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Gallery: At the start of Milan-San Remo

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Mark Cavendish is race number 141 at Milan-San Remo

Mark Cavendish is race number 141 at Milan-San Remo
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Mark Cavendish is race number 141 at Milan-San Remo

Mark Cavendish is race number 141 at Milan-San Remo
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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2013 winner Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) seemed happy to race in the rain again

2013 winner Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) seemed happy to race in the rain again
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) was prepared for the expected rain

Filippo Pozzato (Lampre-Merida) was prepared for the expected rain
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Vincenzo Nibali smiles at the start

Vincenzo Nibali smiles at the start
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Riders sign-on for Milan-San Remo

Riders sign-on for Milan-San Remo
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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A relaxed Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) awaits the start

A relaxed Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) awaits the start
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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A tense Mark Cavendish heads to the sign-on

A tense Mark Cavendish heads to the sign-on
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Norwegian champion Thor Hushovd (BMC)

Norwegian champion Thor Hushovd (BMC)
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr) is an outsider for a sprint finish

Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr) is an outsider for a sprint finish
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Bernhard Eisel is Team Sky's road captain

Bernhard Eisel is Team Sky's road captain
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Former winner Mario Cipollini was at the start in Milan

Former winner Mario Cipollini was at the start in Milan
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)
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Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was quiet before the riders rolled out of Milan

Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was quiet before the riders rolled out of Milan
(Image credit: Stephen Farrand)

The peloton gathered under rainy skies for the start of the 2014 Milan-San Remo on Sunday morning. The 9°C and rain may not have been optimal conditions for the 299km race, but they were significantly better than last year's freezing cold and heavy snow.

There were lots of smiles on the faces of the bundled-up riders as they prepared to take off from the Arco della Pace in Milan for the first major Classic of the season.

Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) proudly wore the number one dossard and dreamed of repeating his upset victory from 2013. Top stars and favourites including Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) were also amonst those signing in.

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