Milan San-Remo, la classica di Primavera, is the longest race on the UCI calendar at 298 km. It’s considered to the be the “Sprinters’ Classic” with no real difficult climbs. This is the first time in the season we see all of the Classics heavy hitters in one peloton racing for one of the biggest prizes in cycling. From what I’m told the last half of Milan-San Remo is almost like riding along the Great Ocean Road (minus the castles and seaside villages). There were thirteen Aussies competing in Milan-San Remo and three or four who had a good shot at winning (Haussler, Gossy, Davis and you can never forget McEwen).
To see these guys attacking, chasing and sprinting at full gas after racing 290km is truly remarkable. Do you have any idea how smashed your legs would be after that distance? It’s a race that doesn’t necessarily favor the outright fastest sprinter, but the one who is best prepared at this early stage of the season. Gossy showed exceptional form, positioning and patience to be able to win over that select group of eight of the best cyclists in the world. This being his eighth win of the season and by far the biggest, Goss is now officially recognised as one of the best. And how about O’Grady sacrificing himself for Cancellara chasing down Van Avermaet near the end? What a champion!
I was speaking with a friend today and he pointed out that Gossy and O’Grady are the only two Aussies to win one of the Five Monuments. Can you name all five of these races?
Watch out for Gossy at Ghent-Wevelgem this Sunday. He came in 3rd in 2009 and feels like he could win it this year. I’ll certainly be putting my money on him after the class he’s shown and confidence he’s gained from this Milan San-Remo win.
BTW, does anyone know why Gossy’s name always appears with his middle name “Harley”? Simply because he filled out his UCI licence like that. If my middle name was Harley I’d do the same!
Check out the sensational photo gallery from the 2011 Milan-San Remo below, compliments of Sirotti and RCS Sport. Let the Spring Classics begin!
This couldn’t have worked out better for Specialized this weekend with the release of the “Venge”.
Final kilometers 1 of 2
Final kilometers 2 of 2
Helmet cam footage of Flecha descending the Cipressa before the 2010 Milan- San Remo. Could you imagine racing down this trying to keep a good position amongst a peloton of 200?