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Milan to San-Remo

Milano - San Remo World Cup

Milan, Italy, March 18, 2000

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The traditional opening race of the Classics season is the 294 km Milan-San Remo, nicknamed "La Primavera", as it is always raced on the first weekend of spring. It is also the first race in the men's World Cup competition, a total of 10 races concluding with the Tour of Lombardy in October. The race is, to put it mildly, huge in Italy, and an Italian winner is given a huge amount of respect and prestige for the rest of his career - even if he never performs quite as highly again.

Although it certainly doesn't qualify as a hilly classic, it makes up for that in length, being almost 300 km from start to finish. The start (altitude: 112 m) from Milan into the plains is fairly flat, meandering along for 140 km until the riders crest the Turchino Pass (143 km). This is 432 m high at the summit, although it is not too steep, climbing 100 m in the last 5 kilometers.

After this, the race descends into Voltiri where it follows the Cote d'Azur for mmany kilometers, punctuated by a few short climbs (Capo Mele (65 m), Capo Serva Mimosa (75 m) and the Capo Berta (130 m)). These are a prelude to the main climb, the 240 m high Cipressa at kilometer 272. This climb is 6 kilometers long at an average of 4%. However, the speed of the peloton is usually great at this point, and it is a key part in the race's final selection. Once over the top, there is just 20 km until the finish and the riders in with a show are normally at the front of the peloton at this stage.

Finally, there is the climb of the 3.75 kilometer long, 162 m high Poggio, with the summit at 6 kilometers from the finish. The race is often decided here and should a rider escape on his own, he has a good chance of winning. However, in recent years the race has come down to a bunch sprint as more riders have managed to make it to the closing kilometers. A fully operational lead out train is very hard to beat, but last year's winner Andrei Tchmil managed to do just that as he slipped the bunch with 1 kilometer to go. This is rare, but not unheard of, especially when there is a rider of Tchmil's class and canniness in the lead group.

This year, all eyes will be on German Erik Zabel (Telekom), who has made no secret of the fact that he wants to win the classic for the third time. He almost did last year except for Tchmil. Zabel will be well supported by his Telekom team, as many seem to be in good form at the moment (not Jan Ullrich, who will not start). Steffen Wesemann and Andreas Klöden have all notched up wins this year, the latter in overall classification of the recently completed Paris-Nice.

In addition, there will be Belgian Peter van Petegem (Farm Frites) who believes he can do a "Colombo" (MSR 1996) and sneak away towards the end. Johan Museeuw (Mapei) is another one to look out for, as he has already won the Het Volk this year, however he normally is at his best in the Belgian classics. Compatriot Frank Vandenbroucke (Cofidis) will probably not be a force either, as he has missed the last few races due to an aggravation of his shoulder injury when he fell down the stairs before Paris-Nice. Neither will potential favourite, Michael Boogerd (Rabobank) who has stated that he will not ride, despite having won a stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico. The overall winner of that race, Abraham Olano (ONCE) would probably like to win Milan-San Remo but the parcours does not really suit him [it's not a 10-50 km individual time trial].

World number one, Laurent Jalabert (ONCE) does find the course to his liking, having won the race in 1995 and he will be a major threat on Saturday. Last year's winner, Andrei Tchmil (Lotto) will be there and can not be ruled out, but the pack will surely not let him go as they did last year. Another rider in top form is Estonian Jaan Kirsipuu, riding for his first time in the classic despite being 30 years old. The AG2R rider has already won six races this year, and will be more than a match for Zabel should he make it over the Poggio in reasonable condition.

World Champion, Oscar Freire (Mapei) is another who is in excellent form at the moment, having won two stages of the Tirreno-Adriatico, and several others in the Spanish tours earlier this year. Considering that he is such a powerful rider on the climbs as well, he will surely be a threat at the end, and will be well supported by his Mapei team. Finally there is the Lion King, Mario Cipollini, who has come close but never succeeded in winning this classic. It is probably the last race that Mario requires to complete his enormous palmares, and it would cement his place in Italian cycling forever.

Complete Starting List

LOTTO-ADECCO                          AG2R PREVOYANCE

1. Andrei Tchmil (Bel)                11. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est)
2. Mario Aerts (Bel)                  12. Christophe Agnolutto (Fra)
3. Koen Beeckman (Bel)                13. Lauri Aus (Est)
4. Thierry Marichal (Bel)             14. Stéphane Barthe (Fra)
5. Paul van Hyfte (Bel)               15. Pascal Chanteur (Fra)
6. Kurt van Lancker (Bel)             16. Andrei Kivilev (Kaz)
7. Rik Verbrugghe (Bel)               17. Gilles Maignan (Fra)
8. Geert Verheyen (Bel)               18. Benoît Salmon (Fra)


21. Ivan Basso (Ita)                  31. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol)
22. Vitali Kokorine (Rus)             32. Tomas Brozyna (Pol)
23. Pietro Caucchioli (Ita)           33. Alberto Benito Guerrero (Spa)
24. Oscar Pozzi (Ita)                 34. Franciso Mancebo Perez (Spa
25. Ruslan Ovanov (Mda)               35. David Navas Chica (Spa)
26. Diego Ferrari (Ita)               36. Unai Osa Eizaguirre (Spa)
27. Kurt Asle Arvesen (Nor)           37. Leonardo Piepoli (Ita)
28. Giuseppe Palumbo (Ita)            38. Alex Zülle (Swi)

CANTINA TOLLO                         COFIDIS

41. Gabriele Colombo (Ita)            51. Steve De Wolf (Bel)
42. Roberto Sgambelluri (Ita)         52. Peter Farazijn (Bel)
43. Marco A. di Renzo (Ita)           53. Philippe Gaumont (Fra)
44. Alessandro Baronti (Ita)          54. Massimiliano Lelli (Ita)
45. Massimo Giunti (Ita)              55. Nico Mattan (Bel)
46. Ruggero Marzoli (Ita)             56. Chris Peers (Bel)
47. Paolo Bossini (Ita)               57. Jo Planckaert (Bel)
48. Guido Trenti (USA)                58. Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel)

FARM FRITES                           FASSA BORTOLO

61. Geert van Bondt (Bel)             71. Fabio Baldato (Ita)
62. Sergei Ivanov (Rus)               72. Wladimir Belli (Ita)
63. Andreas Klier (Ger)               73. Andrea Ferrigato (Ita)
64. Servais Knaven (Ned)              74. Dimitri Konyshev (Rus)
65. Michel Lafis (Swe)                75. Nicola Loda (Ita)
66. Wim Vansevenant (Bel)             76. Luca Mazzanti (Ita)
67. Peter van Petegem (Bel)           77. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita)
68. Glen Magnusson (Swe)              78. Matteo Tosatto (Ita)
FESTINA                               KELME-COSTA BLANCA

81. Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro (Spa)    91. Oscar Sevilla Ribera (Spa)
82. David Clinger (USA)               92. Francisco Cabello Luque (Spa)
83. Giuseppe di Grande (Ita)          93. Francisco Leon Mane (Spa)
84. Jaime Hernandez Bertran (Spa)     94. José E. Gutierrez Cataluna (Spa)
85. Rolf Huser (Swi)                  95. José J. Gomez Gonzalo (Spa)
86. Fabian Jeker (Swi)                96. Javier Pascual Rodriguez (Spa)
87. Jonathan Hall (Aus)               97. Javier Pascual Llorente (Spa)
88. David Plaza Romero (Spa)          98. Ruben Galvan Manchon (Spa)


101. Stéphane Heulot (Fra)            111. Oscar Camenzind (Swi)
102. Frank Hoj (Den)                  112. Franco Ballerini (Ita)
103. Frédéric Guesdon (Fra)           113. Gabriele Missaglia (Ita)
104. Xavier Jan (Fra)                 114. Robert Hunter (Rsa)
105. Bradley McGee (Aus)              115. Marco Serpellini (Ita)
106. Christophe Mengin (Fra)          116. Zbigniew Spruch (Pol)
107. Lars Michaelsen (Den)            117. Jan Svorada (Cze)
108. Franck Perque (Fra)              118. Johan Verstrepen (Bel)

LIQUIGAS-PATA                         MAPEI-QUICK STEP

121. Davide Rebellin (Ita)            131. Michel Bartoli (Ita)
122. Marco Zanotti (Ita)              132. Paolo Bettini (Ita)
123. Fausto Dotti (Ita)               133. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa)
124. Ellis Rastelli (Ita)             134. Johan Museeuw (Bel)
125. Cristian Salvato (Ita)           135. Wilfried Peeters (Bel)
126. Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita)     136. Paolo Fornaciari  (Ita)
127. Denis Zanette (Ita)              137. Andrea Tafi (Ita)
128. Giancarlo Raimondi (Ita)         138. Stefano Zanini (Ita)


141. Tristan Hoffman (Ned)            151. Ermanno Brignoli (Ita)
142. Bo Hamburger (Den)               152. Michele Coppolillo (Ita)
143. Martin Rittsel (Swe)             153. Fabiano Fontanelli (Ita)
144.                                  154. Riccardo Forconi (Ita)
145. Jesper Skibby (Den)              155. Stefano Garzelli (Ita)
146. Allan Johansen (Den)             156. Marcello Siboni (Ita)
147. Frank Corvers (Bel)              157. Marco Velo (Ita)
148. René Jörgensen (Den)             158. Enrico Zaina (Ita)


161. Mirko Gualdi (Ita)               171. Inigo Cuesta Lopez (Spa)
162. Evgueni Berzin (Rus)             172. Rafael Diaz Justo (Spa)
163. Milan Kadlec (Cze)               173. Davide Extebarria (Spa)
164. Serguei Lelekin (Rus)            174. Marcelino Garcia Alonso (Spa)
165. Filippo Baldo (Ita)              175. Laurent Jalabert (Fra)
166. Ivan Quaranta (Ita)              176. Nicolas Jalabert (Fra)
167. Graziano Recinella (Ita)         177. Mikel Zarrabeitia (Spa)
168. Michele Gobbi (Ita)              178. Abraham Olano Manzano (Spa)

TEAM POLTI                            RABOBANK

181. Pascal Hervé (Fra)		      191. Jan Boven (Ned)
182. Rossano Brasi (Ita)              192. Steven de Jongh (Ned)
183. Enrico Cassani (Ita)             193. Maarten den Bakker (Ned)
184. Mirko Celestino (Ita)            194. Karsten Kroon (Ned)
185. Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita)             195. Rolf Sørensen (Den)
186. Fabio Sacchi (Ita)               196. Leon van Bon (Ned)
187. Richard Virenque (Fra)           197. Marc Wauters (Bel)
188. Bart Voskamp (Ned)               198. Markus Zberg (Swi)


201. Mario Cipollini (Ita)            211. Rolf Aldag (Ger)
202. Salvatore Commesso (Ita)         212. Alberto Elli (Ita)
203. Alessio Galletti (Ita)           213. Gianmatteo Fagnini (Ita)
204. Massimiliano Mori (Ita)          214. Kai Hundertmark (Ger)
205. Pavel Padrnos (Cze)              215. Jan Schaffrath (Ger)
206. Guiseppi Calcaterra (Ita)        216. Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz)
207. Paolo Savoldelli (Ita)           217. Steffen Wesemann (Ger)
208. Mario Scirea (Ita)               218. Erik Zabel (Ger)


221. Lance Armstrong (USA)            231. Francesco Casagrande (Ita)
222. Frankie Andreu (USA)             232. Romans Vainsteins (Lat)
223. Julian Dean (NZl)		      233. Mauro Gianetti (Swi)
224. Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus)	      234. Gianluca Bortolami (Ita)
225. George Hincapie (USA)            235. Marco Milesi (Ita)     
226. Benoit Joachim (Lux)	      236. Matthew White (Aus)
227. Cédric Vasseur (Fra)	      237. Massimo Apollonio (Ita)
228. Steve Vermaut (Bel)	      238. Mauro Radaelli (Ita)


241. Elio Aggiano (Ita)
242. Francisco Cerezo Perales (Spa)
243. Juan C. Dominguez (Spa) 
244. Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Spa)
245. Victor Pena Grisales (Col)
246. José L. Rebollo Aguado (Spa)
247. Luis Perez Rodriguez (Spa)
248. Jan Hruska (Cze)

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    Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom-ADR 294 kms in 7.10.14 (41.00 km/h)
1999    Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar 6.52.37 (42.752 km/h)

Mario Stiehl from Berlin compiles the Past Winners

Victories by Country at Milan-San Remo

Italy: 46
Belgium: 20
France: 12
Holland: 3
Ireland, Spain and Germany: 3
Great Britain and Switzerland: 1 


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