Milan-San Remo

Ah Milan-San Remo, La Primavera, The Sprinter’s Classic, the first Monument of the season, the easiest race to ride but the hardest to win, La Classicissima. It goes by many names, and for a race said to favour the sprinters, it produces a myriad of outcomes. Below, we celebrate the last 21 editions with some high-res images of the finale, which encapsulate the multi-coloured wonderous chaos that is Milan-San Remo.



1st Erik Zabel (GER, Team Telekom)
2nd Alberto Elli (ITA, Casino)
3rd Biagio Conte (ITA, Scrigno-Gaerne)

Just one Green jersey into his career, Erik Zabel survived the Poggio and a finish line crash involving Laurent Jalabert and Johan Museeuw, then both still sprinters, and powered home for his first Monument.



1st Erik Zabel (GER, Team Telekom)
2nd Emmanuel Magnien (FRA, Francais des Jeux)
3rd Frederic Moncassin (FRA, GAN)

Another sprint, another win for Zabel, who joined Laurent Fignon (’88-’89), Roger de Vlaeminck (’78-’79), Eddy Merckx (’66-’67, ’71-’72 & ’75-’76), Loretto Petrucci (’52-’53) and Fausto Coppi (’48-’49) as a consecutive winner of the Monument.



1st Andrei Tchmil (RUS, Lotto-Mobistar)
2nd Erik Zabel (GER, Team Telekom)
3rd Zbigniew Spruch (POL, Lampre-Daikin)

Zabel was one place off the first ever triple set of consecutive San Remo victories, but 36 year old Andrei Tchmil’s attach 600m from the line on the Via Roma surprised the sprinters and gave the Russian a second Monument, five years after his 1994 Paris Roubaix triumph in grim conditions.



1st Erik Zabel (GER, Team Telekom)
2nd Fabio Baldato (ITA, Fassa Bortolo)
3rd Oscar Freire (ESP, Rabobank)

A new millenium saw a return to an old result, as Zabel again pounced to secure a win in a race that ran over seven hours in length, whilst Oscar Freire, a surprise winner of the Worlds in 1999, showed his class with a third in the Rainbow jersey.


Cor Vos Archives

1st Erik Zabel (GER, Team Telekom)
2nd Mario Cipollini (ITA, Saeco)
3rd Romain Vainsteins (LAT, Domo-Farm Frites)

A surprise World Champion came third once again, this time in the form of Romain Vainsteins, but it was another rainbow themed jersey, this time the World Cup leader’s, again on the shoulders of Erik Zabel, that ultimately triumphed, lifting the German to joit third alongside Gino Bartali in the overall winners roster.


Cor Vos Archives

1st Mario Cipollini (ITA, Acqua e Sapone)
2nd Fred Rodriguez (USA, Domo-Farm Frites)
3rd Marcus Zberg (SUI, Rabobank)

The first part of Cipollini’s magic year in which he would also claim the World Title, his zebra themed kit was first across the line for the first time.



1st Paolo Bettini (ITA, Quick Step-Davitamon)
2nd Mirko Celestino (ITA, Saeco)
3rd Luca Paolini (ITA, Quick Step-Davitamon)

Bettini knew he could only win with an attack on the Poggio, so he and team mate Paolini bossed the race and worked over Mirko Celestino to ensure Bettini could win third Monument, and become the last man to win Milan San Remo in the World Cup leader’s jersey.



1st Oscar Freire (ESP, Rabobank)
2nd Erik Zabel (GER, T-Mobile)
3rd Stuart O’Grady (AUS, Cofidis)

The infamous 2004 finish, where Erik Zabel raised his arms before the line and was pipped by a charging Oscar Freire. “It’s frustrating to make such a stupid mistake, it’s something that only happens once in your career,” said Zabel, who perhaps had been too focused on beating Alessandro Petacchi, the sprinter of the moment.


Milaan-Sanremo 2005

1st Alessandro Petacchi (ITA, Fassa Bortolo)
2nd Danilo Hondo (GER, Gerolsteiner)
3rd Thor Hushovd (NOR, Credit Agricole)

Ale-Jet took the win at his 7th attempt at the race, besting Danilo Hondo, who was actually DQed for a failed drugs test later. It was the biggest win of the high speed Italian’s career.



1st Filippo Pozzato, ITA (Quick Step-Innergetic)
2nd Alessandro Petacchi (ITA, Milram)
3rd Luca Paolini (ITA, Liquigas)

All winter, anticipation had been building for a showdown between new World Champion Tom Boonen and defending champion Alessandro Petacchi on the Via Roma. In the end though, “Pippo” Pozzato jumped away in the finale to beat them all to the line as Boonen celebrated his teammates triumph from behind, setting up a beautiful photo. Boonen’s celebrations allowed Luca Paolini to pip him to the last podium place.



1st Oscar Freire (ESP, Rabobank)
2nd Allan Davis (AUS, Discovery Channel)
3rd Tom Boonen (BEL, Quick Step)

A race dominated before hand by talk from Riccardo Ricco telling everyone who would listen that he would attack to win from the Poggio, the Italian was joined by Philippe Gilbert and caught on the descent, where Freire pounced off of Alessandro Petacchi’s wheel to take a win where he could actually get his hands in the air.


Milano - Sanremo 2008 finish

1st Fabian Cancellara (SUI, CSC)
2nd Filippo Pozzato (ITA, Liquigas)
3rd Philippe Gilbert (BEL, Francais des Jeux)

A change of course saw the introduction of the climb of Le Manie, plus a move to Lungomare Italio Calvino due to roadworks on the Via Roma. It also marked the last win by a sole breakaway (as of 2017), as Fabian Cancellara powered away in the last kilometres to solo home in style.


Cycling: 100e Milan - Sanremo

1st Mark Cavendish (GBR, Columbia-HighRoad)
2nd Heinrich Haussler (GER, Cervelo TestTeam)
3rd Thor Hushovd (NOR, Cervelo TestTeam)

The “Sprint of the Century” saw Heinrich Haussler, supposedly leading out Thor Hushovd, pounce from the pack with a few hundred metres to go, to which no one followed, only for Mark Cavendish to shoot out and catch the German on the line to nab the 100th edition of the race. Hushovd won the sprint behind.



1st Oscar Freire (ESP, Rabobank)
2nd Tom Boonen (BEL, Quick Step)
3rd Alessandro Petacchi (ITA, Lampre-Farnese Vini)

A classy looking podium, but they were all blown away by Freire’s sprint to take his third win at La Classicissima.



1st Matt Goss (AUS, HTC HighRoad)
2nd Fabian Cancellara (SUI, Leopard-Trek)
3rd Philippe Gilbert (BEL, Omega Phama-Lotto)

An engrossing edition saw a star-studded group get away in the finale, with Pozzato, Ballan, Scarponi, Nibali and Van Avermaet in the reckoning. It was perhaps the most unheralded, Australian Matt Goss, who danced his way through the final sprint to take what would remain the biggest win of his career.



1st Simon Gerrans (AUS, GreenEDGE)
2nd Fabian Cancellara (SUI, Radioshack-Nissan-Trek)
3rd Vincenzo Nibali (ITA, Liquigas)

An attack on the Poggio by Nibali drew out Cancellara and Gerrans, with the latter upsetting the purists by playing a tactical game to defeat the rampaging Cancellara and ensure an Aussie streak of victories.



1st Gerald Ciolek (GER, MTN-Qhubeka)
2nd Peter Sagan (SVK, Cannondale)
3rd Fabian Cancellara (SUI, Radioshack-Leopard)

A race of firsts – held on a Sunday, and shortened to “just” 246 kilometres after snow forced the removal of the Turchino and Le Manie, forcing riders to be bussed along the course. Ian Stannard and Sylvain Chavanel where clear on the Poggio, but were joined by Cancellara and co, only for Ciolek to sneak past and win a gruelling version of the Classic.



1st Alexander Kristoff (NOR, Katusha)
2nd Fabian Cancellara (SUI, Trek Factory Racing)
3rd Ben Swift (GBr, Team Sky)

La Pompeiana had been the talking point before hand, but poor weather mean the new climb, meant to stop sprinters winning, was not used after all. Fabian Cancellara took his fourth consecutive podium place, but it was the Norwegin Kristoff who came through in conditions suited to his heritage.


Milano Sanremo 2015

1st John Degenkolb (GER, Giant Alpecin)
2nd Alexander Kristoff (NOR, Katusha)
3rd Michael Matthews (AUS, Orica GreenEDGE)

A return to the Via Roma heralded the return of a group sprint, and so it proved, with Degenkolb taking the first part of his San Remo-Roubaix double.



1st Arnaud Demare (FRA, FDJ)
2nd Ben Swift (GBR, Team Sky)
3rd Jurgen Roelandts (BEL, Lotto-Soudal)

After a crash took out Fernando Gaviria and delayed Fabian Cancellara and Peter Sagan, it was Arnaud Demare who came through to win, defeating his compatriot and rival Nacer Bouhanni after the latter’s gears malfunctioned. Demare was later accused of taking a tow following a crash, but the first French Monument win since 1997 stood.



1st Michal Kwiatkowski (POL, Team Sky)
2nd Peter Sagan (SVK, Bora-Hansgrohe)
3rd Julian Alaphillipe (FRA, Quick Step Floors)

How to beat Peter Sagan had been the theme of the day, but he World Champion pre-empted the attacks by breaking away himself on the Poggio, to be joined by Kwiatkowski and Alaphillipe. Token turns by the joining pair forced Sagan to lead it out, and it looked until the final metres like he would pull off an incredible show of strength. But it was not to be, and Sagan had to settle once more for second place.

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