This year’s Milan-San Remo will start inside the Vigorelli velodrome and return to the traditional route over the mid-race Turchino climb, before the thrilling ascents of the Cipressa and Poggio reveal the contenders to win on the Via Roma.
The 113th edition of Milan-San Remo will be raced on Saturday March 20, with an official distance of 293km. However the long neutralised ride out of the centre of Milan always means riders spend over 300km and close to seven hours in the saddle.
Last year, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) won on the Via Roma with a late attack coming off the Poggio. He held off the sprinters and left Caleb Ewan and Wout van Aert to fill the lower spots on the podium.
Milan-San Remo once started in the shadows of the imposing white marble Duomo and for the last 20 years has started outside the Castello Sforzesco. The Vigorelli start is slightly out of town but arguably just as iconic.
The 397m-long outdoor velodrome was built in 1935 and is now a protected building as the area is filled with skyscrapers, offices and new apartments. It was bombed during World War II but hosted Fausto Coppi’s Hour Record attempt in 1942. A total of 150 records have been set on the boards, with Jacques Anquetil (1956), Ercole Baldini (1956) and Roger Riviere (1957 and 1958) among the riders to break the Hour Record on the track. In 1986, Francesco Moser set a sea-level Hour Record on a disc-wheel aerobike, having set a new outright record in Mexico two years previously.
Legendary Italian track sprinter Antonio Maspes trained on the Vigorelli and was apparently the only rider able to hold a track stand on the steep 45° banking.
The Vigorelli has hosted 23 Giro d’Italia stage finishes and the finish of Il Lombardia until 1985, when Sean Kelly won. In Italy the Vigorelli is also famous for hosting a Beatles concert in 1965 and Led Zeppelin also played there. The Milan American Football teams currently play on the synthetic grass central pitch, where the 25 Milan-San Remo team presentation and sign-on will be held on March 20.
The 2022 Milan-San Remo route
The 2022 Milan-San Remo will roll out of the Vigorelli early on Saturday morning, with the official start given in via Chiesa Rossa, on the road south to Pavia. A landslide forced the organisers to find a longer more internal route to the coast in recent years but the traditional route returns for 2022, with the Passo del Turchino coming after 130km.
The descent of the Turchino takes the riders to the Mediterranean for the long ride down the coast towards France and San Remo via Varazze, Savona, Albenga, Imperia and San Lorenzo al Mare, where the short capi climbs and the finale of Milan-San Remo begins
The Cipressa was added in 1982 and the Poggio in 1961 to try to hurt the sprinters and give other riders a chance. The result is arguably the most wide open and finely balanced classic of the season, where any scenario can occur, producing an intense crescendo finish.
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Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.
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