nobody would have been able to get me away from there."
Tom Boonen, second place, said: "I feel like I'm 85 years old after such a demolishing race. But I felt great during the whole day. On the Cipressa and the Poggio, I wasn't very far behind the best. The team also performed perfectly for the task. I think we were the strongest team in the finale, but in the final sprint, Oscar Freire jumped ahead. Oh well, the best guy won."
"If my back had been okay, maybe there would have been a different result, but that's not an excuse. Also, I hesitated when [Vicente] Reynes and [Robbie] McEwen passed me on the right and the left just when I was about to start the sprint, but that's not an excuse either. There was nothing I could do against Freire, and I'm glad that after a fourth and eighth place I stood on the podium for the first time. That shows me that I'm ready for the rest of the spring season."
2008 Milan-San Remo - Fabian Cancellara
"I started as a big favourite but then I was able to give my most for the win," Cancellara said. "People thought I could do something. But the climbs are there and then the sprint is there. This race is full of stress, but I remained calm and tranquil.
"My attack came from the gut; It was similar to the one I made in Compiègne [to win the stage of the 2007 Tour]."
2009 Milan-San Remo - Mark Cavendish
"I have just won a Monument. It is my first Monument I have ever ridden. I won Milano-Sanremo; it is one of the races you watch growing up. I took a lot of pleasure by winning it when a lot of people had written me off," Cavendish said after narrowly beating Heinrich Haussler to the line.
"There are three moments when I cried after winning. When I won the World Championships on the track for the first time; my first stage in the Tour de France and today. Everything had to go right on those days, and it did. All of them were different, but they all worked out."
There were bitter tears for Haussler: "Satisfied with second? Second place is the first loser. I know my form was good, but f**k."
2010 Milan-San Remo - Oscar Freire
"The statistics say that Milan-San Remo finishes more often than not in a sprint and so the sprinters have to wait for the sprint. There are always attacks, for sure, but there always are a lot of sprinters who want a sprint finish. A team like Liquigas could have done everything, go on the attack or wait for the sprint. They opted for a sprint but we all took advantage of that," Freire said
"When I started the sprint I knew I was in a good position and had good legs for it. I'd been worried about being blocked in like two years ago but this time the right people were up there for the sprint and I found the right wheel. [Daniele] Bennati went, but I don't think he had the legs today."
2011 Milan-San Remo - Matthew Goss
“I really didn’t expect to win,” an emotional Goss said after beating Cancellara. “I just did what I needed to do. I managed to stay in front and even though I was without teammates, I managed myself well.”
"I was here to win, the team rode really well and I tried to finish that off, but I didn’t succeed,” Cancellara said. “I even tried to go alone but everyone was on my wheel. In the end I did one of the best sprints of my life, but Goss was unbeatable.”
2012 Milan-San Remo - Simon Gerrans
"I still haven't realized what we actually did today," Gerrans said. "This is an amazing feeling to win this monument. The team rode perfectly, and we played our cards just the right way."
“I was quite surprised because we didn’t race the Cipressa or the beginning of the Poggio at a fast pace. So I thought there was a good chance the group would come back together if there were attacks. I was surprised we were able to go to the finish line, but that was courtesy of Fabian [Cancellara].
"He was very much racing for the victory, but maybe he underestimated me a bit in the final. By driving and doing so much work on the front of the group, he was committed to get the break to the final but he also thought he had enough to get the win.”
2013 Milan-San Remo - Gerald Ciolek
“It’s unbelievable,” Ciolek said after outsprinting Peter Sagan. “This is an unbelievable success for us and just an incredible day. We just came here as a wildcard and now we’re standing here with the trophy. This is great. I knew I had to follow all the best riders on the Poggio and it worked out perfectly.
Sagan: "I under-estimated him a little bit. I was watching Cancellara, who was trying to break free, and maybe I did too much work. Ciolek stayed in the wheels and he took my wheel to do the sprint and was able to beat me. I went too early in the sprint and I left it on a plate for Ciolek."
2014 Milan-San Remo - Alexander Kristoff
"The team did incredible work. Katusha was absolutely amazing during the entire race - each of my teammates was great. Luca Paolini helped me a lot in the final to get a good position for the sprint. It was a very difficult and unpredictable sprint. A sprint after 300km is different from one after 200km," Kristoff said
"Normally I don't lose much power even on a long stage. I saw [Mark] Cavendish, who started his sprint, so I started mine, too. For the last 150 meters I had super power and was able to hold the others off. I was super happy when I saw I'd taken the win. It was the best moment in my life. Right now I'm enjoying this moment and I'm super happy. It's the highlight of my career."
Vincenzo Nibali rued getting no help in breaking up the peloton on the Cipressa. "Maybe it was a lack of courage, a lack of legs or maybe because of the cold, I wouldn’t know,” Nibali said. “There were a lot of sprinters still there on the Poggio, like Cavendish, so I don’t know what happened behind. The word in the bunch was to try and make San Remo a lot more difficult in the finale because there wasn’t Le Manie or the Pompeiana this year.
“I think I did a good race and it would have been pointless for me to wait for the sprint. Maybe if I’d known it would be like that, I could have waited for the Poggio but it was very difficult. I was waiting for an ally and I turned around a few times to see if anyone was coming but there was nothing.”
2015 Milan-San Remo - John Degenkolb
“It was a really tough race, a beautiful victory. It’s a race that really suits me, it’s perfect for me and now it’s mine,” Degenkolb said after topping Alexander Kristoff in the sprint. “The team helped me perfectly as far as the Poggio. I was always near the front positions on the descent and then I just gave it my all in the sprint.”
“Luca Paolini did great work for me. On the Poggio, he was fantastic and he practically brought me all the way to Via Roma. He led me out wonderfully and I gave it my all,” Kristoff said. “Unfortunately, Degenkolb passed me on a slightly uphill finishing straight. Those last 50 metres seemed liked they’d never end. Maybe I went too early…”
“I followed Sagan on the Poggio to stay with him but it wasn’t the moment,” third placed MIchael Matthews said. “Kristoff was strong in the finale but I left it too late in the sprint. I had good legs in the finale, maybe I was the fastest. It’s one of the best results of my career but I’m disappointed.”
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