Tougher finale for Milan-Sanremo will impact on sprinters’ chances
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tougher finale for Milan-Sanremo will impact on sprinters’ chances

by Shane Stokes at 10:52 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Milan-Sanremo
 
Modifications to route see Le Manie taken out and Pompeiana brought in

Milan SanremoTweaking the route again in what appears to be an effort to further spice up the finale of the race, the organisers of Milan-Sanremo have today announced a modification to the Classic.

The climb of Le Manie, which this year topped out 204 kilometres after the start and 94 from the end, will be removed next year. Since its introduction in 2008 it often marked the start to hostilities in the race, with riders firing off attacks in an effort to put the sprinters under pressure or to try to get a move clear.

In its place, organisers RCS Sport have put in the new climb of Pompeiana, which is slightly longer at five kilometres.

This will come later in the race, being inserted between the Cipressa and the Poggio, and thus giving attacking riders a bigger chance of evading the sprinters.

The change will see the route increase by one kilometre to 299 kilometres; the finish will remain in Sanremo.

Acccording to RCS Sport, the modification has been done in order to make “the Classicissima route more and more spectacular and unpredictable.”

The new climb rears up just 3.5 kilometres after the end of the Cipressa descent. RCS Sport has detailed the way the ascent develops over its duration. “The climb, which is 5km long with an average gradient of 5% and a maximum of 14% at its steepest point, begins steadily at 6-7% before narrowing slightly, flattens and kicks with a very hard 500m section consisting of a pair left/right bends with a gradient between 10-14%.

Milan Sanremo“A gradual slope follows on with a narrow track up to top of the climb, 20.7km from the finish, and then up to Castellaro. Here the twisty technical descent begins that takes the riders down to Arma di Taggia where the route re-joins the Aurelia and the historical race route.”

After that point, the riders will hit the Poggio climb in just under four and a half kilometres.

The change removes the lull in climbing between the Cipressa and the Poggio, a no man’s land which made it difficult for those who went clear on the first climb to hold their advantage until the second.

It should see increased aggression in the final hour of racing, thus making the race more entertaining for the spectators.

Past winners such as Mark Cavendish will not be impressed, though, as the change effectively rules out riders with his characteristics.

This year’s winner Gerald Ciolek (MTN Qhubeka) and runner up Peter Sagan (Cannondale) will be slightly less concerned as they can cope with short hills.

Even so, climbers such as Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and puncheurs like Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing Team) will give a thumbs up to the changes, realising that their chances are boosted.

RCS Sport has also announced that an amateur ‘La Sanremo’ race will be held on the same day as the pro event.

This will both start and conclude in Sanremo, and will following many of the same roads as the route of the finale of the WorldTour race. It means that amateur riders will get to slug it out on the Poggio and to race down its iconic descent before finishing at the Lungomare Italo Calvino.

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