Due to some detours this year's Milano-Sanremo was a little bit longer than in the past years, 298 kilometres to be exact. Or is it? Not according to Rabobank's Grischa Niermann. His cycling computer showed 302 kilometres, "and that's without the ten-kilometre neutral start." Niermann wrote on his website, grischa-niermann.de, despite the fact that he had never before ridden that far, the "race went by very quickly."
He did acknowledge that "it's a funny feeling when you take over at the front after 50 kilometres and there are still 250 left to go." Niermann's job was to lead the peloton from kilometre 50 all the way to the new climb of le Mànie (kilometre 200). He did that together with compatriot Martin Müller (Milram) and the two ensured that the gap of the break never grew to much more than 16 minutes.
With the work for the team and his captain, Oscar Freire, accomplished, Niermann wanted to get to the finish nonetheless, partially because of getting the miles in. But there were a few times where he had to scramble to stay in touch with the peloton. Finally, "after 275 kilometres, going up the Cipressa, I paid for the work on the front and finished the race in a group behind." Until then, things went well for the team. Freire was in the decisive group coming down the Poggio. "But when you are the top favourite it still doesn't mean you can win in the end," explained Niermann and added that "even Freire didn't have an answer to the decisive attack by Fabian Cancellara." Niermann concluded that "maybe it'll work next year again. I really had fun at the race and I surely will be back here."
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