Professional riders will not race Milan-San Remo on Saturday due to the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic and the strict social distancing measures in place in Italy, but a 'virtual' edition of La Primavera, open to the public, will be contested on Saturday thanks to race organiser RCS Sport, Garmin and Tacx in Italy.
More than 1,200 people, including 2018 Milan-San Remo winner Vincenzo Nibali, 2006 winner Filippo Pozzato and 1993 winner Maurizio Fondriest have all signed up for the online event. Tour of Flanders winner Alberto Bettiol of EF Pro Cycling, Ivan Basso and Italian national coach Davide Cassani will also take part, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The virtual ride will be held between 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. CET and has been made for those who have a Garmin Edge cycling computer and a smart home trainer. Registration is currently in Italian and not expected to be in English or other languages due to time constraints. However, using the Garmin Connect app makes the process easier.
If you don't have a Garmin device but do have a Tacx home trainer, it is also possible to take part using the Tacx app, with the final 88km of the Milan-San Remo available in Movie mode so you can see the roads along the Ligurian coast. The official GPX file can also be downloaded here.
The Garmin virtual route runs from Alassio to San Remo, covering the 57km of the official race route. It includes the three short Mela, Cervo and Berta Capi climbs, the Cipressa and of course the final Poggio climb, before the descent to San Remo and the finish in the central Via Roma.
The virtual ride has been created by RCS Sport and Garmin to offer the thousands of Italian riders obliged to say indoors as part of the strict national decree designed to limit the spread of the Covid-19 virus and reduce the medical and social implications. It is likely that similar events will be held on stages of the Giro d'Italia as part of an agreement between RCS Sport and Garmin/Tacx.
A special #iopedalodacasa - #irideathome - hastag has been created to promote cycling at home during the Covid-19 crisis, with RCS sport giving a 20 Euro discount for the Il Lombardia Gran Fondo ride to every entrant who use the official Garmin registration and devices.