Buongiorno and welcome to the Cyclingnews full live coverage of Milan-San Remo.
As the Cyclingnews blimp takes height the riders are signing on in front of the Milan Castello.
It is sunny but only 6C.
🕵️♀️ @mathieuvdpoel 🇳🇱#TirrenoAdriatico pic.twitter.com/w5dweyRyCtMarch 20, 2021
Teams started signing in an hour or so ago.
Jumbo-Visma are the last to sign on. The riders are now gathering for the roll out of central Milan.
Milan is in lockdown and there are few crowds at the start.
The new president of the Italian Federation drops the flag and the riders roll out.
Here we go. Andiamo! The riders face a transfer of 7.6km to the southern outskirts of the city.
The riders have to be careful on the many tram tracks in the roads. At least one rider usually goes down.
We can see several Novo Nordisk riders up front near the race directors car.
They will want to jump in the early break just like last year.
♥️♦️♣️♠️ Aces Poker.#MilanoSanremo pic.twitter.com/cGuu2zUl1kMarch 20, 2021
Riders are wrapped with arm warmers, gillet and even leg warmers to avoid the morning cold.
Milan-San Remo starts outside the city, alongside the Naviglio Pavese canal.
The early editions of the race started outside a local trattoria here over 100 years ago.
When the race starts the rider face 299km in the saddle, making for a total of over 300km. Milan-San Remo is the longest race of the season.
Julian Alaphilippe is sat near the back of the peloton.
He has a great chance of being the first world champion to win Milan-San Remo since Beppe Saronni back in 1983.
Heinrich Haussler is also near the back and enjoying the roll out.
He went close to victory back in 2009 when Mark Cavendiash came from behind to beat him in the sprint.
Via!!! Via!!! They're off!
Race director Stefan Allocchio waves a flag and his race car surges away.
We have the first attacks.
As expected Novo Nordisk is on the attack.
Andrea Peron is the Nordisk rider out front alone.
Other riders are trying to join him.
The peloton seems to have eased with some riders blocking the road. We'll see if the break is allowed to go away.
There are seven riders in the attack.
They lead by 30 seconds as the peloton blocks the road.
The race is already underway. Good luck, #AlpecinFenix boys! 🔵🔴🇮🇹 #MilanoSanremo pic.twitter.com/LzxrkwUojmMarch 20, 2021
Nordisk have two riders in the attack. Androni have a rider with another rider chasing to get on.
290km to go
Don't tell the break away but they still have 290km to race.
Several Jumbo riders are on the front of the peloton, slowing the speed to allow the break to go away.
Some riders decide its time to take a natural break.
Interestingly, Trek-Segafredo have Nicola Conci in the early break.
The peloton is already 2:30 behind as the break begins to work together doing turns of about a minute each.
This year's race route follows the traditional direction south towards the coast. however a landslide means they will not climb the Passo Turchino and then drop down to Genoa.
Instead the race route cuts west after Tortona and the climbs through Maritime Alps via the Passo di Giovo before descending to the Ligurian coast road near Savona.
This is the route map.
Interestingly there is also a Movistar rider and an Intermarché - Wanty rider in the attack.
Filippo Tagliani is the Androni rider chasing to get on. He is almost there but has made a serious effort.
Two riders from the break slow for a natural break and that helps Filippo Tagliani get on.
He swaps a first pump with his teammate and so there are now eight riders in the break of the day.
The eight riders in the break are:
Nicola Conci (Trek-Segafredo), Andrea Peron, Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk), Mattia Viel and Filippo Tagliani (Androni-Sidermec), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Taco Van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) and Mathias Norsgaard (Movistar).
The gap to the peloton is up to 6:00.
The peloton is lined out with riders shoulder to shoulder having an early chat as if on a club ride.
We can soon expect some teams to begin the control work to limit the gap the break can open.
280km to go
The break leads by 7:30.
This is the early break, the early heroes of the day.
💥 Fuga | Break🚴♂️ @PlanetCharles, @TacovanderHoorn, @MathiasNorsgaar, @mattiaviel_fp, Filippo Tagliani, @nikconci, @AleTonelli92, @andreaperon88 ⏱️ 6'29" > Gruppo🏁 281 km#MilanoSanremo pic.twitter.com/K9QtP8TggdMarch 20, 2021
The peloton has decided to start the chase after the break pushed out the lead to over 7:00.
However the break is also riding strategically, easing their pace, so the peloton eases too. It will be a pursuit match all the way to the finale of the race.
After 25km, the riders are near Pavia.
The peloton is more lined-out now.
As the race settles, we have the first images from the start.
This is Peter Sagan at the sign on at the Castello. Can he be a contender today? After COVID-19 wrecked his pre-season, it seems unlikely.
Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)
Julian Alaphilippe is racing in the rainbow jersey.
The world champion has not won Milan-San Remo for 28 years.
“For sure it’d be nice if I can win in the rainbow jersey. I’ll fight for that, I’m motivated. We have a strong team and so we’re here to win,” the Frenchman said.
“I think it’ll be hard finale like always. We’ll have to be careful with these two guys (Van Aert and van der Poel) but there are also some other strong riders.
“We also have Sam Bennett, who is motivated if there’s a bunch sprint. We’ll try to get the best result possible for the team.”
Three riders are working on the front of the peloton:
Tim Declerq is there for Deceuninck-QuickStep. The gap is steady at 7:20.
262km to go
Dan here taking over from Stephen.
A reminder of the riders in the break:
Nicola Conci (Trek-Segafredo), Andrea Peron, Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk), Mattia Viel and Filippo Tagliani (Androni-Sidermec), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Taco Van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) and Mathias Norsgaard (Movistar). They have 7'23 over the peloton with 262km to go.
The break are working nicely together as they consolidate their lead at this point. I thought that the peloton would let him have a few more minutes to be honest but the tailwind and the conditions have perhaps woken the bunch up earlier than planned.
As you'd expect it's Tim Declercq who is doing most of the work on the front of the peloton. He's joined by a rider from Alpecin and one of Van Aert's Jumbo Visma teammates and they've just shaved 10 seconds off the break's lead. They might ease off if this continues.
First real glimpse of Mathieu van der Poel right there as we see him tap out a gentle pace in the peloton. He's the out-and-out favourite for today and it's going to be interesting to see who can go with him on the Poggio. Van Aert and Alaphilippe but who else?
The slight pressure on the front of the peloton has meant that the bunch has lined out in single file but the pace is steady rather than spectacular as the race crosses the river Po.
252km to go
The gap continues to drop, albeit slowly, with the break's advantage at 6'46. A few riders from the bunch have started to drop back and pick up bidons and some fuel as we see Peron from the break slip back for a natter with his DS.
Team Novo Nordisk have been the team of the race so far, given that they have two riders in the break and then two more glued to 4th and 5th wheel in the peloton. This race is a great opportunity and advert for their message.
250km to go
250km to go and the gap is at 6'47.
The Belgian press had some salary figures for the top pros on Friday (estimates) with Froome, Sagan among the best paid but what is Tim Declercq worth? Pound-for-pound he's the best domestique in the world for these sort of races. When it comes to stage races then someone like Rowe might be the best as he's a better climber but Tim Declercq is so unique and reliable.
Tim Declercq is basically holding the eight-rider break at 6'54 on his own. Occasionally a rider from Alpecin or Jumbo takes a turn but they're becoming more infrequent as we dip into the final 240km of the race.
Mathieu van der Poel: Wout van Aert has the advantage as he's won Milan-San Remohttps://t.co/j7IaMUU0K9 pic.twitter.com/bXwddCqtZ6March 20, 2021
What can Ineos do here? They have a former winner in Kwiatkowski and Swift who has been on the podium (twice). Watch out for Pidcock too who hasn't raced this far in his career but has the form, as he showed earlier in the season with a string of impressive rides. Ganna is worth watching too.
Lotto Soudal come into the race slightly under the radar but they have some firepower within their ranks. Ewan has been second behind Nibali. Degenkolb won the race is 2015 and Gilbert is Gilbert. Wellens could go on the attack as well.
UAE are here with 2014 winner Kristoff, Trentin, Formolo and Gaviria but their their best chance will come if the race ends in a bunch sprint.
A lot of people will be looking at Sagan today for obvious reasons but he probably doesn't have the form right now. However, watch out for his teammate and two time Paris-Nice winner Maximilian Schachmann. The German might have the power but perhaps not the acceleration to match Van Aert or Van der Poel on the final climb but he's an outside contender, for sure.
Lets hear from a former winner of the race:
Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo)
“Milan-San Remo is always difficult to work out, it can go so many ways.
“For sure there are three big favourites but there’s always a chance, it depends on the other teams. It’s a relatively easy race but so very difficult to get right.
“We’ve got a mixed team, half are from Paris-Nice and like me, the others are from TIrreno-Adriatico. We’ve raced hard and have good form. We’re not the favourite team but we’ll try to do something.
“It’ll depend on how the favourites move, if they go for it on the Poggio or if they move earlier to create a small group for the finish. We’ll decide how to move depending on how the race unfolds.”
224km to go
Just over 220km to go and the gap is at 6'27.
Elia Viviani (Cofidis)
“If I didn’t think I had a chance, I wouldn’t be here.
“Tirreno-Adriatico was useful to find my form. There’s not much time to recover but it helps you bounce back.
“There will probably be attacks from the big favourites on the Poggio. My goal is to be in the group behind with other sprinters and then hope to get back on.
“We’ve got several cards to play at Cofidis. Guillaume Martin can perhaps go with the attacks on the Cipressa, while Christophe Laporte is on form after a good Paris-Nice and is our leader. If he has the legs, he’ll go with the attack on the Poggio or play his cards in the sprint.”
Michael Matthews (BikeExchange)
“It’s pretty hard to forget how my San Remo finished last year. It was not how I’d planned it, with one hand and blood everywhere. But I got away with a podium which is nice. Here we’re ready to go better.
“Yeah, I think I’m an underdog. When you look at the guys at Tirreno, they were on another level. We hope to profit from that and see what happens.”
215km to go
The gap is holding at 6'04 with 215km to go.
A reminder of the riders in the break:
Nicola Conci (Trek-Segafredo), Andrea Peron, Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk), Mattia Viel and Filippo Tagliani (Androni-Sidermec), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Taco Van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) and Mathias Norsgaard (Movistar)
Pidcock is racing MSR but he's also targeting some mountain bike world cups too ahead of the Olympic Games. Pinarello don't have a mountain bike so it will be interesting to see what the Ineos rider uses. Here's the story on his MTB race programme.
Tim Declercq has chipped off another block of time and the break's advantage is down to 5'29 with 207km to go.
Gilbert is near the front too but just keeping out of trouble and surfing the wheels. He's won four of cycling's Monuments but is still looking for a Milan-San Remo title. Can he do it today? He was building up nicely in Paris-Nice but of course came into the year still recovering from his Tour de France crash.
Perfect race conditions out there today with the sun shining and a tailwind once we hit the coast expected.
🇮🇹 #MilanoSanremo It's his final Milano-Sanremo but @PMartens83 is doing the extra mile to control the gap of the breakaway. The leaders have a 5'30" lead with about 200 km to go. pic.twitter.com/lYDJEhFEYlMarch 20, 2021
Mathieu Van der poel (Alpecin-Fenix)
“For sure Milan-San Remo is difficult to win. It’s a long race with an explosive end.
“It all depends on the racing but I think we’ll see some attacks on the Cipressa.
“I think if it’s a hard race then it’s good for me, so I hope for a fast race and explosive finale. Most of the time there’s some a group sprinting for victory but we’ll see.
“Last year Julian (Alaphilippe) and Wout (Van Aert) were the strongest on the Poggio, so they are the favourites for today.”
199km to go
Just inside 199km to go and the gap is 5'36.
Away from this race, Bradley Wiggins' 2012 Tour de France winning bike has been posted on Facebook as someone is looking for some quick cash and a sale. Here's the story.
Deceuninck-QuickStep are just moving Alaphilippe up a bit closer to the front of the race. No real action at this point but they're just making sure that the world champion is well looked after at this point and that he's saving as much energy as possible. 189km to go.
It's worth bookmarking this page to: our home of all things Milan-San Remo.
And if you're interested in the dark web and streaming the race, you can find our super helpful guide to watching Milan-San Remo and VPNs, right here.
Paul Martens, riding his last Milan-San Remo, is on the front and taking more of the workload off QuickStep's shoulders with 185km to go and the gap at 5'39. A few riders pick up supplies from the side of the road as up ahead the break look relatively comfortable.
180km to go. The number 180 almost always makes me think of Jason McAteer and the time he met the snooker player Jimmy White and called out '180'. Poor Jason. Still, he wound up Roy Keane, and scored that incredible goal in 2001 against the Dutch, so it's not all bad.
The day's early break powering along in Milan-San Remo.
177km to go
177km to go and the gap is at 5'30 as a few Movistar jerseys move up. No Valverde today but the Spanish team do have Cortina in their ranks.
We've not talked about them much but EF have sped up and we can see Sergio Andres Higuita and arguably the best kit in the peloton. The American team have Bettiol in their ranks and the Italian has attacked in this race before. The year he won Flanders, actually, I think he attacked on the Cipressa.
Senne Leysen is the Alpecin Fenix rider who is working on the front right now with 171km to go and the gap at 5'39.
Asgreen is fourth wheel and he's got a rather important job today when it comes to keeping Alphilippe fresh and well-placed ahead of the final two climbs. He might also be required if the team want to bring things back for a possible sprint finish.
Teams are starting to organise themselves and there's less and less talking in the main field as pockets start to form with Lotto, Jumbo and EF all visible with little clusters of riders. The pace hasn't changed much but you can tell we've raced for a few hours now.
Memories forever. What a crazy and legendary race with riders frozen to the bone, the pit-bus-stop and the second start. Then the setting sun and the rookie wildcard that becomes champion in Sanremo.March 20, 2021
Tim Declercq has increased his cadence, which is a sure sign that the pace has lifted. 161km to go and the gap is at 5'12.
Yesterday the big news was that former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman, has been struck off. Here's the news on that.
Earlier in the week, former Team Sky rider Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, had some choice words in relation to Dave Brailsford's and Team Sky's zero-tolerance policy. That story is just here.
Paul Martens crops his hands over the drops and pushes the pace up a bit more and that has an instant impact on the break's lead. With 156km to go the gap is at 4'47.
151km to go
The break knows that the pace in the bunch has increased and they're trying to respond with a few longer turns and a bit more urgency and with 150km to go the gap is at 4'34.
Jumbo line out, about 10 back in the bunch, with Wout van Aert at the back of their train. The defending champion has one rider right on the front of the bunch and then a really strong core around him for later.
Meanwhile the ever confident van der Poel is back in the middle of the bunch with just one teammate are around him. His jacket unzipped, which he'll want to get rid of sooner rather than later.
Sagan has dropped back to the Bora car to shed a layer of clothing but he's got plenty of riders around him. He's a dark horse today and can't be ruled out if he's still in contention after the final climb but there's a bit of a question over his form post-COVID and the late start he's had to the season.
A few shoulders starting to rock slightly in the break but they're holding their own as we approach the final 140km of the race. The gap is at 4'30 as we see Bettiol drop back to the team car and drop off jackets for half of his team. Interesting, that and an indication that he's on team duties for today.
Michael Valgren is racing today. He's not raced since crashing out of Besseges but this will be good training for him and the team will be hoping he can take on as many kms as possible and use that as a springboard to re-start his season and ssave his spring Classics.
At the back of the peloton, Van Avermaet and Alaphilippe are working their way back from their respective team cars. We're over half-way through the race.
A slight gradient for the break at the moment. Nothing too steep but after four hours in the saddle this will start to hurt, even if they're riding in the big ring. 138km to go.
Still the same three domestiques on the front of the peloton with 135km to go.
132km to go
A reminder of the riders in the break:
Nicola Conci (Trek-Segafredo), Andrea Peron, Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk), Mattia Viel and Filippo Tagliani (Androni-Sidermec), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Taco Van der Hoorn (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) and Mathias Norsgaard (Movistar)
Trentin is back with the race jury and I think he's asking about when he can throw away a bidon. He gestures as such, with 130km to go.
At the front of the peloton, it's still Tim Declercq who is tapping out the pace as the gap drops down to 4'19.
The bunch start to climb the Colle de Giovi with 127km to go as Gilbert and Ewan ride almost side-by-side in the main peloton. A bit further ahead and Alaphilippe and Higuita sit close by each other. Higuita could certainly feature on the Cipressa and the Poggio.
Formolo grabs some fresh bottles near the front as we Stybar taking care of the world champion and sheltering him from the wind.
Everyone wants to be near the front for this descent that's coming up.
123km to go
Under 125km to go and the gap is down to 3'53.
Some big news breaking. Patrick Lefevere has claimed that Bora tried to buy his team in order to sign Evenepoel. Here's the story.
This descent isn't too technical but we've seen riders lose Milan-San Remo on the early descents before with silly crashes so there's a battle to be at the front and that has seen the gap drop down to 3'40 with 120km to go.
Riders start to take off arm and leg warmers as we head towards the final 100km of this year's Milan-San Remo. 3'26 for the leaders in the break.
More from Lefevere in relation to Bora and their manager Denk:
“In January he suddenly contacted me: ‘Patrick, can we see each other in Brussels?’ I didn't understand why but it was apparently important. In the Sheraton Hotel he told his entire life story: from small bicycle repairman to manager of Bora. Somewhere halfway through, I asked: ‘Ralph, it’s all very moving, but why are we here?’ The former small bicycle repairman got to the point: ‘What is your price for us to take over Deceuninck - Quick-Step?’
The story is right here.
We're on the coast now, and with 110km to go the lead for the eight riders up front is 3'17. Paul Martens is starting to really feel it but he remains at the head of the peloton as he pulls the bunch along.
There are some splits in the peloton. 105km to go and we only have about 30 riders in the first part of the peloton.
It doesn't look like there's been a crash but there are groups all over the road.
Alaphilippe has been caught out but Van Aert has made it into the front group.
It looks like about half the field hasn't even made it into the front three groups.
It looks like the bunch hit Savona and then just blew to pieces. The front portion of the peloton has swelled to about 60-70 riders.
Stybar has moved up to third place to take over for QuickStep as the break's advantage drops to just over three minutes.
About 80 riders stopped for a nature break and they included van der Poel and Ewan. Still, there's going to be a chase and it looks like two riders who have come down... Bouhanni is down with one of his teammates, as it finally looks like the peloton have come back together with 99km to go.
99km to go
99km to go and the gap is at 3'18.
Tim Declercq has dropped back for now as Stybar sits in third wheel for now as we see Sam Bennett drop back and take off his jacket. Can the Irishman survive the Cipressa and the Poggio?
Declercq is back on the front after his lunch break as Viviani gets an earful from Gaviria. Not sure what that was about but it didn't look too friendly. Viviani takes it in his stride though.
Just over 200km covered and 97km remaining in this year's Milan-San Remo and it's starting to bubble up nicely.
We're back to having the same three riders on the front with Tim Declercq, Paul Martens (Jumbo) and Senne Leysen (Alpecin) setting the pace and the gap back up to 3'30.
Viviani is back with the Cofidis team car as he picks up some fuel. He's not won since moving to the French team. Imagine if he opened his account with a Milan-San Remo title.
The entire DMS team have moved behind the leading trio. They've got Pedersen and Andersen in their ranks, and Bardet, too, of course.
Just over 90km to go and the race is starting to increase in tension and pace. This is the best one-day race in the men's calendar, especially since they started chopping and changing the Flanders route.
Kwiatkowski, a former winner, has to pull over at the side of the road. It looks like he needs a new bike or some other form of mechanical assistance.
The Ineos rider is back up and running as he makes his way through the team cars. 88km to go and the gap is 3'22.
Denk has now responded to CN in relation to Lefevere's claims.
"If Patrick wants to put pressure on his sponsors with such stories, then this can be a strategy. If you tell the untruth or take something out of context, to get some media attention, then it is for sure not gentleman-like,” Denk told Cyclingnews.
“It’s true that we talked. I wanted to know how the future of his team looks like and where he is at for 2022 and onwards, and he said not good. Then I asked him what Remco would do if Deceuninck-Quickstep would have to close and he told me about his option on him. He then actually did put that in prospect together with two other riders. To buy the team was never a topic.
"What would a team be worth without any rider or sponsorship agreements? We already have an excellent team with Bora-Hansgrohe, where we follow a long-term strategy.”
Trek Segafredo have moved up and they're protecting the interests of former winner Vincenzo Nibali as we hit the final 80km of the race. The break have 3'07.
Matthews has just been paced back to the peloton. He finished third last year despite a crash that meant he was basically sprinting with one hand. He's a real favourite for today but he has to get the tactics spot on and have his best ever legs.
Alaphilippe is back with the cars too, and on his own with 76km to go. He's not in any trouble though.
Almost a crash there because some road furniture isn't properly sign posted or marshaled. 72km to go.
The distance between the break and the peloton is 2.3km or 2'34 in terms of time with 67km to go.
There's a real race to be at the front as we see Asgreen and a gaggle of his teammates move up as one. Up front, in the break, there a few missed turns from riders, so a few tired legs out there. Understandable really.
Sagan and Schachmann are both making their way to the front as well with 64km to go.
The leaders in race have just 2'15 left of their advantage with 61km to go.
Tim Declercq gets on the radio, probably asking for a time check or for some assistance, knowing that his day is almost over before we hit the next set of climbs.
We've hit Allasio and one of the riders from the break has been dropped. It's Viel.
Viel has a team car with him but he's not coming back from here so that's just seven riders up front and the gap is at 1'57 with 58km to go.
This has been such a fast race, right from the start, but the pace has shot up dramatically in the last few moments.
Martens has pulled over. His day is done.
Virtually ever leader is near the front now as we head towards the final 50km.
We're onto the Capo Mele, the first in a series of short climbs and the gap is at 1'29.
The climb is 1.3km in length and the break will be lucky to still have a minute by the time we reach the top.
Not a good signs for the break, as the team cars are taken out.
Van der Poel has been moved up too. That's the first time we've seen him near the front all day. Nizzolo is near the back of the peloton.
About 20 riders are already in trouble as the bunch starts to climb.
50km to go
Surprising to see Nizzolo struggle this early to be honest as we see the break descend with a lead of 1'22 and 50km to go.
Peron has just been dropped by the break. Good effort though.
Asgreen is now second wheel behind Tim Declercq. 48km to go.
Attacks from the break as we hit the slopes of the next climb Conci leads the way. We're down to just four riders.
This climb is the Capo Cervo and the leaders are digging in with a lead of 1'25 with 47km to go.
Tonelli, Hoorn, Conci and Jorgensen are all that's left. The bunch ease off for just a moment.
Ganna is right at the back of the peloton.
That easing from the bunch and that allows the break to find another 10 seconds with the gap back out to 1'34 with 46km to go.
Simmons is on Van der Poel's wheel. That's a good wheel to follow at this point in the race.
Asgreen takes a swig from something that isn't a typical team bottle and then settles back into third wheel.
Wellens moves up as we're about to hit the next climb. BikeExchange are well placed. This climb is going to see a real explosion.
Conci takes things up at the front of the break as we start to climb the Capo Berta. 2km at 6.4 per cent.
Problem for Sam Bennett. He needs to change bike and that's terrible timing. He should get back but that's really going to cost him.
1'38 for the leaders and it's still Conci who does most of the work. He looks really strong at the moment. Great ride.
Bennett has one teammate and he should make it back on the descent.
Tonelli has attacked from the break and he's got a gap.
Tonelli has gone clear with 38km to go. 1'33 is his lead.
As we see Van der Poel climb and Rowe pace Kwiatkowski at the front.
No teammates for Bennett, but he has the car to help him. Ineos and DSM lead the peloton.
How long is he going to be allowed to pace behind a team car like this?
Over the top of the climb and we head towards the Cipressa. 7.5km from the climb.
Tonelli has been caught so we've got four riders in the break again.
35km to go
35km to go and the gap is at 1'21.
Cipressa and van der Poel has just tightened his shoes. We're doomed.
The leaders have 1'14 as we see Bennett finally make it back to the team car. He looks shattered though as we close in on the Cipressa.
Stybar will move Bennett back towards the front.
Now Bora hit the front of the peloton with 33km to go.
AG2R take over with Van Avermaet where he needs to be, right near the front. Naesen is there too.
31km to go
31km to go and the gap is down to 58 seconds.
Riders are practically sprinting in order to move up. It's frantic.
Lots of riders watching each other. 29km to go.
Van der Poel is on the right, Sagan in the middle. The Dutchman is moving up again.
Van Aert is right near the front and it looks like van der Poel is out of teammates at this point.
We're about to hit the Cipressa. 27km to go. The break have 32 seconds.
We're sprinting to the base of the climb. Gilbert is there, and Pidcock and Rowe.
The break are climbing.
Jumbo lead onto the climb. GVA in second wheel.
Tonelli attacks from the break.
Now all the favourites are near the front as Jumbo set the pace. Matthews is there, Ackermann, Bouhanni and Ewan too.
It's Taco time. The Dutchman leads Milan-San Remo on his own.
No attacks just yet on the Cipressa as Jumbo set the pace.
Van Avermaet in second wheel as he tries to anticipate a move. 25km to go.
Van der Poel is waiting. It doesn't look like he'll make an early attack as Jumbo put two more men on the front. This pace is really good.
The break have finally been brought back with 24.5km to go.
The Oomen takes over and the pace rises once more. No attacks and the race is strung out.
Van Aert just has one teammate left though. Ineos are well placed with three riders.
Bettiol has been dropped.
Ineos, QuickStep, and UAE have plenty of riders as Oomen continues to set the pace.
We're nearly at the top of the climb.
Wellens is itching to attack. He's in fifth wheel with 1.5km to go on the climb.
Ackermann is there. Degenkolb too. And Nibali.
And now Ineos take over at the front of the peloton.
Four riders on the front for Ineos right now. They have great depth at this point in the race.
Luke Rowe leads and Kristoff has been dropped too with 21km to go. All on Trentin now for UAE.
Rowe leads on the descent. Demare is still there but some of the sprinters have been dropped already.
Great ride from Rowe as he continues to lead on the descent of the Cipressa with 19.4km to go.
The British team with still four riders on the front, Puccio, Kwiatkowski, Rowe and Pidcock.
Gaps starting to appear in the bunch, with Demare in fifth wheel. Matthews on his wheel. We're almost at the Poggio.
About 45 riders are left in contention with 17km to go.
Van der Poel is at the back, and Bennett is there too.
Van der Poel has a teammate looking for him as Rowe still sets the pace.
Nizzolo is still there too.
Rowe will swing over when we hit the Poggio. 14km to go.
The second group might make it back before the climb. Kevin Geniets is here and he looks really strong.
About 60-70 riders left in the peloton after those two groups merge.
12km to go in Milan-San Remo and the Poggio is close.
Rowe peels over and Ganna takes over.
Now Bora take over.
Van der Poel has moved back to around 5th wheel.
The Dutchman's last teammate keeps the pace high.
1km to go until we hit the Poggio.
AG2R take over.
Now it's Asgreen.
And then Ganna takes over.
Ineos all over the front with Ganna now.
Who can attack with Ganna on the front?
Asgreen is done.
Van der Poel is quite far back. 8.4km to go.
Ewan is fourth at the moment and Viviani is dropped.
Van Aert follows the world champ. Wellens cracks.
Ewan is still there! No attacks.
Alaphilippe looks back. 7.6km to go.
Ganna still leads.
Ewan looks really comfortable. Van Baarle takes over.
Van Aert is just holding back at the moment. Ineos are setting this up for a sprint but Ewan will surely beat Pidcock?
6.5km and Alaphilippe attacks. Van Aert on his wheel. and now Van der Poel is there.
Matthews and Ewan are there and the world champion drives to the top. Now Van Aert goes.
Ewan second wheel and he can follow.
Over the top and about 20 riders in contention. Sagan is there.
Van Aert leads on the descent and Ewan is on his wheel with about 12 riders in contention. Schachmann, Pidcock, Van der Poel, Trentin among the riders.
Pidcock is leading on the descent with van Aert behind him. Sagan is coming back.
Furious pace from Pidcock and we're almost at the bottom. This race is wide open with 3.8km to go.
Ewan is the favourite right now you'd have to say but will there be a last ditch attack?
3.4km to go. Who will set the pace? Perfect time for an attack.
3.2km and Stuyen attacks.
Stuyven is clear!
Great move from the Trek rider. They've sat up!
1.7km to go.
Andersen attacks but Stuyven has this.
Stuyven is cracking a bit 1km to go!
Andersen is on his wheel though.
Sagan is there.
It's Stuyven against Andersen.
No! Stuyven hangs on. Incredible scenes. What a finish.
That was incredible. It looked like he was about to be caught with Van der Poel closing but the Belgian kicked again and hung on to take the biggest win of his career. Just incredible.
Either Ewan or Van Aert in second and third.
I think Ewan was second again.
Confirmed that Ewan was second and Van Aert was third but so much to go through after that finish. The only thing to say right now is that Styuven timed that perfectly and he was so calm in the finish to hold off the chase. It looked like he was about to be caught but he had enough in the tank to win Trek a Monument.
Best one day race in the men's calendar.
Mads Pedersen in Kuurne and now Stuyven in San Remo. Trek Segafredo have raced almost faultlessly since Omloop.
|1||Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo||6:38:06|
|2||Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal|
|3||Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma|
|4||Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|5||Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix|
|6||Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange|
|7||Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech|
|8||Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious|
|9||Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team DSM|
|10||Anthony Turgis (Fra) Total Direct Energie|
You can find out report, and results, right here.
Lets hear from the winner:
I can’t describe how I feel. It’s unbelievable. We had a plan to go for it, to try to win. I felt really good all day and the finale went well. There was a lot of fast guys in the group after the Poggio, so I knew I had to try all or nothing. And I did. If it’d had gone to the line I could have finished fifth or tenth but I preferred to go all, so I took the biggest victory of my career. Eight times of ten you get nothing but there are two times you can win. It’s amazing the guys put me in the perfect position in the kept parts of the parcours. My legs were completely empty but if you win by a mile or a metre, it’s enough.
We've got some Wout van Aert:
“Like always it was fast descent of the Poggio. Straight at the bottom Jasper went on the attack. It was a really good move and then afterwards it was a bit hard for me to chase because I didn’t want to waste my chances in the sprint,” Van Aert said at the finish.
“Of course a lot of guys were looking at me but I just came up short. In the end Caleb was a bit faster than me in the sprint from our group. It’s always a difficult final few kilometers but today I gambled wrong.”
Lets hear from van der Poel at the finish:
I was where I was supposed to be on the Poggio. I could follow the attacks of Julian and Wout there. That was good but the attacks were a bit too late, I think and on the easiest part of the Poggio. Then it was quite a big group, when you come down there are guys from the second group who are going to attack with a lot of speed from behind and it’s very difficult to react.
I don’t think so. If I try and close the gap then I’m also lost. I think that Jasper chose the right moment and was strong enough to hold it until the finish line. That makes him the deserved winner today.
Like everyone says, it’s a very difficult race to win. It’s not easy to make a gap on the Poggio because the speed is so high there that it’s just too difficult to really go away alone. Then it becomes technical in the end.
A reminder that you can find our complete race report, right here.
And we've got some Sagan for you:
"It was a bittersweet Milano-Sanremo for me. On the one hand, I'm happy because I'm feeling better and my form is gradually improving, although there is still work to be done to reach a top level. On the other hand, I'm a bit angry because it was another Milano-Sanremo where I missed the chance to get a victory. We worked very well throughout the day, everybody in the team put in a great effort. When the attack was made on the Poggio, a small group went away and I was in the one right behind, together with other strong riders. We didn't respond to the attack, either because we couldn't or because we felt we would bridge the gap on the descent. In fact, the two front groups merged and it was clear we would go for a fast sprint finish. I gave my best in the sprint and finished fourth."
Thanks for joining our complete live coverage from today's race. We'll be back tomorrow with another day of live coverage from Trofeo Alfredo Binda.
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