Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel won the Milan-Sanremo race this Saturday, 62 years after his grandfather Raymond Poulidor. He is ahead of the Italian Filippo Ganna, the Belgian Wout Van Aert and the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar. And becomes the first Dutchman to win at Sanremo since Hennie Kuiper in 1985.
Sixty-two years after his grandfather Raymond Poulidor, the Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel won alone on Saturday Milan-Sanremo, the first of the five Monuments of the cycling season. The rider from Alpecin made the difference just before the summit of Poggio to be 15 seconds ahead of a group of three riders, settled in the sprint by the Italian Filippo Ganna ahead of the Belgian Wout Van Aert and the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar. This is the third victory for Van der Poel in a Monument after his successes in the Tour of Flanders in 2020 and 2022.
He becomes the first Dutchman to win at Sanremo since Hennie Kuiper in 1985. The cyclocross world champion made the difference at the top of the last climb, the legendary Poggio, tipping over five seconds ahead of a chasing group royal, made up of Pogacar, Ganna and his great rival Van Aert. Impressive control in the descent, the Dutchman, third last year, widened his advantage to have time to savor the last meters, taking his head in his hands.
The first Frenchman finishes 9th
“I couldn’t imagine a better scenario. I wanted to attack at the end of the Poggio. It’s a race I really wanted to win. The way I did it exceeded my expectations,” he said. The first Frenchman in this 114th edition, run in good weather, was, as in the past two years, the TotalEnergies rider Anthony Turgis, 9th. As usual, the longest race of the year (294 km) came alive in the last five kilometers.
Previously, the long descent towards the Riviera, traditionally rather boring, was marked by several racing incidents such as the minor fall, at the back of the peloton, of Julian Alaphilippe, on the Turchino. Tadej Pogacar fell, according to RAI, even before the official kick-off, given for the first time in the greater suburbs of Milan, at Abbiategrasso. Again without damage to the Slovenian, hilarious glimpse at the real start, as a fan dusted off his left shoulder with a respectful hand gesture, while others begged for a selfie, closer to the action .
As for the morning breakaway, eight riders strong, it was caught up in the Cipressa, 27 km from the finish, after having sailed for a long time in the lead with around three minutes ahead of the pack.
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