Milan - San Remo, World Cup Round 1

Italy, March 21, 1998


The Primavera - Milan-San Remo - the first World Cup race for 1998. This is also the first of the Spring Classics before the peloton heads to the chills of Belgium for the Tour of Flanders and LBL, and to France for Paris-Roubaix. The race began in 1907 with a Frenchman Lucien Petit-Breton taking the flowers. Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport started the race and still sponsors it. The data shows that only 32 riders started in 1907 and Petit-Breton won 300 lire.

Starting in Milan, the capital of Northern Italy they ride almost 150 kms south-west to the Tyrrhenian Sea at Ligure. They then head along the sea to San Remo. The race really begins over the last 50 kms as a series of short but sharp hills are encountered. The final hill - the Poggio - is where it usually happens. After they go over the top of this "big gear" hill the race then screams down a 4 kms descent into San Remo and the finish line - after 300 kms.

A friend of mine says "they race along the Ligurian Coast and I know a lot of the small towns the peloton pass through. On the way to San Remo they have a lot of greenhouses with carnations in all colours. It's so wonderful!"

Milan-San Remo will take its classic route, covering 294 kms. The principal towns on the route are: Milan, Binasco, Pavia, Casteggio, Voghera, Tortona, Pozzolo Formigaro, Novi Ligure, Basaluzzo, Ovada, Rossiglione, Campo Ligure (first feed zone), Passo del Turchino, Voltri, Varazze, Savona, Vado Ligure, Spotorno, Finale Ligure, Loano, Ceriale (second feed zone), Albenga, Alassio, Capo Mele, Capo Cervo, Capo Berta, Imperia, San Lorenzo a Mare, Cipressa, Riva Ligure, Poggio di San Remo, San Remo.

So for Saturday.

Milan-San Remo and World Cup Form Guide

Michele Bartoli (Italy). Born 27-5-1970. Major successes: 1996: Tour of Flanders. 1997: Liege-Bastogne-Liege. World Cup - 1996: 3rd. 1997: lst. World ranking: 3.

Rolf Sorensen (Denmark). 20-4-1965. Major successes: 1993: Liege-Bastogne-Liege. 1997: Tour of Flanders. World Cup - 1991, 1989: 3rd. 1997: 2nd. World ranking: 21.

This will be his 13th Milan-San Remo for the 32-year old Dane. He is in good form having won a stage at Tirreno-Adriatico where he beat Zabel on a slight climb. He's a tough rider. Be also on the lookout for his compatriot Lars Michaelsen (TVM).

Johan Museeuw (Belgium). 13-10-1965. Major successes: 1993: Tour of Flanders. Paris-Tours. 1994: Amstel Gold. 1995: Tour of Flanders. GP Suisse. 1996: World road race championship. Paris-Roubaix. World Cup - 1993, 1994: 2nd. 1995, 1996: 1st. World ranking: 12.

The 32-year old Belgian always target the classics and the World Cup and he has announced that he does not want to ride the Tour de France this year. He leads a very strong team, Mapei-Bricobì, where Franco Ballerini also has ambitions.

Laurent Jalabert (France). 30-11-1968. Major successes: 1995: Tour of Spain. Milan-San Remo. 1997: Tour of Lombardy. Paris-Nice. World Cup - 1991: 2nd. World ranking: 1.

29-year old Jalabert is number one in the World Rankings and he won Milan-San Remo in 1995, ahead of Fondriest. This season he has won at the Tour du Haut Var and finished second at Paris-Nice behind a super Vandenbroucke, where he was slowed down a bit by a dose of the flu. Jalabert grows when the going gets tough - like at San Remo.

Andrei Tchmil (Belgium). 22-1-1963. Major successes: 1994: Paris-Roubaix. 1997: Paris-Tours. World Cup - 1994: 3rd. 1995: 2nd. World ranking: 4.

Tchmil (35) has been Russian, Ukranian, Moldavian now is a nationalized Belgian. He figures in a lot of the predictions. Winner of Paris-Roubaix in 1994, the Lotto rider is always in the first row in the classifications. Tchmil has shown at Paris-Nice a little of his capacity - in the climbs and especially in the sprints, where he even had the measure of Tom Steels.

Andrea Ferrigato (Italy). 1-9-1969. Major successes: 1996: Leeds Classic. G.P. Suisse. World Cup - 1996: 2nd. World ranking: 46.

Mauro Gianetti (Switzerland). 16-3-1964. Major successes: 1995: Liege-Bastogne-Liege. Amstel Gold. 1996: Japan Cup. World Cup - 1995: 3rd. World ranking: 40.

Andrea Tafi (Italy). 7-5-1966. Major successes: 1996: Tour of Lombardy. 1997: Rochester Classic. World Cup - 1997: 3rd. World ranking: 7.

Davide Rebellin (Italy). 9-8-1971. Major successes: 1997: San Sebastian Classic. GP Suisse. World Cup - 1997: 4th. World ranking: 16.

Max Sciandri (Britain). 15-2-1967. Major successes: 1995: Leeds Classic. World Cup - 1993: 3rd. World ranking: 50.

Fabrizio Guidi is a 25-year old from Pisa. He is riding for Team Polti this season. After a brilliant 1996, with 16 victories, 1997 was plagued by physical problems. He showed excellent form during Paris-Nice and on the toughest stages he always was with the best. His team also counts on Mirko Celestino, Axel Merckx and Silvio Martinello.

Gabriele Colombo is a 25-year old riding for Ballan this season. He exploded in 1996 with his win at Milano-San Remo and remains the last Italian winner of the classic. After a forgetful 1997, he seems to have returned to good form at Tirreno-Adriatico where he won the Tivoli stage with an attack on the climb in the last kilometer.

Marco Pantani is 27 and rides with Mercatone Uno-Bianchi and is one of the best climbers of the peloton. In 1997 he won two stage at the Tour. This year he's already had success at a mountain top finish stage at la Vuelta a Murcia. He has been training hard to be in good form for tomorrow. He is dangerous because he's unpredictable. His team also has Konyshev and Traversoni.

Mario Cipollini at 30 years old is the number one sprinter in the peloton. He rides for Saeco-Cannondale and has won already this year at the GP Costa degli Etruschi and a stage at the Tour of the Mediterranean. Milano-San Remo has always been his forbidden fruit - he finished second in 1994. He has been training hard at home, sometimes with Bartoli, after his exclusion from Tirreno-Adriatico because of the protest of the 125 at Baia Domizia.

Erik Zabel is 27-years old and hails from Berlin. He has ridden for German team Telekom-ADR for several seasons. He won the sprint for San Remo in 1997, which was the first sprint finish in 17 years. He has shown at Tirreno-Adriatico that he's the favorite for tomorrow. He has already five victories this season and has imporessed everyone with his performance on the climbs. It will be difficult to get rid of him at la Cipressa and il Poggio.

Nicola Minali is 28 and rides for Riso Scotti-Aiwa. This year he has won a stage at Tour Mediterranean and at the Giro della Provincia di Siracusa. Recently, he has been training at home after his exclusion from Tirreno-Adriatico. Together with Cipollini and other sprinters like Steels, Leoni, Balducci, Traversoni, Van Petegem, they hope for a sprint finish like last year.

Rolf Jaermann is 32-years old and could be the big surprise at Milano-San Remo this year. He has most recently won at Tirreno-Adriatico with authority and he counts on a team, Casino, which is going through an incredible period - 13 victories with 8 riders and 2100 UCI points accumulated since the start of February. Massi, Elli and Richard complete the team for tomorrow.

Gianluca Bortolami is 29 and from Milan. He rides for Festina. Winner of the World Cup in 1994, this season he has won at the Giro di Chiasso open. At Tirreno-Adriatico, he suffered from the flu. The other hopefuls for Festina will be Zülle, Virenque and Dufaux.

Francesco Casagrande is 27-years old and he has left Italy this season and is riding for French Team Cofidis. He has trained hard over the Winter to be competitive in the early classics. He conquered the tough Mont Faron stage at the Tour Mediterranean and was up the top of the classification for the Vuelta a Murcia.

Teams and Main Participants

There will be 200 riders from 25 teams. Eleven Italian teams, five French, four Spanish, two Dutch, one German, Belgian and American.


Erik Zabel (Ger) 
Giovanni Lombardi (Ita)
Frattini (Ita)
Jens Heppner (Ger) 


Michele Bartoli (Ita) 
Paolo Bettini (Ita) 
Luca Scinto (Ita)
Michele Coppolillo (Ita)


Gabriele Colombo (Ita)
Endrio Leoni (Ita) 
Nicola Loda (Ita)
Rodolfo Ongarato 


Abraham Olano (Spa)
José Luis Arrieta (Spa) 
Armando De Las Cuevas (Fra)
José Vicente Garcia (Spa) 


Enrico Zaina (Ita) 
Roberto Sgambelluri (Ita) 
Marco Serpellini (Ita) 
Marco Milesi (Ita)

Cantina Tollo-Alexia

Stefano Colagé (Ita)
Luca Mazzanti (Ita)
Massimo Strazzer (Ita) 
Germano Pierdomenico (Ita) 


Alberto Elli (Ita)
Rodolfo Massi (Ita) 
Rolf Jaermann (Swi)
Pascal Richard (Swi)


Maurizio Fondriest (Ita) 
Francesco Casagrande (Ita)
Alessandro Bertolini (Ita) 
Christophe Capelle (Ita)


Alex Zülle (Swi)
Richard Virenque (Fra)
Gianluca Bortolami (Ita)
Laurent Dufaux (Swi)


Frederic Moncassin (Fra)
Cedric Vasseur (Fra)
Henk Vogels (Aus)
Stuart O'Grady (Aus)

Kelme-Costa Blanca

Fernando Escartin Coti (Spa) 
Angel Edo Alsina (Spa)
Marcos A. Serrano Rodriguez (Spa)
Francisco Cabello (Spa)

La Francaise des Jeux

Evgueni Berzin (Rus) 
Mauro Gianetti (Swi) 
Flavio Vanzella (Ita) 
Stephane Heulot (Fra)


Andrei Tchmil (Bel)
Ludwig Willems (Bel)
Peter Farazijn (Bel)
Laurent Madouas (Fra)


Gianni Bugno (Ita) 
Johan Museeuw (Bel) 
Franck Vandenbroucke (Bel)
Tom Steels (Bel)

Mercatone Uno-Bianchi

Marco Pantani (Ita)
Mario Traversoni (Ita) 
Dimitri Konyshev (Rus)
Fabio Fontanelli (Ita) 


Laurent Jalabert (Fra) 
David Canada Garcia (Spa) 
Melchior Mauri Prat (Spa) ONCE
Mikel Zarrabeitia Uranga (Spa)


Rolf Sorensen (Den)
Leon Van Bon (Ned)
Martin Den Bakker (Ned)
Peter Luttenberger (Aut)

Riso Scotti-Aiwa

Nicola Minali (Ita) 
Fabio Baldato (Ita)
Roberto Pistore (Ita)
Ermanno Brignoli (Ita)

Ros Mary-Amica Chips

Claudio Chiappucci (Ita) 
Fabrizio Bontempi (Ita) 
Maurizio Molinari (Ita) 
Felice Puttini (Ita)


Mario Cipollini (Ita)
Roberto Petito (Ita) 
Gian Matteo Fagnini (Ita) 
Savoldelli (Ita)


Gabriele Balducci (Ita) 
Filipo Casagrande (Ita) 
Davide Casarotto (Ita)
Dario Pieri (Ita)

Team Polti

Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) 
Mirko Celestino (Ita)
Axel Merckx (Bel)
Davide Rebellin (Ita)

TVM-Farm Frites

Lars Michaelsen (Den)
Peter Van Petegem (Ned)
Serguei Outschakov (Ukr)
Steven De Jongh (Ned)

US Postal

Vjatceslav Ekimov (Rus)
George Hincapie (USA)
Sven Teutenberg (Ger)
Peter Meinert (Den)

Vitalicio Seguros

Andrea Ferrigato (Ita)
Elio Aggiano (Ita)
Andrei Zintchenko (Rus)
Tobias Steinhauser (Ger)

Past Winners

1907	Lucien Petit-Breton (Fra)      
1908	Cyrille Van Hauwaert (Bel)
1909	Luigi Ganna (Ita) 
1910	Eugene Christophe (Fra)
1911	Gustave Garrigou (Fra)
1912	Henri Pellessier (Fra)
1913	Odiel Defraeye (Bel)
1914	Ugo Agostoni (Ita) 
1915	Ezio Gorlaita (Ita) 
1917	Gaetano Belloni (Ita) 
1918	Costante Girardengo (Ita) 
1919	Angelo Cremo (Ita) 
1920	Gaetano Belloni (Ita) 
1921	Costante Girardengo (Ita) 
1922	Giovanni Brunero (Ita) 
1923	Costante Girardengo (Ita) 
1924	Pietro Linari (Ita) 
1925	Costante Girardengo (Ita) 
1926	Costante Girardengo (Ita) 
1927	Pietro Chesi (Ita) 
1928	Costante Girardengo (Ita) 
1929	Alfredo Binda (Ita) 
1930	Michele Mara (Ita) 
1931	Alfredo Binda (Ita) 
1932	Alfredo Bovet (Ita) 
1933	Learco Guerra (Ita) 
1934	Joseph Demysere (Bel)
1935	Giuseppe Olmo (Ita) 
1936	Angelo Varetto (Ita) 
1937	Cesarde Del Cancia (Ita) 
1938	Giuseppe Olmo (Ita) 
1939	Gino Bartali (Ita) 
1940	Gino Bartali (Ita) 
1941	Pierino Favalli (Ita) 
1942	Adolfo Leoni (Ita) 
1943	Cino Cinelli (Ita) 
1946	Fausto Coppi (Ita) 
1947	Gino Bartali (Ita) 
1948	Fausto Coppi (Ita) 
1949	Fausto Coppi (Ita) 
1950	Gino Bartali (Ita) 
1951	Louison Bobet (Fra)
1952	Loretto Petrucci (Ita) 
1953	Loretto Petrucci (Ita) 
1954	Rik Van Steenbergen (Bel)
1955	Germain Derijcke (Bel)
1956	Fred DeBruyne (Bel)
1957	Miguel Poblet (Spa)
1958	Rik Van Looy (Bel)
1959	Miguel Poblet (Spa)
1960	René Privat (Fra)
1961	Raymond Poulidor (Fra)
1962	Emil Daems (Bel)
1963	Joseph Groussard (Fra)
1964	Tom Simpson (GB)
1965	Arie den Hartog (Ned) 
1966	Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1967	Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1968	Rudi Altig (DEU)
1969	Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1970	Michele Dancelli (Ita) 
1971	Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1972	Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1973	Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)
1974	Felice Gimondi (Ita) 
1975	Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1976	Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1977	Jan Raas (Ned) Frisol-Gazelle
1978	Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel) Sanson
1979	Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel) Gis
1980	Pierino Gavazzi (Ita) Magniflex Olmo
1981	Alfons DeWolf (Bel) Vermeer-Thijs-Gios
1982	Marc Gomez (Fra) Wolber Spidel
1983	Giuseppe Saronni (Ita) Del Tongo
1984	Francesco Moser (Ita) GiS Gelati-LucTuc
1985	Hennie Kuiper (Ned) 
1986	Sean Kelly (Ire) KAS Mavic
1987	Erich Mächler (Swi) Carrera
1988	Laurent Fignon (Fra) System U
1989	Laurent Fignon (Fra) System U
1990	Gianni Bugno (Ita) Château d'Ax
1991	Claudio Chiappucci (Ita) Carrera
1992	Sean Kelly (Ire) Festina
1993	Maurizio Fondriest (Ita) Lampre
1994	Giorgio Furlan (Ita) Gewiss Ballan
1995	Laurent Jalabert (Fra) ONCE
1996	Gabriele Colombo (Ita) Gewiss Playbus
1997	Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom
1998	?
My friend Mario Stiehl from Berlin compiles the Past Winners

Victories by Country at Milan-San Remo

Italy: 46
Belgium: 19
France: 12
Holland: 3
Ireland, Spain & Germany: 2
Great Britain and Switzerland: 1