The Via Roma is a place oozing history. After a seven year hiatus Milan-San Remo was back there in 2015. It is 1 kilometre closer to the Poggio descent, which should favour attackers. In 2015, however, this was merely theory as John Degenkolb outsprinted a small bunch on the line. The German is absent this edition as he is still recovering from an early season training crash.
Traditionally La Primavera leaves from Milan for a long and flat opening section leading the riders to the Passo del Turchino, crested after 142 kilometres and in doing so the riders leave the Plain of the Po. The Turchino might be a mountain pass, it is no Stelvio as the grades are 1 to 2%. The only similarity is the length at 25 kilometers.
As there was a landslide near Arenzano on the morning of the race, the riders follow the Autostrade for 9 kilometres after Voltri, yet this doesn’t really influence the route as we are still heading for a trio of uphill sections: Capo Mele, Capo Cervo and Capo Berta. Modest climbs in all respects, as they are not long and not steep. Capo Berta is toughest, offering 3 kilometres at 4.1%.
What creates the most difficulty in Milan-San Remo is the sheer distance. After so long in the saddle, the finale is always exciting as the dynamics between those looking to escape and those looking to keep it together create a fast and frenetic ending. It kicks off with the Cipressa, 5.5 kilometres at 4.1% and a steepest section of 9% a little over halfway up. Just 21.5 kilometres remaining at the summit!
On to the famous Poggio, a 4 kilometres climb at 3.7%, but after almost 300 kilometres of racing it might feel like climbing in the double digits. The Poggio peaks at about 8% with 1 kilometre left to climb. The descent is spectacular with riders flying through the corners at high speeds and provides opportunity for riders like Gilbert and Kwiatkowski to attack and drop their rivals with their descending skills.
The last 2 kilometres are flat and perfect for any sprinter who is still in the mix.
Live race report Milan-San Remo 2016. Expect the finish to be around 5.00 pm local time.
Milan – San Remo 2016: Route maps, height profiles, and more.
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