This Saturday’s Milan-Sanremo is all about is tense finish, the paradox of the longest race of the year that’s often decided in the final metres, a race where every pedal stroke counts and the list of contenders and pretenders is long as grand tour contenders, classics specialists and sprinters start with ambitions. Who will ride the perfect race?
It’s official, UK petrochemicals firm Ineos will take over from Sky as the new team sponsor and the newly branded kit will be unveiled on 1 May at the Tour of Yorkshire. Here’s a look at a few related things, from changing kit mid-season to budget talk.
Egan Bernal completes a Colombian fiesta on the Col de Turini and assumes the race lead. After battling crosswinds in central France, posting the sixth best time in the time trial, Bernal assumed the lead of Paris-Nice and if Quintana tried again the next day, the overall result never looked in doubt on the final stage.
The fast and furious final stage of Paris-Nice, just 110km and if Egan Bernal looks likely to win this afternoon, the other places overall are in play. For three years straight this stage has been one of the highlights of the year but it’s likely to be a more subtle contest for the stage win today.
The Col de Turini summit finish, a big climb for March with over 1,000m of vertical gain and more than a 40 minute effort.
Breakaway or bunch sprint? A hilly route including some uncategorised climbs but 10 days out from Milan-Sanremo the kind of route that should encourage some sprinters and their teams to get to work. The sun’s shining but the race hasn’t escaped the crosswinds.
Ineos looks like the likely replacement sponsor for Sky. Touted in the British press two weeks ago as a possibility, tipped yesterday in The Cycling Podcast as a probability, things are firming up fast.
A time trial to shape the overall and see riders like Michał Kwiatkowski, Bob Jungels and Wilco Kelderman put time into Romain Bardet, Nairo Quintana and George Bennett.
Today’s stage features a surprisingly hilly finish with steep, twisting climbs through vineyards but not everything is different with the weather forecast warning of a storm and the wind could get up.
Encore, the third flat stage and the wind should be back again but not as strong as the first two stages. This could be the last chance for many sprinters to challenge Dylan Groenewegen.