Matej Mohoric wins Milan-San Remo with daring Poggio descent
Anthony Turgis finishes second and Mathieu van der Poel third
Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) took the biggest win of his career at Milan-San Remo, converting a daring attack on the descent of the Poggio into a solo victory on the Via Roma at the end of a breathless finale.
Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) took second place, just two seconds later, having jumped away from the small chasing group in the final metres. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) led that group of just six men home to take the final podium spot on his 2022 season debut.
Mohorič was part of a group of just under 30 men who were at the front of the race on the Poggio, a shockingly small number after UAE Team Emirates and Jumbo-Visma had blown the race apart on the Cipressa.
Multiple attacks from Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) on the relatively shallow inclines of the Poggio couldn't provoke a race-winning move, though he and several other favourites had a small gap over the top.
On the way down it was Mohorič who made his move, utilising his impressive descending skills – and a dropper seatpost normally found in mountain biking – to create a gap. Despite a chase featuring multiple big names just seconds behind, the 27-year-old held on to take victory.
"I was thinking about this race for the whole winter," Mohorič said after the race. "The team came up with the idea of using a dropper post because this race suits me pretty well and it has a descent at the end.
"I knew that if I could train properly and be in a good enough condition to not be dropped on the Poggio, that I have a chance of doing my best descent and risking a little bit but maybe being able to hang on for the win.
"I was in perfect condition after I was ill in February, but then unfortunately I had quit a big crash when [Julian] Alaphilippe crashed in Strade Bianche and I hurt my knee pretty bad and I was off my bike for three or four days.
"But I never stopped believing – I said if we worked so hard this winter and set up the bike, then we need to make the best of it. I did a lot of physio every night and every morning and I never stopped believing. I did some basic training to keep as much condition as possible. Today I'm here – I wasn't going super well but it was enough to stay with the best on the Poggio. I just went all-in and I can't believe. I'm without words."
How it unfolded
The 113th edition of Milan-San Remo began in the historic Vigorelli velodrome in Milan, checking off all the usual points on the first Monument of the season. First up on the 293-kilometre route came the early flat run across the Po plain, then the gradual climb of the Passo del Turchino and the dive down to the Ligurian coast.
Later would come the three Capi climbs, and the finishing two hills of the Cipressa and Poggio before the fast and technical descent down into San Remo and the finish on the Via Roma.
After a 9.8-kilometre neutral zone from the Vigorelli to the traditional starting point of the Via della Chiesa Rossa, the flag dropped, and a small group of riders immediately jumped away on the attack.
Right away, the group were let go, with heavy Italian ProTeam representation at the front. Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli put Filippo Tagliano and Ricardo Zurita in the move, while Eolo-Kometa had Samuele Rivi and Diego Sevilla, and Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè's Alessandro Tonelli joined them.
Yevgeniy Gidich and Artyom Zakharov (Astana Qazaqstan), and Filippo Conca (Lotto Soudal) were the two WorldTour representatives in the eight-man move, who were quickly given three minutes' advantage by the peloton.
Several major teams began the work at the head of the peloton shortly afterwards, with Jumbo-Visma (for Wout van Aert), UAE Team Emirates (for Tadej Pogačar), and Groupama-FDJ (for Arnaud Démare) among those involved at the front.
Jumbo-Visma's Jos Van Emden was a notable name controlling things at the front, putting in a huge stint of work for over 200 kilometres as the peloton controlled the gap to the break, which hit a maximum of seven minutes after the Turchino.
As ever in Milan-San Remo – barring the rare memorable exception – there was little drama in the race as the peloton raced south towards the Ligurian coast west of Genoa. With the opening hours run at an average of just over 45 kph, things would only get quicker at that point as the east-west wind provided a tailwind boost for the riders.
After four hours of racing, and little real action, the average speed sat at 44.2 kph, just a touch slower than the record average speed of 45.8 kph in 1990. Sure enough, the pace upped as riders raced along the coastal road, with the peloton dragging the gap down to five minutes as they approached the first of the Capi.
On the second of the hills, the Capo Cervo, the break's advantage had fallen to 4:20, while at the Capo Berta, the first point in the day riders switch into the small chainring, it was down to four minutes. Heading into the Cervo, the breakaway riders started to attack each other as Zakharov and the two Androni riders were left behind with Eolo-Kometa pushing on up ahead.
By the top of the climb, Conca had dropped and returned, while in the peloton Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) was surprisingly distanced, indicating to the TV moto that he was finished. Conca was done for good shortly after the descent, pulling over and dismounting suffering from severe cramp to leave four men leading the race onto the Cipressa, three minutes up on the peloton.
Two minutes was the gap as the break hit the Cipressa with 27 kilometres to run. Jumbo-Visma, Alpecin-Fenix, Ineos Grenadiers and Bahrain Victorious led the peloton onto the climb, while Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) was battling back after suffering an unlucky mechanical issue just a few kilometres earlier.
Out front, Tonelli and Rivi were the last men standing as UAE Team Emirates and Jumbo-Visma set a fearsome pace up the climb, shedding sprinters as they went. At the top, 40 seconds separated the two escapees and a peloton of fewer than 30 riders.
Tonelli and Rivi survived until the Poggio but would only experience the opening metres before being swallowed up, their adventure over after a mammoth 285 kilometres. Once again, UAE Team Emirates and Jumbo-Visma led the charge.
Pogačar made his first move at eight kilometres to go, turning around to find Van Aert and Van der Poel on his wheel before jumping again a few hundred metres later. Further back, a crash on a corner held up a chunk of the group, leaving around 20 men up front as Pogačar and Roglič traded accelerations.
Søren Kragh Andersen (Team DSM) jumped shortly before the top, leading the race over the Poggio with Van der Poel, Pogačar, and Van Aert right behind him and the remainder of the peloton close.
Mohorič took the opportunity to show off his supreme descending skills on the way down, eking out a gap to the rest. He hit the flat finishing run alone, but just a handful of seconds up.
It looked for all the world that he would be caught by a collectively strong chase group in the final kilometres, but the bridging move just never came.
Turgis came closest, powering away from the chase group in the final kilometre, but the Frenchman wasn't able to get there. In the end, after six-and-a-half hours of racing, it was the Slovenian who took the win, having the time to celebrate as he crossed the line.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious||6:27:49|
|2||Anthony Turgis (Fra) TotalEnergies||0:00:02|
|3||Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix|
|4||Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco|
|5||Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates|
|6||Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo|
|7||Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team DSM|
|8||Wout Van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma|
|9||Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain Victorious||0:00:05|
|10||Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||0:00:11|
|11||Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team|
|12||Biniam Girmay (Eri) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux|
|13||Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Movistar Team|
|14||Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team|
|15||Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious|
|16||Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers|
|17||Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma|
|18||Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Israel-Premier Tech||0:00:21|
|19||Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux|
|20||Quentin Pacher (Fra) Groupama-FDJ|
|21||Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel-Premier Tech||0:00:26|
|22||Christophe Laporte (Fra) Jumbo-Visma||0:00:59|
|23||Ivan Garcia Cortina (Spa) Movistar Team||0:01:05|
|24||Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||0:01:09|
|25||Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-EasyPost||0:01:13|
|26||Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux||0:01:14|
|27||Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Arkea-Samsic|
|28||Simone Consonni (Ita) Cofidis|
|29||Filippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'|
|30||Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroen Team|
|31||Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo|
|32||Simon Geschke (Ger) Cofidis|
|33||Luka Mezgec (Slo) BikeExchange-Jayco|
|34||Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|35||Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team|
|36||Owain Doull (GBr) EF Education-EasyPost|
|37||Bryan Coquard (Fra) Cofidis|
|38||Mikkel Honoré (Den) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team|
|39||Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix|
|40||Alex Kirsch (Lux) Trek-Segafredo|
|41||Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar Team|
|42||Daniel Oss (Ita) TotalEnergies|
|43||Stefano Oldani (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix|
|44||Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team|
|45||Abner González Rivera (PuR) Movistar Team|
|46||Diego Rosa (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team|
|47||Fabio Felline (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team|
|48||Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel-Premier Tech|
|49||Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) TotalEnergies|
|50||Marco Haller (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|51||Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers|
|52||Bob Jungels (Lux) AG2R Citroen Team|
|53||Andreas Leknessund (Nor) Team DSM|
|54||Cesare Benedetti (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|55||Luke Durbridge (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco|
|56||Ethan Hayter (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers|
|57||Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates|
|58||Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) Jumbo-Visma|
|59||Jhonatan Restrepo Valencia (Col) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli|
|60||Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team|
|61||William Barta (USA) Movistar Team|
|62||Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team DSM||0:01:22|
|63||Joris Nieuwenhuis (Ned) Team DSM||0:01:50|
|64||Maxime Bouet (Fra) Arkea-Samsic|
|65||Diego Pablo Sevilla Lopez (Spa) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team|
|66||Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix|
|67||Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'||0:02:41|
|68||Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team||0:02:53|
|69||Simone Petilli (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux|
|70||Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Bahrain Victorious||0:03:06|
|71||Rick Zabel (Ger) Israel-Premier Tech|
|72||Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates||0:03:55|
|73||Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team||0:04:30|
|74||Samuele Rivi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team||0:05:26|
|75||Clément Russo (Fra) Arkea-Samsic|
|76||Laurent Pichon (Fra) Arkea-Samsic|
|77||Connor Swift (GBr) Arkea-Samsic|
|78||Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team|
|79||Larry Warbasse (USA) AG2R Citroen Team|
|80||Alex Dowsett (GBr) Israel-Premier Tech||0:06:01|
|81||Edvald Boasson-Hagen (Nor) TotalEnergies|
|82||Luca Covili (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'|
|83||Matthias Brändle (Aut) Israel-Premier Tech|
|84||Mirco Maestri (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team|
|85||Luke Rowe (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers|
|86||Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team|
|87||Jonas Rutsch (Ger) EF Education-EasyPost|
|88||Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo|
|89||Ryan Gibbons (RSA) UAE Team Emirates|
|90||Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|91||Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux|
|92||Peter Sagan (Svk) TotalEnergies|
|93||Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux|
|94||Yevgeniy Gidich (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan Team|
|95||Alexander Cataford (Can) Israel-Premier Tech|
|96||Davide Gabburo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'|
|97||Davide Bais (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team|
|98||Filippo Zana (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'|
|99||Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Jumbo-Visma|
|100||Iñigo Elosegui Momeñe (Spa) Movistar Team|
|101||Gianni Moscon (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team|
|102||Silvan Dillier (Swi) Alpecin-Fenix|
|103||Max Kanter (Ger) Movistar Team|
|104||Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team|
|105||Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|106||Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'|
|107||Kévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ|
|108||Ben Swift (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers|
|109||Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fra) Cofidis|
|110||Davide Villella (Ita) Cofidis||0:06:47|
|111||Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain Victorious||0:08:31|
|112||Michael Gogl (Aut) Alpecin-Fenix||0:09:23|
|113||Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli||0:09:57|
|114||Alexander Konychev (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco||0:10:15|
|115||Jonathan Milan (Ita) Bahrain Victorious|
|116||Elia Viviani (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers|
|117||Artyom Zakharov (Kaz) Astana Qazaqstan Team|
|118||Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates|
|119||Mikaël Cherel (Fra) AG2R Citroen Team|
|120||Omar El Gouzi (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'|
|121||Kevin Ledanois (Fra) Arkea-Samsic|
|122||Romain Combaud (Fra) Team DSM|
|123||Alex Edmondson (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco|
|124||Lawson Craddock (USA) BikeExchange-Jayco|
|125||Florian Vermeersch (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|126||Leonardo Basso (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team|
|127||Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team|
|128||Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ|
|129||Szymon Sajnok (Pol) Cofidis|
|130||Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team DSM|
|131||Alberto Bettiol (Ita) EF Education-EasyPost||0:11:15|
|132||Tom Scully (NZl) EF Education-EasyPost|
|133||Simon Pellaud (Swi) Trek-Segafredo|
|134||Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) AG2R Citroen Team|
|135||James Shaw (GBr) EF Education-EasyPost|
|136||Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious|
|137||Davide Martinelli (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan Team|
|138||Julien Simon (Fra) TotalEnergies|
|139||Tony Gallopin (Fra) Trek-Segafredo|
|140||Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux|
|141||Danny van Poppel (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|142||Ricardo Zurita Garcia (Spa) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli|
|143||Ryan Mullen (Irl) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|144||Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|145||Filippo Conca (Ita) Lotto Soudal|
|146||Maciej Bodnar (Pol) TotalEnergies|
|147||Julius van den Berg (Ned) EF Education-EasyPost|
|148||Cameron Meyer (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco|
|149||Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ||0:11:36|
|150||Clément Davy (Fra) Groupama-FDJ||0:12:16|
|151||Romain Hardy (Fra) Arkea-Samsic|
|152||Filippo Tagliani (Ita) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli||0:13:13|
|153||Umberto Marengo (Ita) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli|
|154||Edoardo Affini (Ita) Jumbo-Visma|
|155||Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo|
|156||Eduard-Michael Grosu (Rom) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli|
|157||Davide Cimolai (Ita) Cofidis|
|158||Jos van Emden (Ned) Jumbo-Visma||0:20:31|
|159||Kevin Vermaerke (USA) Team DSM||0:21:56|
|DNF||Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|DNF||Didier Norberto Merchan Cardona (Col) Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli|
|DNF||Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Groupama-FDJ|
|DNF||Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers|
|DNF||Roger Kluge (Ger) Lotto Soudal|
|DNF||Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates|
|DNS||Robert Stannard (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix|
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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. Prior to joining the team, he had written for most major publications in the cycling world, including CyclingWeekly, Rouleur, and CyclingTips.
Daniel has reported from the world's top races, including the Tour de France and the spring Classics, and has interviewed many of the sport's biggest stars, including Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel, Demi Vollering, and Anna van der Breggen.
As well as original reporting, news and feature writing, and production work, Daniel also runs The Leadout newsletter and oversees How to Watch guides throughout the season. His favourite races are Strade Bianche and the Volta a Portugal, and he rides a Colnago C40.
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