Milan - San Remo 2024: Favourites

Mathieu van der Poel - Milan - San Remo 2024: Favouritesfoto: Cor VosWe have to go as far back as 1983 for the last time a World Champion took the win in San Remo. Mathieu van der Poel is aiming to succeed Giuseppe Saroni in that regard. But, obviously, lots of riders would opt for a different scenario. Who are the favourites to win Milan-San Remo?

On that same note, the last rider who took two consecutive wins in La Primavera was Rick Zabel. The German won the race in a sprint finish in 2000 and 2001.

Yet, bunch sprints on the Via Roma in Sam Remo are not very common anymore these days. The last seven editions of Milan-San Remo were all won by attackers. So, the label Sprinter’s Classic seems to be outdated.

In 2016, Arnaud Démare was the last rider to win Milan-San Remo in a bunch sprint. The Frechman succeeded John Degenkolb, who in turn superseded Alexander Kristoff.

On the last seven occasions the Poggio proved too much for most sprinters. In the last two editions, it was Tadej Pogacar who put the hammer down on the Poggio. He tried to distance the entire field, but to no avail. Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert and Filippo Ganna followed his move last year. While it looked like they would reach the summit with the four of them, but then Van der poel kicked again and he plunged down the Poggio with a small lead. Which he widened on descent and he soloed to victory.

In 2022, Matej Mohoric opened a gap early in the descent and he won the race with a 2 seconds lead, while a group of nine flew down to San Remo in 2021. Just before reaching the city Jasper Stuyven and Søren Kragh Andersen tracked him down. The Dane pushed hard and the Belgian sat calmly in the wheels, only to kick again in the final 100 metres and snatch the win.

In 2020, Wout van Aert outgunned Julian Alaphilippe in a two-up sprint on the Via Roma; four years ago it was Julian Alaphilippe himself who finished it off after a decisive move on the Poggio with Peter Sagan, Wout van Aert, Alejandro Valverde, Matteo Trentin, Oliver Naesen and Michal Kwiatkowski in his wheel; in 2018 Vincenzo Nibali opened up a gap just before the top of the Poggio and zoomed down the descent in triumphant style; Michal Kwiatkowski outsprinted Peter Sagan and Julian Alaphilippe in 2017 after holding off the chasing peloton in the descent of the Poggio.

Skillfull descenders with fast legs, those are the riders to watch at La Primavera. Or the bold and the brave who manage to crest the Poggio solo.

Cavendish (2009), Kristoff (2014), Degenkolb (2015), Démare (2016), Kwiatkowski (2017), Alaphilippe (2019), Van Aert (2020), Stuyven (2021), Mohoric (2022) and Van der Poel (2023) are still active riders who won La Primavera before. Cavendish, Degenkolb and Van Aert are not competing this year.

Favourites 2024 Milan – San Remo
***** Mathieu van der Poel, Tadej Pogacar
**** Olav Kooij, Mads Pedersen, Matej Mohoric
*** Jonathan Milan, Jasper Philipsen, Christophe Laporte
** Filippo Ganna, Danny van Poppel, Tom Pidcock, Tim Wellens
* Michael Matthews, Søren Kragh Andersen, Biniam Girmay, Alberto Bettiol

Watch the highlights of recent races here:
Leave a comment
No comments yet, your opinion is most welcome.

Related articles
Overview - Milan - San Remo 2024 Winners and records - Milan - San Remo
More articles