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Van der Poel checked Pogačar, van Aert and Ganna



Mohorič is defending his victory, Pogačar is the first favorite, Mezgec is free

Mathieu van der Poel surprised the rest of the favorites with a jump just below the top of the Poggio and drove to victory in Sanremo with a daring descent. Tadej Pogačar was fourth after losing the three-way battle for the podium with Filip Ganna and Wout van Aert.

He won the first official cycling monument of the 2023 season Mathieu van der Poel. With a six-kilometer solo attack at the end of the 294-km marathon, the 28-year-old Dutchman drove towards his third career monument.

At the Via Roma, van der Poel became the first Dutch winner since Hennie Kuiper in 1985, and above all, Mathieu van der Poel repeated the achievement of his famous grandfather Raymond Poulidor, who celebrated at Milan-Sanremo way back in 1961.

After a five-hour cycling marathon from Lombardy to a fashionable resort on the shores of the Ligurian Sea, the ninth-place finisher was two minutes ahead of the main group during the course of the day. The escapees, among them four Italians, escaped after just over 10 km, their maximum advantage was 3:30, which means that the main group is firmly in control.

On three successive hills (Capo Mele, Capo Cervo and Capo Berta), the main group closed to a minute, and the runaway nine was reduced to five. The last escapees were caught just at the foot of the climb to Cipresso. Before the first turning point, he found himself in trouble for the second time in the race Jan Tratnikone of Jumbo Visma’s key assistants.

At Cipresso, as last year, the UAE Emirates team took over the reins, which fairly thinned out the main group with a sharp pace. But the last climb, the famous Poggio di Sanremo, was first started by the Bahrain Victorious team, which put the defending champion in an exceptional position.

However, Tim Wellens, as a super assistant, prepared the ground for the attack of Pogačar, who with his jump shook all the rivals except for the star trio: Filippo Ganna, Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel. The Dutchman launched an attack just below the top and, with an advantage of a few seconds, was the first to start the descent. The first pursuer of the foursome was none other than Mohorič.

But the MvdP gained a big enough advantage with a daring descent to put the trio of pursuers in a quandary regarding cooperation and spending in the hunt for him.

Cross-section of the 114th edition of Milan-San Remo, which has changed very little over the course of a century.  294 km for only 2154 meters of altitude.  The Turchino pass at the 144th kilometer (2.5 km with 5.7%), the end of the race is heralded by three spikes: Mele, Cervo and Berta between the 242nd and 256th kilometers.  The noise starts to increase at Cipressa at km 272 (5.5 km at 4.1%), and the peak starts at Poggio di Sanremo at km 288 (3.5 km at 3.8%).  It is only 5.5 kilometers from the top to the finish line on Via Romi.  Photo: RCS Sport

The 114th edition of the Milan-Sanremo race features five Slovenians: captains Mohorič and Pogačar, his assistant Domen Novak, Jan Tratnik and Luka Mezgec, who has a free hand with the Australian team Jayco AlUla.

114. MILAN-SANREMO, 294 km

Source: Rtvslo

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