San Remo or Sanremo and the names that won't die
Whatever you call it, it's a hell of a race.
Milan-Sanremo or Milan-San Remo or La Primavera or whatever you want to call it is the kick off to the classics season. You don’t need to look far down the list of past winners to see that cycling’s greats have all claimed a victory in this opening classic. From Eddy Merckx, to Sean Kelly, to Mark Cavendish and numerous others – great riders have stood on the top podium of this iconic race.
But what’s sport without a surprise? We had that last year with Germany’s Gerald Ciolek outsprinting (or some might say enjoying the generous draft from Fabian Cancellara to sling shot around him) to take the win. This year the Milano-San Remo route was going to include a new climb to the top of Pompeiana, basically eliminating any chance for the sprinters. However, as it turns out Mother Nature likes the sprinters. So a harsh winter, combined with a landslide, made the new climb unrideable. So with that Sanremo, once again, favored the sprinters.
Cannondale’s Peter Sagan was a heavy favorite as were Trek Factory Racing’s Fabian Cancellara and Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Mark Cavendish. For sure there are numerous others who could have taken the win. With a race route just shy of 300 kilometers almost anything can happen – mechanical mishaps, crashes, or just plain old-fashioned running out of power – because no matter how pro they are, 300k is a heck of a long ride.
You can read the nitty-gritty details of the race, but crossing the line first was Alexander Kristoff of Team Katusha. Kristoff’s win isn’t a huge surprise. The Norwegian had several top-10 placings in the 2013 Tour de France as well as several top-5 results throughout the season, with a few victories sprinkled in. So yes, he wasn’t a five-star favorite, but not a name to rule out either.
While team Katusha was over the moon in winning Sanremo a few other race favorites weren’t quite as happy.
Rumor has it that Cancellara was so upset that Team Trek staff had to roll him over and rub his belly like you do to calm a shark. The sometimes volatile former winner Mark Cavendish is also rumored to have hurled his team-issue aero helmet so hard it skipped across the Mediterranean Sea like a smooth stone and landed somewhere in the Sahara desert. Apparently aero is indeed everything.
Regardless, big congratulations to Alexander Kristoff for a strong win to start off the season.
Names From The Past Continue To Haunt Cycling
It’s time for another round of Redacted Name Bingo. Last time we left off with this game some names were leaked, while other names remained unspecified. Who was mystery name 15? Who was number 17? Who knows? There were some solid guesses of whose name went with what hidden name. There were the denials from the athletes, but finally the commotion died down and we got back to our other daily activities such as securing our Strava KOMs and posting our dinner to Instagram.
Suddenly it looks like we may have to dust