Mathieu Van der Poel wins the very classic with a perfect attack on the Poggio.
– In the world of two wheels primavera means only one thing: it’s time for Milan San Remo, the first classic monument, the very classic. An ancient race, with an ancient layout, which has been repeating itself since the dawn of time and which in today’s racing world is almost anachronistic. And yet, every spring solstice we are here again to see the elite of world cycling battle it out over almost 300 kilometres, 270 of which are flat Po Valley and the Ligurian Riviera and the last 20 kilometers are pure roller coasters with the Cipressa climb and the Poggio where everything is decided: is there anything more nostalgic?;
– As has often happened in recent years it is the ascent of the Poggio that decides the race: the winners have almost always used this four kilometer climb and the following super technical descent to claim victory. And it cannot be otherwise since it is the only real point where you can make a difference. And despite this, despite everyone, cyclists, spectators, commentators, we know that the Milano Sanremo is decided cyclically in these four kilometers, there is always the cyclist capable of surprising, of seizing the right moment: every time it is the Poggio, each time in a different way, each time we are ecstatic.
– There is therefore an adjective to describe Mathieu Van der Poel? Two weeks ago he struggled on the dusty roads of the Strade Bianche, today he cannibalized the competition by attacking with perfect timing just before the brow on the Poggio, five kilometers from the finish, taking advantage of the monstrous selection work of Matteo Trentin who had dug a hole in his own group at the start of the last climb. Then he resisted going downhill, set the course record, and came out alone in via Roma. A true classics cyclist, he is on his third victory in a monument after the two triumphs in the Tour of Flanders in 2020 and 2022. But there’s more: he triumphed in Sanremo sixty-two years after his grandfather Raymond Poulidor;
– The heart of every fan of this sport will certainly have leapt when the chasing group was framed behind Van der Poel, Tadej Pogacar, Wout Van Aert and Filippo Ganna. In the very classic, the aristocracy of world cycling is battling it out, with the best interpreters of two-wheel specialities: from climbs, to time trials, to speed. The final ranking reads Van der Poel, Ganna, Van Aert and Pogacar, in the first four positions: it’s really nice to see;
– Chapter Filippo Ganna: behind the winner, the one and ninety meter tall of the Piedmontese rider appears who burns at the finish line Van Aert and Pogacar, not the last to arrive in terms of speed and certainly better than Ganna. However, Pippo ran a crazy race, thanks to a dazzling form: yet, the ability shown in staying in contact with the three in front, uphill, are perhaps a sign of the cyclist’s will to evolve from a “simple” time trial rider. Already in these first few months he has shown interesting things, above all in the Vuelta a San Juan and Volta ao Algarve which both finished in second place in the general classification. What will he want to be when he grows up? We will see.
The article Scattered considerations on Milan-Sanremo 2023 comes from Sportellate.it.