Monday, March 24, 2008

6 Milan-San Remo 2008

Here's for those who missed one of the most exciting classics of Spring - the Italian Milan-San Remo. The looming idea for any strong rider who wanted to win this baby was to get away on that last climb of the famous Poggio, essentially keeping the main pack at bay.

After riding 180 miles, who the heck wants to give all the sprinters an easy victory?

The tactic would be good, as chances were that a single rider or smaller group of riders would better maneuver around the dizzying narrow corners of the descent to the finish line at San Remo. All the top names were there off in the front break, including Cancellara and Rebellin whose racing is always a pleasure to watch since he's one of those amazingly persistent race campaigners that Italy has ever produced.

While I frantically shouted 'forza Rebellin' during those final minutes, an unsurprising turn of events took place. Cancellara manned up, bit his teeth and decided to time trial to the finish line himself, emasculating all the top sprinters of the world and some 150+ riders behind. Letting him escape would be the biggest mistake of the day.

Notice some of his race winning elements :

1. Being at the front of the race or in a break at the crucial time.
2. Being a world class time trialist.
3. Efficient cornering technique.
4. Catching riders unaware and bumping up speed.
5. Hitting the hammer at the right moment, reeling in an attack by Inigo Landaluze and counterattacking him when he had no legs anymore.
6. He finally accelerates, ensuring that he takes no rats with him in his solo move. Landaluze is fried.


Thanks to user BURNIE87 for uploading the Rai TV segment. Boy, those helicopters did an amazing job!


  1. Fabian Cancellara is undoubtedly a great cyclist. I wouldn't be surprise if he grabs the Tour de France one of these upcoming years.

  2. Ron,
    Nice post.
    One must admire Cancellara's ability and accuracy when launching such an attack. He did at the Tour (was it stage three?)and he did it again, beating "the rest" by 4 seconds...

    PS: Zachary, Cancellara would have a hard time staying with the Tour GC riders who are in most cases exceptional climbers as well.

  3. Thanks for putting that up Ron. I get two television channels here where I live. Great to see that.

    Sure you don't want to work for Cervelo. You could be there doing testing.

  4. That race was fantastic. First hats off to Bettini for trying to get away. One thing I can guarantee is that if you don't try to get away you won't win a race - ever.

    Fabian's move was textbook. You could see the look on Ballan's face - we just screwed the pooch.

    As for your 6 points, I think it all comes down to point 1. You can never ever win a race from the back.

  5. This is what we love to see. I'll echo an earlier comment... "Are you sure you don't want to work for Cervelo?"

  6. Chris :

    Landaluz did attack from a little way back which is probably why he had nothing left when it came to the end. Nevertheless he did end up in the top 20.

    Don, Blue :

    I want to start out in the energy sector. The choice is open later though...


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