Arnaud Démare wins Milano-Torino

Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) delivered a fine sprint to claim victory at Milano-Torino ahead of Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) and a fast-closing Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).

The Frenchman's victory underscored his credentials for Milan-San Remo on Saturday, while the Strade Bianche winner Van Aert's late surge was a further indication of his sparkling form ahead of the week's main event.

A crash that briefly split the peloton with 8km to go made for a breathless finale, but Démare's Groupama-FDJ squad was sufficiently organised to lead into the final kilometre, although it was Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) who opened the sprint with an effort from distance. The three-time world champion faded to fourth in the closing metres, however, as Démare streaked past and then held off Ewan to claim the spoils.

With Milano-Torino falling just three days before La Classicissima on the revised UCI calendar, the route of the event was altered accordingly, with the uphill finale in Superga removed in favour of a pan flat run to Stupinigi that afforded Démare to emulate his teammate Thibaut Pinot as a winner of the race.

"The calendar was a bit thrown out by the current situation, but it's good to be racing again and I had a very good return to competition at the Vuelta a Burgos," Démare said. "The team was very good, and we knew today was a good chance for us.

"We really know one another very well, and that's a good thing. We did a three-week camp and the whole team was in good form, Burgos confirmed that. We're not afraid of anyone. I feel very well."

A bunch finish was always the likely outcome in Stupinigi, site of the 18th-century hunting lodge of the House of Savoy, and the race largely followed the anticipated script, though there was late drama when several riders came down in a crash after Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck-QuickStep) clipped a traffic island on the run-in. Sam Bennett also lost Michael Mørkøv in the incident – though, unlike Lampaert, the Dane was able to finish the race – and the Irish champion sat up in the finishing straight to place outside the top 10.

He was not the only fast man left with too much ground to recoup in the finishing straight, with with Nacer Bouhanni (Arkéa-Samsic) and Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates) having to settle for 6th and 7th, respectively. They will hope for better at Milan-San Remo on Saturday. Démare, winner in 2016 and third in 2018, has already shown his pedigree on the Via Roma. His turn of pace in Stupinigi was an indication of his form – but so, too, was Van Aert's.

"It's one of my very big ambitions, I'm not going to hide that," Démare said. "The team is good and I feel good."

How it unfolded

Milano-Torino has oscillated between Spring and Autumn for much of its history, but the revised 2020 season saw the oldest extant bicycle race in the world shift to an August date as the calendar was hastily rearranged around the rescheduled Classics and Grand Tours.

This summertime Milano-Torino was not an entirely new departure. The first-ever edition was held in May 1876, after all, and in its intermittent early history, the event was held in the warmer months, before settling on a firmer, pre-Milan-San Remo slot in the 1930s.

In more recent times, Milano-Torino has largely – though not exclusively – been part of the rosy-hued preamble to the grand finale of the Italian season, Il Lombardia, with a route carefully tailored to match. Since its return to the calendar after a four-year hiatus in 2012, the finish line had been perched upon the hill of Superga overlooking Turin.

With Milano-Torino stitched into the 2020 calendar ahead of Saturday's Milan-San Remo, however, the route was altered to fit the circumstances. Superga was excised from the parcours, with the gruppo only gently skirting the hills of Monferrato en route to the Piemontese capital.

A bunch sprint seemed preordained when the peloton assembled at the start in Mesero, just west of Milan, but that didn't deter a determined group of attackers forging clear inside the opening 20km.

Andrea Garosio (Vini Zabù-KTM), Manuele Boaro (Astana), Davide Villella (Movistar), Gijs Van Hoecke (CCC), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) and Samuele Rivi (Italy) established a maximum buffer of 7 minutes after 50km before the sprinters' teams began to bring in the hem of their advantage.

Deceuninck-QuickStep, Lotto Soudal, Groupama-FDJ, Arkéa-Samsic, Bora-Hansgrohe and UAE Team Emirates all contributed to the pursuit at various points, an arrangement that seemed to suit all parties. The sprinters were effectively guaranteed their shot at victory at Stupinigi, while men like Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) and Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) were able to bank 200, brisk kilometres of racing in agreeable sunshine as they build towards Milan-San Remo at the weekend.

The break's advantage began to unravel gently as the race passed through the wine country in the hinterland of Asti and their lead was a threadbare 1:45 by the time they reached the final 40km. Garosio sat up shortly afterwards, and though his five erstwhile companions looked to delay the inevitable, their lead had shrunk to within a minute with 20km remaining.

The break fragmented shortly afterwards, when Samuele Rivi, the 22-year-old of the Italian national team attacked, bringing the strongman of the move, Manuele Boaro, with him. Boaro pressed on alone with 11km to go, by which point his lead had slipped to just 27 seconds and he was swept up soon afterwards.

A mass sprint ensued. Démare hit all the right lines ahead of Milan-San Remo, but in this singular season, all will have benefited from the dress rehearsal.


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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 4:18:57
2Caleb Ewan (Aus) Lotto Soudal
3Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma
4Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
5Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Circus-Wanty Gobert
6Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
7Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col) UAE Team Emirates
8Manuel Belletti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
9Dion Smith (NZl) Mitchelton-Scott
10Ben Swift (GBr) Team Ineos
11Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R la Mondiale
12Lawrence Naesen (Bel) AG2R la Mondiale
13Mathieu Van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix
14Davide Cimolai (Ita) Israel Start-Up Nation
15Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R la Mondiale
16Umberto Marengo (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM
17Alexander Konychev (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott
18Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
19Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-Quickstep
20Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
21Martin Marcellusi (Ita) Italy
22Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep
23Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:05
24Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
25Filippo Ganna (Ita) Team Ineos
26Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
27Rick Zabel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
28Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:08
29Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:15
30Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:18
31Boy Van Poppel (Ned) Circus-Wanty Gobert 0:00:22
32Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
33Christian Knees (Ger) Team Ineos 0:00:25
34Iuri Filosi (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
35Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
36Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Israel Start-Up Nation
37Michele Gazzoli (Ita) Italy
38Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Ineos
39Leonardo Marchiori (Ita) Italy
40Miles Scotson (Aus) Groupama-FDJ
41Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:28
42Timo Roosen (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
43Dries De Bondt (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix 0:00:32
44Sacha Modolo (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix 0:00:35
45Shane Archbold (NZl) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:00:39
46Oliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:45
47Leonardo Basso (Ita) Team Ineos 0:00:47
48Amund Grøndahl Jansen (Nor) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:00:49
49Tosh Van der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:24
50Marco Frapporti (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM
51Nicola Venchiarutti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
52Nicola Bagioli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
53Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM 0:01:27
54Damiano Cima (Ita) Gazprom-Rusvelo
55Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) CCC Team
56Filippo Conca (Ita) Italy
57Juri Hollmann (Ger) Movistar Team
58Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) Italy
59Jhonatan Restrepo Valencia (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
60Jonas Koch (Ger) CCC Team
61Alex Dowsett (GBr) Israel Start-Up Nation
62Senne Leysen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
63Daniil Fominykh (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
64Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
65Einer Augusto Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar Team
66Stepan Kuriyanov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
67Tsgabu Gebremaryam Grmay (Eth) Mitchelton-Scott
68Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
69Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) AG2R la Mondiale
70Gabriel Cullaigh (GBr) Movistar Team
71Daniel Savini (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
72Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
73Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
74Jhonatan Manuel Narvaez Prado (Ecu) Team Ineos
75Kevin Colleoni (Ita) Italy
76Nicolas Dalla Valle (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
77Dario Cataldo (Ita) Movistar Team
78Michael Mørkøv (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep
79Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto Soudal
80Zhandos Bizhigitov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
81Imerio Cima (Ita) Gazprom-Rusvelo
82Mathias Norsgaard Jørgensen (Den) Movistar Team
83Lawrence Warbasse (USA) AG2R la Mondiale
84Francisco Jose Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) CCC Team
85Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM
86Michael Albasini (Swi) Mitchelton-Scott
87Alessandro Iacchi (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM
88Ian Garrison (USA) Deceuninck-Quickstep
89Cameron Meyer (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
90Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-Up Nation
91Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana Pro Team
92Tim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep
93Davide Martinelli (Ita) Astana Pro Team
94Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team
95Manuele Boaro (Ita) Astana Pro Team
96Andrea Garosio (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM
97Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
98Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
99Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
100Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
101Jasper De Plus (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
102Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
103Antonio Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
104Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) CCC Team
105Simone Velasco (Ita) Gazprom-Rusvelo
106Marco Canola (Ita) Gazprom-Rusvelo
107Alfdan De Decker (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
108Paul Martens (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma
109Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
110Jakub Mareczko (Ita) CCC Team
111Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
112Florian Vermeersch (Bel) Lotto Soudal
113Johan Jacobs (Swi) Movistar Team
114Scott Thwaites (GBr) Alpecin-Fenix
115Clément Russo (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
116Florian Vachon (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
117Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
118Daniel McLay (GBr) Team Arkea-Samsic
119Laurent Pichon (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:01:37
120Thomas Boudat (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
121Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) CCC Team 0:01:40
122Oscar Gatto (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:44
123Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:49
124Mattia Viel (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:02:45
125Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
126Alessandro Pessot (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
127Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Vini Zabu' KTM
128Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
129Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar Team
130Jan Bakelants (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert 0:03:04
131Alexander Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott 0:04:07
132Robert Stannard (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
133Romain Le Roux (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
134Samuele Rivi (Ita) Italy 0:04:32
135Frederik Frison (Bel) Lotto Soudal
136Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) CCC Team
137Kévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ 0:05:07
138Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Groupama-FDJ
139Fabio Mazzucco (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane' 0:05:19
140Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:05:55
141Igor Boev (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo 0:06:20
142Timothy Dupont (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert 0:06:59
143Luca Pacioni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:07:09
144Ethan Hayter (GBr) Team Ineos 0:12:05
145Tom Bohli (Swi) UAE Team Emirates 0:14:41
146Clement Davy (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFMatteo Pelucchi (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
DNFYves Lampaert (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep
DNSDenis Nekrasov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo

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