So fast finishers don’t always have it their way on the Via Roma in San Remo. Last year, Alaphilippe attacked on the Poggio with Sagan, Van Aert, Valverde, Trentin, Naesen and Kwiatkowski on his wheel, while Dumoulin, Valverde, Nibali and Mohoric bridged across in the descent. The race came down to a sprint of eleven with Alaphilippe turning out on top.
Late attackers with a brilliant descent spoiled the sprinters parties in 2018 and 2017 also. Nibali did it two years ago with a solo after opening up a gap on the Poggio, while Kwiatkowski outsprinted Sagan and Alaphilippe in 2017. The trio broke clear on the Poggio to hold off the chasing pack with a flying descent to the line.
Still, Milan-San Remo is the perfect race for sprinters who do not back away from an occasional climb. The race has thrown up more than its fair share of surprises in its history, still, sprinters who are in the mix over the Poggio are the ones who are most likely to turn out on top.
Strong sprinters and fast descenders, those are the riders to watch in Milan-San Remo. Most recently, Alexander Kristoff (2014), John Degenkolb (2015), Arnaud Démare (2016), Michal Kwiatkowski (2017), Vincenzo Nibali (2018) and Julian Alaphilippe (2019) tasted success in La Primavera.
Favourites 2020 Milan – San Remo
***** Michael Matthews, Mathieu van der Poel, Wout Van Aert
**** Julian Alaphilippe, Michal Kwiatkowski, Caleb Ewan
*** Iván García, Vincenzo Nibali, Peter Sagan, Arnaud Démare
** Sam Bennett, Fernando Gaviria, Matej Mohoric, Oliver Naesen
* Alexey Lutsenko, Nacer Bouhanni, Alexander Kristoff, Giacomo Nizzolo