Gerald Ciolek Made History in Milan-San Remo

milan-san-remo-gerald-ciolek

German sprinter Gerald Ciolek from South Africa’s MTN-Qubeka won the sprint from a breakaway group involving Peter Sagan, Sylvain Chavanel, Fabian Cancellara, Luca Paolini and Ian Stannard. Taloy Phinney of BMC catched the break in the last meters but was a bit late as he cross the line last.

After the snow, neutralization of a pretty long part of the route and a second start around 15:00, Milan-San Remo’s 104th edition became an instant classic. The day’s break was 7′ 10″ ahead of the peloton when the race got neutralized due to show in Passo del Turchino so in the “second start of the race”, they kept this advantage, it was like handicapped racing all of a sudden…

“We have to be ready. It was so cold. With the snow + zero degrees it was hard on the legs but mainly the hands. It was hard to brake because you couldn’t feel your hands,” told Lars Yiting Bak from the breakaway group. “We got a hot shower on the bus. Normally MSR is like 2 races because of the distance. Today it really is two races.”

After Matteo Montaguti, Diego Rosa, Filippo Fortin, Maxim Belkov, Lars Yitting Bak and Pablo Lastras got caught on the Cipressa, it was world champion Philip Gilbert‘s turn to make a break. Sylvain Chavanel later joined Gilbert along with Ian Stannard and Eduard Vorganov. On the Poggio, Chavanel attacked within the break, dragging Ian Stannard with him to the top of the hill.

Peter Sagan had to react, so he did when the slope on the Poggio hit 9%, and managed to catch Chavanel and Stannard within the final 3 kilometers. But he was not the only rider with sprinting abilities left in the front.

Gerald Ciolek outsprinted the “almost invincible” Peter Sagan and made history in Milan-San Remo today, his biggest win so far and for his new team MTN – Qhubeka; first pro-continental team from Africa.

“I think my decision says enough.This is partly a precaution, but also a statement to the organization. They knew long enough that there was so much snow on the road. What happens now is the fault of the organization’s own fault. Have you ever wanted to bicycle through the snow ridden? There are nicer things than this. I’m completely frozen,” reportedly told Tony Boonen after quitting the race.

Milan-San Remo 2013 Results

1. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka”5′ 37′ 20″
2. Peter Sagan (Svk) Cannondale Pro Cycling
3. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack Leopard
4. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
5. Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha
6. Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procycling
7. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
8. Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha 14″
9. Mark Cavendish (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
10. Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling
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Goss claims victory over Cavendish and Greipel in a frentic sprint

Tirreno Adriatico 2013

It was a glorious day for Australian team Orica-GreenEdge; Michael Albasini won the  4th stage of Paris-Nice and Matthew Goss was the first to cross the line in the frentic sprint of 2nd stage in Tirreno-Adriatico. Manuel Belletti from Ag2r La Mondiale came second, while Gerald Ciolek of  South African pro-continental team MTN Qhubeka came third.

“This is my first road race in Europe this season and I’ve won, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the season now. I know if I’m in good shape I can do a good Milan-San Remo next week. It’s definitely a goal for me”, told Goss. The general expectancy was a  duel between Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel but neither of them managed to get a spot in the podium. Peter Sagan opened the sprint with 500 meters to go, Greipel burned himself being forced to open the sprint earlier than desired and Cavendish could not even find an opening in the front.

“I was 30 riders back in the last kilometre but I still fought and had a chance with 300 meters to go, even less than that”, told Cavendish to the press. “I came to the right but the peloton swung on the right at the same moment. I just had to slam my brakes with 200 meters to go and so that was the end of the chance of winning. I feel we could have got a lot more out of that race than we actually did today, but we will try again tomorrow”. With the 2 seconds gain from the intermediate sprint, Cavendish still leads the GC and will keep wearing the “Maglia Azzurra”, Matthew Goss leads the points classification and will wear the red jersey tomorrow and Euskaltel-Euskadi’s Garikoitz Bravo from the breakaway group will wear the green mountains jersey.

Check out Tirreno-Adriatico jersey colors, they are quite different than what is considered the norm.

Stage Results

1. Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 5:48:41
2. Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
3. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
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