Bauke Mollema making first ever start in Milan-Sanremo
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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Bauke Mollema making first ever start in Milan-Sanremo

by Kyle Moore at 9:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Milan-Sanremo
 
Another climber signs up after race alterations tilt the 299km to their favour

Bauke MollemaThe names on the Milan-Sanremo start list have shifted slightly over the last several years, as race organizers have continued to increase the undulations in the race’s finale. The newest big name to throw his hat into the ring is Bauke Mollema (Belkin), as the Dutch rider has announced that he will add Milan-Sanremo to his schedule for 2014.

A new climb has been added between the venerable Cipressa and Poggio climbs inside the final 40 kilometres – the Pompeiana – which has a length and gradient that is expected to shed just about every sprinter. The average gradient is 5% with the steepest pitch at 14% and the climb is expected to give riders attacking from further out, on the Cipressa, a better chance at fighting toward the finish.

As expected, the route changes have led to frustration for some of the sprinters, and dreams of attacking for some climbers. Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), the 2010 champ, said he might never race the Italian Monument again, while Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida) previewed the course and revealed that the new climb will be ideal for attacks.

Mollema, an Ardennes Classics specialist, won’t be one to hesitate if the new course proves as selective as some believe it could be.

“They have made the course harder,” Mollema told NOS.nl when he revealed that he’d be taking to the start in Italy.

“In Tirreno-Adriatico and Sanremo, I want to be good,” he added. “That should be my first peak of the year.”

Mollema will then take on the Ardennes in April and the Tour de Suisse in June before trying to better the sixth place he took in the Tour de France in 2013.

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