All eyes on Milan-San Remo and the first monument of the season.Wed 14 Mar 2018
Mitchelton-SCOTT return to Milan-San Remo on Saturday for the 109th edition of the race with Giro d’Italia stage winner Caleb Ewan looking to improve on last year’s top ten finish in what will be his second appearance in La Classicissima.
The first monument of the season covers 291kilometres over an iconic route that has hardly altered for over a century. Known as the only one of the five monuments that a sprinter can win, albeit a sprinter that can make it over the ‘tre capi’ followed by the Cipressa and Poggio climbs before the finish on Via Roma in downtown San Remo.
Mitchelton-SCOTT tasted victory here in 2012 and have been looking to repeat the feat ever since, Ewan will have strong support at the weekend with his full lead-out train in attendance including Tour Down Under winner Daryl Impey and Roger Kluge.
Multiple grand tour winner and classics specialist Matteo Trentin lines up alongside the engines of Canadian Svein Tuft and Kiwi Sam Bewley as the Australian outfit go into the race with a squad packed with strength and versatility.
Sam Bewley (NZL, 30)
Caleb Ewan (AUS, 23)
Daryl Impey (RSA, 32)
Chris Juul-Jensen (DEN, 28)
Roger Kluge (GER, 31)
Matteo Trentin (ITA, 28)
Svein Tuft (CAN, 40)
Objectives – Key Points:
The key moments in the race have traditionally been the last two climbs with the Cipressa (5.6km, 4.1% average) coming first followed by the iconic Poggio (3.7km 4-8%) and fast descent into the final nine kilometres and a flat finish.
Positioning for both climbs will be vitally important and the main objective will be to be present in the front group on the descent to have a chance of contesting the final.
2012 – Victory
2015 – Third
“Last year I managed to get over the Cipressa and the Poggio in the front group and I was feeling good on the climbs and happy to finish in the top ten on my first appearance and if you’re to stand any chance of winning you have to be in a good position over those two last climbs.”
“It’s a long race, at nearly 300kilometres and most of my training lately has been geared towards getting through a race of that length and having enough left to be competitive at the end.
“Having done the race last year I know what to expect. I’m another year older, I’ve got another season in my legs and in 2017 I had to abandon Tirreno-Adriatico early on with sickness and didn’t get the benefit of going deeper into the race.
“We have a really strong team for the race, it’s the only monument that a sprinter can win and ever since I turned professional it’s a race that I wanted to take part in and to try and win.”
Head Sport director Matt White:
“Milan-San Remo will always be a special race for us, it was the first monument we won back in 2012 and a race that really put the team on the map.
“We have a really versatile and experienced group of riders lining up on Saturday and I am quietly confident that regardless of the way the race pans out we can achieve a great result.”
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.