Milan-San Remo, the 298 km single stage race, the first monument of the cycling calendar will be held on 17 March, Sunday this year. It will be 104. edition of “la Classica di Primavera” – the spring classic with its first edition dating all the way back to 1907.
It is a sprinters’ classic, but an endurance race rather than a gallop sprint within bunch. Some great cyclists won the race including the legendary Eddy Merckx (7 times), Costante Girardengo (6), Gino Bartali and Erik Zabel 4 times each. More recently, both pure sprinters like Mark Cavendish, Matthew Goss and Oscar Freire (3 wins) or puncheurs like Fabian Cancellara or Simon Gerrans won the race.
3 teams are invited as wildcard entries besides the 19 pro tour teams; Vini Fantini-Selle Italia from Italy, Team NetApp-Endura from Germany and MTN Qhubeka from South Africa.
There will be quite some interesting competition from the likes of Alberto Contador, Joaquim Rodriguez, Chris Froome and last year’s winner Vincenzo Nibali for the blue jersey. Mark Cavendish, Andre Greipel, Peter Sagan, Fabian Cancellara, Taylor Phinney are amongst the several names that can win a stage or two in here.
Tirreno-Adriatico, “the race of the two seas” is an early season stage race held in Italy and widely regarded as a Milan-San Remo preparation. Now a 2.HC race in the UCI World Tour, it traditionally starts from the west coast of Italy – the Tyrrhenian Sea and ends in the east coast, in the seaside resort of Adriatic Coast, San Benedetto del Tronto since the second edition of the race.
With its first edition dating back to 1966, the Belgium cyclist Roger De Vlaeminck holds the record by winning the race 6 times in a row between ’72 and ’77. Most recently Cadel Evans, Vincenzo Nibali, Michele Scarponi and Fabian Cancellara each clinched a title.