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Turgis: When you see that the victory is within reach, it's a bit frustrating

Secondplaced Team Total Direct Energies Anthony Turgis of France stands on the podium after the 113th MilanSan Remo oneday classic cycling race on March 19 2022 between Milan and San Remo northern Italy Photo by Marco BERTORELLO AFP Photo by MARCO BERTORELLOAFP via Getty Images
Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) on the podium after Milan-San Remo (Image credit: MARCO BERTORELLOAFP via Getty Images)

Is Anthony Turgis perhaps the least-discussed Milan-San Remo podium finisher in recent memory? With Peter Sagan on his TotalEnergies team and other superstars like Tadej Pogačar, Wout van Aert, and Mathieu van der Poel racing – and then Matej Mohorič's dropper post-assisted victory – it was perhaps no surprise that the Frenchman has flown under the radar.

While Mohorič was out front soloing to the win on the Via Roma, Turgis wasn't far behind having jumped out of the big-name chase group just a few seconds back down the road. He led home the chase behind the winner, at just two seconds down the best of the rest.

The 27-year-old Turgis has six wins on his palmarès and was a sprint off a Tour of Flanders podium spot two years ago, but second at La Classicissima is his biggest result yet. However, speaking after the race he appeared more frustrated than overjoyed with the race outcome.

"We came here to win," Turgis told Cyclism'Actu (opens in new tab) afterwards. "When you see that the victory is within reach and in the legs, it's a bit frustrating.

"We'll say that it was a very good day too, we mustn't see only the negative. It's a very good omen for the future for me."

Bad luck hit TotalEnergies in the middle of the final when Sagan hit a mechanical hitch on the quick run to the Cipressa. The three-time world champion wouldn't see the front of the race again, eventually rolling home at six minutes down.

Turgis, then, was left up front for the French squad, racing alongside Daniel Oss and local hero Niccolò Bonifazio. He assumed leadership and rode a good race into San Remo to take that second-place finish.

"It went very fast," Turgis said of those last 30 kilometres. "At the top of the Cipressa, there were only about 40 riders, and I knew it was going to be very hard. We left one or two riders with me because we knew that the positioning was very important.

"When I saw that Mohorič was making the descent, I told myself that the other riders would not leave too much of a gap. At the bottom of the descent, we were just a bit short."

So far in his career, Turgis has put together a good Classics result here and there – a second in Dwars door Vlaanderen in 2019, fourth at the Tour of Flanders in 2020, second in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne last season – but hasn't yet scored a big win.

Last spring was certainly his most consistent so far, scoring top 10s at San Remo, Gent-Wevelgem, Dwars, and the Tour of Flanders. Now, with another year of racing experience under his belt, could this be his year to score big?

"I know I have the ability to win. I just need to have a good day and for the planets to align," he said. 

"Not that much actually," he replied when asked what he's missing. "Being able to read the race well is an example of that. I know I have the capabilities to win in a race like the Tour of Flanders.

"I certainly have to have a good day, but then I also have to go with the flow of race. In the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad earlier this year that wasn't possible because of punctures and a crash."

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Daniel Ostanek is production editor at Cyclingnews, having joined in 2017 as a freelance contributor and later being hired as staff writer. Before Cyclingnews, he was published in numerous publications around the cycling world, including Procycling, CyclingWeekly, CyclingTips, Cyclist, and Rouleur, among others. As well as reporting and writing news and features, Daniel runs the 'How to watch' content throughout the season.

Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France, and has interviewed a number of the sport's biggest stars, including Egan Bernal, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Mark Cavendish, and Anna van der Breggen. Daniel rides a 2002 Landbouwkrediet Colnago C40 and his favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Vuelta a España.