Shoko and I have made our spring trip east this year, so we won’t be going to see Milan-San Remo this time around, I’m afraid. But hey, bike races are better on TV anyway (as always, check Steephill.tv for live listings). This year’s route is just like last year’s, and the year before, etc., etc., but here it is anyway.
At nearly 300 km, Milan-San Remo is the longest Classic (and first) of the season and is also one of the only that a sprinter can win (like Matt Goss last year), since the hills are small and attacks don’t always stick. Strategically, it’s very interesting because a puncheur, like Phillip Gilbert, can win it by attacking on the last climb of the day and hope he gets enough of a gap to hold out; a sprinter can hope that Gilbert doesn’t attack and win in a bunch sprint; and a powerhouse like Cancellara can simply drive away from everyone after the climb (or on the decent like I think he did when he won it) and crush the field just because he can.
I’m going to make a prediction this year: Tom Boonen, although it’ll probably be Cavendish…What can I say? I like a comeback story.
For a great look at all the Spring Classics, try this book.