The Longest Race in the World

Milan Sanremo profile

Amongst the Spring classics Milan-Sanremo is the odd one out. For a start the name is genuine. Paris-Roubaix no longer starts in Paris and Liège-Basgtogne-Liège finishes in a place called Ans. The Italian race starts right in the heart of Milan, in between the Parco Sempione and the giant Gothic cathedral.

This is also the longest one-day race on the pro calendar. So long that the event has special dispensation to exceed the UCI maximum distance of 250km. Much of the route is flat but it’s fast and every pedal stroke is like a cent or penny borrowed, each one is added up with an interest rate that’s compounded over the seven hours.

Sometimes you can glance at a race profile in five seconds but this route is so long that it’s full of stories, statues, views, food and more. Let’s take a more detailed look at the route via ten photos.

Read more

Why change the Milan-Sanremo route?

sprint sanremo

“If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change”
Il Gattopardo, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

Unlike the riders who gradually get more and more tired, those of us viewing the race on TV get more and more energised as the finish line approaches. There’s now talk of changing the route. This is normal.

Read more

The moment the race was won: Milan-Sanremo

Milan Sanremo

Vincenzo Nibali attacks on the Poggio and only Simon Gerrans goes with him. Behind Rabobank’s Matti Breschel looks over his shoulder but on the left of the image you can see Fabian Cancellara about to make his move.

Read more

The Poggio

Poggio Sanremo

At first glance the Via Duca d’Aosta looks like any normal road along the Italian coast. It sits off the Via Aurelia, the main road that hugs the coastline all the way to France which hums and buzzes with Italian traffic. A few vehicles turn off now and then to take the smaller road named after a Duke who was once Italian royalty. Rusty vans make up a large share of the traffic, they wheeze up the road ferrying supplies for the numerous greenhouses that cover the hillside, growing flowers for export. Only the Via Duca d’Aosta is no ordinary road, it is the Poggio, the final climb of Milan-Sanremo.

Read more

Tirreno – DNF go home

It seems many riders have been pulling out of Tirreno-Adriatico. Yesterday we heard Philippe Gilbert, Edwald Boasson-Hagen, Matthew Goss and Lars Boom all left the race.

In fact 22 riders left the race yesterday for a variety of reasons. It sounds like a lot. It is. But it leaves 148 in the race which is exactly the same as this time last year. Only last year 160 riders started compared to 176 this year.

Read more

News bulletin and weather report

I can’t pick a single topic for the blog today so here are a few smaller points which are worth a mention. Nice images French company Mavic has a clunky website but the content is super-imposed on some nice background images. If you’d like the image above, click on it to open a full size … Read more

Milan – Sanremo unchanged

The 2011 Milan-Sanremo race will be unchanged from 2010, despite trouble finding a spot for the finish line. Traditionally the race finished on the Via Roma, the main street in the centre of Sanremo. But in 2008 the finish moved to the Lungomare, the coastal road. Building works prompted the move and since then local … Read more