Milan-San Remo, when it starts, where to see it, favourites: all against Pogacar-

Milan-San Remo, when it starts, where to see it, favourites: all against Pogacar-

Of Gaia Piccardi, sent to Abbiategrasso

Today the 294 km of the first classic monument of the season. The Slovenian Pogacar is the big favourite, Van Der Poel and Van Aert are the most dangerous adversaries. Ganna seeks the leap in quality

HAVE GREASE The number one on the haversack belongs to Matej Mohoric, the daredevil Slovenian who last year threw himself off the Poggio without brakes, taking the group of favorites by surprise, but the boy to beat is a better-known compatriot, the six-million-dollar rider euros per season that has placed Slovenia in the center of the village, forcing all the others to go and look for it on the globe.

(Milan-Sanremo will be visible live on RaiSport from 9.50 to 14 and on Rai2 from 14)

It is with Paris-Nice in the legs and the sea in the eyes that this morning
Tadej Pogacar shoots from Abbiategrasso (new) to devour the 294 kilometers of Sanremo
(from Pavia onwards, the same since 1907) and the fourth classic monument at 24 years old. The bow at the finish line in Nice, the ninth victory of the season in thirteen days of racing, makes the cannibal from Komenda (Ljubljana), five thousand souls dedicated to agriculture and horse breeding and phenomenal cyclists, the ideal profile of the king of Sanremo , Tadej races it for only the third time (fifth in 2022 best result) and at kilometer zero he finds a cast that no other one-day race can boast: the reigning champion Mohoricthe two lifelong rival Vans (der Poel on the podium last year and Aert winner 2020), survivors of the infernal traffic of Brianza, stuff for strong hearts ("The worst training of my life, happy to have finished in one piece" wrote the captain of the Jumbo Visma on social media), Alaphilippe last French ruler and that Peter Sagan at the farewell Sanremo (13 participations, second in 2013 and 2017, five times fourth), which he will close on the straight line of via Roma as a rock star: a wheelie, a squeal, selfies with anyone and away, towards the finish line of a existence with the regret of the Latin lover who has never seduced the most beautiful.

Sanremo is a race that deceives. You look at the altimetry, you think it's trivial. It doesn't have the misty atmosphere of the northern classics (watch out for the wind, though: fresh sun and fans announced today), it lacks the vibration of the cobblestones, there are no Flanders walls and not even a long climb worthy of an epic crisis , of at least an Apennine drop, of a few hairpin bends crowded with ghosts. Nevertheless Sanremo fascinates you down to the last centimeter of asphalt because it is unreadable, unpredictable, elusive like an eel. Sounds easy, it's the hardest of all. And if you win it, it changes your career.

Pogacar knows it, yesterday at the presentation of the teams at the castle of Abbiategrasso he had the enigmatic look with which he took off for the 2020 Tour, the grand tour that launched him a few months after the modest twelfth place in his first Sanremo. «You don't necessarily have to be the best to make it – confirms Mathieu Van der Poel -. The first part is boring, making the difference between Cipressa and Poggio is not obvious, sprinting towards success is an enterprise for the few».

You don't have to be the best but a little special yes, like Vincenzo Nibali in 2018.
Filippo Ganna would like to play the Shark
, only this morning will he decide whether to wear shorts or bodysuit (to save one/two watts); the certainty is that Mister Ora can't afford to finish in the sprint, because he needs (at least) three miracles to keep his tale from being attacked by the salt air. Uphill, downhill, on arrival (alone). Dominated time trial and track, Pippo seeks the leap in quality in the classics, to complete the evolution of the species. «The position in the group is fundamental, I will look for inspiration on the street» he promises.

In Pogacar's Sanremo there is room for everyone. And down from the Poggio, all hell breaks loose.

March 18, 2023 (change March 18, 2023 | 07:24)

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