Lagazzettadellabici's Blog

Milan – San Remo week at La Gazzetta Della Bici

Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on March 16, 2010

Milan – San Remo (Italian: Milano–Sanremo), “the Spring classic” (“la classica di Primavera”), is an annual cycle race between Milan and San Remo. It is the longest professional one-day race at 298 km. The first was in 1907, when Lucien Petit-Breton won. Today it is one of the ‘Monuments’ of European cycling, and results contribute towards the UCI World Ranking; until 2007 it was part of the UCI ProTour. Milan – San Remo is one of my all time favorite races, I love it and I love the cyclists who win it too. This year looks like it won’t be a repeat of last year’s dramatic sprint with Cavendish saying he hasn’t got the form and HH out due to injury. I don’t really mind who wins it whoever does deserves the praise he gets as its one hell of a tough race. This week on La Gazzetta Della Bici i’ll be posting everything I can find to celebrate this great race.

Milan – San Remo is often called the sprinters’ classic while its sister Italian race the Giro di Lombardia held in autumn is the climbers’ classic.


In the early years the main difficulty was the Passo del Turchino, but when cycling became more professional the climb was too far from the finish to be decisive. In 1960 the Poggio, a few kilometres before the finish, was introduced. In 1982 the Cipressa, near Imperia was added. The other hills are the ‘capi’, the Capo Mele, Capo Berta and Capo Cervo. From 2008 on the organisers added ‘Le Manie’ as well, between the Turchino and the ‘capi’. The ‘Turchino’ and the ‘Manie’ are longer climbs, while ‘capi’, Cipressa and Poggio are rather short. All climbs are quite easy. Despite these the race most often ends in a mass sprint.

The most successful rider was Eddy Merckx; he won seven times (record of victories in one single classic race). In recent times, the most successful rider has been Erik Zabel who won four times and lost 2004 to Óscar Freire only because he lifted his arms to celebrate too early. It was the opening race of the UCI Road World Cup series until the series was replaced by the UCI ProTour in 2005.

Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi winning the 2005 Milan – San Remo.

Being the longest professional one-day race, Milan – San Remo is an unusual test of endurance early in the season. It is won often not by the fastest sprinter, but one best prepared early. The Cipressa and Poggio have foiled many sprinters who could not stay with the front group.

Despite its flat course and long finishing straight, sprinters teams have been foiled from time-to-time by a determined attack on the last hills. Good examples include Laurent Jalabert and Maurizio Fondriest escaping in 1995 and staying away to the finish. In 2003, Paolo Bettini attacked with several riders who all stayed away and in 2006 Filippo Pozzato and Alessandro Ballan attacked on the last hill and stayed away. The fastest Milan – San Remo over the usual course was in 1990. Gianni Bugno set 6h 25 m 06 seconds to win by 4 seconds over Rolf Gölz. This was an average of 45.8kmh (28.45mph). In 2006 , the peloton came close with a 6h 29 m 41s, won by Filippo Pozzato. The extremes of the race include 12h 24 m in 1910, in a snowstorm.


1907 Lucien Petit-Breton (FRA)
1908 Cyrille van Hauwaert (BEL)
1909 Luigi Ganna (ITA)
1910 Eugène Christophe (FRA)
1911 Gustave Garrigou (FRA)
1912 Henri Pélissier (FRA)
1913 Odile Defraye (BEL)
1914 Ugo Agostoni (ITA) Bianchi-Dei
1915 Ezio Corlaita (ITA)
1916 ~ No race
1917 Gaetano Belloni (ITA) Bianchi
1918 Costante Girardengo (ITA) Bianchi
1919 Angelo Gremo (ITA)
1920 Gaetano Belloni (ITA)
1921 Costante Girardengo (ITA)
1922 Giovanni Brunero (ITA)
1923 Costante Girardengo (ITA)
1924 Pietro Linari (ITA)
1925 Costante Girardengo (ITA)
1926 Costante Girardengo (ITA)
1927 Pietro Chesi (ITA)
1928 Costante Girardengo (ITA)
1929 Alfredo Binda (ITA)
1930 Michele Mara (ITA) Bianchi
1931 Alfredo Binda (ITA)
1932 Alfredo Bovet (ITA) Bianchi
1933 Learco Guerra (ITA)
1934 Jef Demuysere (BEL)
1935 Giuseppe Olmo (ITA) Bianchi
1936 Angelo Varetto (ITA)
1937 Cesare Del Cancia (ITA)
1938 Giuseppe Olmo (ITA) Bianchi
1939 Gino Bartali (ITA)
1940 Gino Bartali (ITA)
1941 Pierino Favalli (ITA)
1942 Adolfo Leoni (ITA) Bianchi
1943 Cino Cinelli (ITA) Bianchi
1944 ~ No race
1945 ~ No race
1946 Fausto Coppi (ITA) Bianchi
1947 Gino Bartali (ITA)
1948 Fausto Coppi (ITA) Bianchi
1949 Fausto Coppi (ITA) Bianchi-Ursus
1950 Gino Bartali (ITA)
1951 Louison Bobet (FRA)
1952 Loretto Petrucci (ITA) Bianchi-Pirelli
1953 Loretto Petrucci (ITA) Bianchi-Pirelli
1954 Rik Van Steenbergen (BEL)
1955 Germain Derycke (BEL)
1956 Fred De Bruyne (BEL)
1957 Miguel Poblet (ESP)
1958 Rik van Looy (BEL)
1959 Miguel Poblet (ESP)
1960 René Privat (FRA)
1961 Raymond Poulidor (FRA)
1962 Emile Daems (BEL)
1963 Joseph Groussard (FRA)
1964 Tom Simpson (GBR) Peugeot-BP
1965 Arie den Hartog (NED)
1966 Eddy Merckx (BEL) Peugeot-BP Michelin
1967 Eddy Merckx (BEL) Peugeot-BP Michelin
1968 Rudi Altig (GER)
1969 Eddy Merckx (BEL)
1970 Michele Dancelli (ITA) Molteni
1971 Eddy Merckx (BEL) Molteni
1972 Eddy Merckx (BEL) Molteni
1973 Roger De Vlaeminck (BEL)
1974 Felice Gimondi (ITA) Bianchi-Campagnolo
1975 Eddy Merckx (BEL) Molteni
1976 Eddy Merckx (BEL) Molteni-Campagnolo
1977 Jan Raas (NED)
1978 Roger De Vlaeminck (BEL)
1979 Roger De Vlaeminck (BEL)
1980 Pierino Gavazzi (ITA)
1981 Alfons De Wolf (BEL)
1982 Marc Gomez (FRA)
1983 Giuseppe Saronni (ITA)
1984 Francesco Moser (ITA)
1985 Hennie Kuiper (NED)
1986 Sean Kelly (IRL) Skil-Sem Kas
1987 Erich Maechler (SUI) Carrera jeans–Vagabond
1988 Laurent Fignon (FRA) Système U – Gitane
1989 Laurent Fignon (FRA) Super U-Raleigh-Fiat
1990 Gianni Bugno (ITA)
1991 Claudio Chiappucci (ITA) Carrera jeans–Vagabond
1992 Sean Kelly (IRL) Lotus-Festina
1993 Maurizio Fondriest (ITA) Lampre-Polti
1994 Giorgio Furlan (ITA) Gewiss Ballan
1995 Laurent Jalabert (FRA) ONCE
1996 Gabriele Colombo (ITA) Gewiss Playbus
1997 Erik Zabel (GER) Team Telekom
1998 Erik Zabel (GER) Team Telekom
1999 Andrei Tchmil (BEL) Lotto-Mobistar
2000 Erik Zabel (GER) Team Telekom
2001 Erik Zabel (GER) Team Telekom
2002 Mario Cipollini (ITA) Acqua & Sapone-Cantina Tollo
2003 Paolo Bettini (ITA) Quick Step-Davitamon
2004 Óscar Freire (ESP) Rabobank
2005 Alessandro Petacchi (ITA) Fassa Bortolo
2006 Filippo Pozzato (ITA) Quick Step-Innergetic
2007 Óscar Freire (ESP) Rabobank
2008 Fabian Cancellara (SUI) Team CSC
2009 Mark Cavendish (GBR) Team Columbia-High Road

Good sources for Milan San Remo can be found at:


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