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Of course, the Omloop het Nieuwsblad is the first cobbled race of the year. But with Milan San Remo 2022, the first real, big classic of the year is on the program. The first of the five cycling monuments. Every year when the crocuses come out, trees and animals awaken from their winter sleep, the cycling year has really begun. Milan San Remo is not for nothing affectionately called La Primavera: the spring.
Preview Milano Sanremo 2022
The course of Milan San Remo 2022 is a true journey from one season to another. Departing from Lombardy, across the Piedmont, it is often still cold and chilly. As if it were still the middle of winter. But once you cross the Apennines, the Ligurian Sea looms up like spring. Sun, sand, sea and eternal glory beckon, after a course of three hundred kilometers, on the wide boulevard and finish street of Via San Remo. Andiamo!
On this page we look ahead to Milan San Remo 2022, next to the Omloop, Kuurne and the Strade Bianche the fourth spring classic of 2022, but the first cycling monument of the year. Voorjaarsklassiekers.be presents the preview Milan San Remo 2022!
“Seven hours shaking the bottle. And then take the cork off.” – Fabian Cancellara, Milan San Remo winner in 2008.
When is Milano Sanremo 2022?
Milano San Remo will be held on Saturday, March 19, 2022 – two weeks after the weekend of the Omloop het Nieuwsblad and two weeks before the Tour of Flanders.
History of Milan San Remo
Each year in Milan San Remo, the cycling peloton from Milan to San Remo travels through the province of Allessandria. Located in the Piedmont region, this is a place of pilgrimage for cycling fans. The homeland of cycling legends Costante Girardengo (the first real Campionissimo) and Fausto Coppi, together good for nine victories in La Classicissima on. If we add to that the four victories of Gino Bartali, that other great in Italian cycling of the forties and fifties, we already arrive at 13.
Incidentally, it is not a home rider, but Eddy Merckx who holds the record for Milan San Remo with no less than seven victories. After the Italians flourished in La Primavera – with the wonderful duels between the Big Two Bartali and Coppi in the forties and fifties – the foreigners increasingly took over. Besides Merckx, Roger de Vlaeminck also managed to win the race three times. But fair is fair. In addition to these Belgians, only the German Erik Zabel (four victories) and the Spaniard Oscar Freire (three victories) managed to join the top of the list of multiple winners. Furthermore, we see there mostly Italians. Besides Girardengo, Bartali and Coppi, we also see names like Gaetano Belloni, Alfredo Binda, Giuseppe Olmo and Loretto Petrucci.
Whereas the Belgians, in addition to the record holder, were also allowed to cheer in past editions – Wout van Aert was laureate in 2020, Jasper Stuyven won last year – for Dutch success we have to go back to 1985, when Tukker Hennie Kuiper was the strongest.
“Milan-Sanremo was the least easy classic for me to win.” – Hennie Kuiper, Milan San Remo winner in 1985
Jasper Stuyven managed to surprise friend and foe last year by winning the 112th edition of Milan San Remo. Not one of the Big Three, but the cunning chocolatier from Leuven received the flowers and champagne on the highest step of the podium in San Remo.
Course Milano Sanremo 2022
Is it the most beautiful? No, it is not. The oldest? Neither is it the oldest? The most spectacular? Nor. But Milan San Remo 2022 will again be the longest classic of the year. Sometimes just over, sometimes just under three hundred (!) kilometers. Indeed, just stand there!
“You can’t win ‘La Primavera’ on the Cipressa, but you can lose it.” – Vicenzo Nibali, the last Italian Milan San Remo winner (2018).
“You can compare winning Milan San Remo to putting a puzzle together. You better leave the last piece in your back pocket.” – Former Sporza commentator Michel Wuyts, who stepped down last year but for a whole generation of cycling fans was the voice of a cycling classic like ‘La Primavera’.
Contenders Milan Sanremo 2022
After seeing the legendary one-two-three of Jumbo Visma in Paris-Nice, thoughts on the editorial offices naturally immediately went back to Gewiss’ coupe in the 1994 Flèche Wallonne. Or the masterpiece of Johan Museeuw and comrades of Mapei in Paris-Roubaix 1996. And on Saturday 19 March in Milan San Remo 2022? Will it be Jumbo up again? Or are there other riders who can knock Wout off his throne? Who are the biggest favorites for Milan San Remo 2022?
***** Wout van Aert
With a spot on one. And not without reason. Although Paris-Nice was not on his list of goals – stronger D’n Wout has learned from last year’s Tirreno and is quietly building up to his absolute goals this season: the Double Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. But one of the, perhaps the, best men in racing at the moment rode this season in 11 starts already to 9 top-three finishes. At the end of February he immediately grabbed a big fat fish with the Omloop het Nieuwsblad, but his performance in Paris-Nice last week again astonished many friends and enemies. What a performance. What a number. First the coup with his teammates, then narrowly losing the sprint to Jakobsen, then another top-three ranking, to leave everyone behind in the time trial in stage four. Perhaps the most amazing thing he showed on the final day. After deliberately letting it go in stage 5 (everything for the Double), it was Wout van Aert – and only Wout – who with a masterful effort guided Primož Roglič over the Col d’Èze and thus to the final victory in Paris-Nice. Can Van Aert repeat his 2020 feat and then be the favorite at the start of Vlaanderens Mooiste?
**** Caleb Ewan
If Wout van Aert wants to be the best in the city of flowers for the second time in three years, he will have to deal with perhaps the best sprinter in the world. The 27 year old class act from Lotto Soudal already won in the Tirreno-Adriatico this year and also earlier in the Saudi Tour, the Haut Var and sprinted two weeks ago in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne to a second place, behind Fabio Jakobsen. That the 25-year-old Dutchman in the service of Quick-Step is conspicuous by his absence from this list of favorites and the Pocket Rocket from Sydney gets no less than four out of five stars is fairly simple: Ewan has already ridden to a top-10 finish three times in five starts and he came close to winning Milano Sanremo last year. He survived the Poggio – indeed, he was excellent and on the front of the race – and managed to win the sprint of the approaching peloton. However, it was the then 28-year-old chocolatier from Leuven who narrowly beat Ewan. This spring Ewan has his sights set on La Classicissima. Can he finally win his dream race?
*** Tadej Pogačar
It is rather monotonous. Of course, behind Wout van Aert is Celab Ewan – a name you don’t see coming back in the Flemish races. But the name of Tadej Pogačar we see this year in every row of favorites wherever he starts. Whether it’s the UAE Tour, or the Strade Bianche or the Tirreno-Adriatico. He started there. He won there. The Slovenian is going to make his debut in the Tour of Flanders this year, even if it is to prepare for the cobbled stage in the Tour de France. The real experts know better. If he gets over the Koppenberg you can write him down. And in La Primavera? You’d be smart to get him off the Poggio. And with his cattering sprint he may just, like Van Aert in 2020 and Julian Alaphilippe in 2019, win the Strade – Sanremo double!
** Julian Alaphilippe
The winner of Milan Sanremo 2019 has a lot going for him to win the first cycling monument of the season, however, we here at the editorial team unanimously agree with each other: a miracle must happen should the world champion win here. The Frenchman is skipping the Flemish classics this year, in order to stand tall in the Walloon work and close the gap on his palmares: Winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège. And Saturday? A rider with Flip’s crandeur should never be missing from the list of favorites and should never be flattened for the overall win. Alaphilippe, however, failed in the Strade – although he did hit the ground hard there – and so it’s a matter of guessing what the legs will be like on Saturday on the Via Roma in Sanremo.
* Sonny Colbrelli
Paris-Roubaix was very important, it’s incredible that I won on my first participation. It was a golden year and it will be difficult to confirm in 2022. But I’m going to try. I will start in the classics, with Milan-Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders, the Amstel Gold Race and Paris-Roubaix as my goals. However, my dream is to return to the Giro d’Italia after five years. I miss that round enormously’. The ambitions of 31-year-old Sonny Colbrelli are clear. And so he will want to be there right away on Saturday, when the first real big appointment takes place. However, it is highly doubtful how much the leader of Bahrain Victorious still suffers from bronchitis, which he contracted and therefore had to give up in Paris-Nice after stage two. That his legs speak as well as his wonder year of 2021 in 2022 was clear in the Omloop: then Colbrelli finished second behind Wout van Aert. Can Colbrelli surprise in the first monument of cycling in the year 2022?
Dark horse: Jasper Philipsen
Jasper Philipsen already has a lot to show for this early season: two stage victories and the green jersey in the UAE Tour and also two top ten finishes in Paris-Nice. He didn’t manage to secure a victory in the Race to the Sun, but his confidence is greater than ever. I have no fear of the Poggio or the Cipressa. With the condition I have now, I’m really not going to be driven away there.’ Clear language from the Belgian top sprinter in the service of Alpecin Fenix, who is the designated leader in Milan San Remo in the absence of Mathieu van der Poel. So it will be taking into account the 24-year-old Belgian, who started once before in La Primavera – in 2019, however, Philipsen could not compete for prizes. The big question is can The Flame of Ham do it in a 300+ kilometer race?
Dark horse two: Filippo Ganna
Our other dark horse is Filippo Ganna. Time trial is his specialty, hard riding is what he likes to do. At 1.93 meters and weighing just over 80 kilograms, the Italian from INEOS-Grenadiers always looks dapper. Whether it’s his brand new Pinarello bike, his beautiful socks, his aerodynamic, state-of-the-art racing pants or his trendy glasses. In terms of presentation, Ganna has already won on Saturday. And oh, how the tifosi yearn for a new Italian laureate. If Top Ganna wants to win, he will have to do so in the same way as his compatriot Vicenzo Nibali. And thus differently from last year. Then, in role as a servant because he did not return fit from the Tirreno, he made a big impression on the Poggio. If he wants to arrive first on the Via Roma, a different race tactic will have to be played out this year.
Contenders Milan Sanremo 2022 according to Cycling-Classics.com
***** Wout van Aert
**** Caleb Ewan
*** Tadej Pogačar
** Julian Alaphilippe
* Sonny Colbrelli
Dark horses: Jasper Philipsen, Filippo Ganna