The first monument of the 2016 cycling season, Milan-San Remo, takes place this Saturday. The longest one-day race on the professional calendar, covering a total of 291kilometres, this year is the 107th edition of the race.
The route returns to the traditional course including the famous climbs, the Cipressa and the Poggio before the finish on Via Roma in San Remo.
After claiming third place on the podium in 2015 Michael Matthews has been singled out as one of the favourites for this years race. The Paris-Nice green jersey winner seems to be coming into form at just the right time.
”I’m looking forward to the race, I hope I can be up there at the finish. If we can get in a good position on the climbs and maintain it, then anything can happen,” said Matthews.
Sports director Matthew White is quietly confident of achieving a good result at the weekend.
”The team we have assembled for the weeked has had good preparation for the period of racing that we are heading into,” said White.
”Milan-San Remo is a race where a lot can happen in the last 30minutes. The Key moments will be the lead into the Cipressa climb, followed by the descent of the Poggio.”
”This race has a big place in the history of the team after Simon (Gerrans) won here in 2012,” explained White. ”We will definitely be looking to continue in that vein at the weekend.”
Matthews will have a strong team around him for the race, made up of riders coming directly from Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico. Michael Albasini, Daryl Impey, Sam Bewley and Simon Yates were all part of the team who rode so well in support of Matthews in Paris-Nice. Retaining the yellow leaders jersey for six days and winning the overall points classification.
Chris Juul Jensen, Jens Keukeleire and Luka Mezgec completed Tirreno-Adriatico on Tuesday and will head North to Milan to join up with the team before the weekend.
Called ‘La Primavera’ by Italians, which literally means ‘the Spring’. The race usually heralded the transition of the seasons from the cold, wintry North to the warm, sunny Mediterranean in the West. However, in recent years the race has experienced extreme cold and wet conditions making for some epic racing and surprise results.
Milan-San Remo starts on the Via Chiesa Rossa, near the Duomo, in the centre of Milan on Saturday 19th of March.
ORICA-Greenedge at Milan-San Remo:
Michael Albasini, Sam Bewley, Daryl Impey, Chris Juul Jensen, Jens Keukeleire, Michael Matthews, Luka Mezgec, Simon Yates
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cipressa michael matthews milan - san remo orica greenedge paris-nice poggio