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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

95th Milan - San Remo - CDM

Italy, March 20, 2004

2003 results     Preview    Start List     Past winners

Bettini favourite for MSR

But look out for sprinters and dark horse Vino

Paolo Bettini
Photo: © Sirotti
Click for larger image

The first of the spring classics, the opening round of the men's World Cup, the longest one-day race of the season and the race every Italian wants to win, Milan - San Remo marks the moment when the racing season goes into overdrive after the 'serious warm-ups' of Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico.

Last year's edition of the race known to tifosi as 'La Primavera' (The Spring) was won by Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step-Davitamon), who has already made it clear he wants a repeat, and has demonstrated his storming early season form with a fine pair of stage wins at Tirreno-Adriatico, a race he leads at the time of writing.

Mario Cipollini kicked off his stellar 2002 with a win in San Remo, a year he completed seven months later by taking the world championships in Zolder. The Lion King hasn't has a terrific start to 2004 with Fassa Bortolo sprinter Alessandro Petacchi getting in the way rather a lot on Tirreno-Adriatico finish lines. But despite dropping out of Tirreno-Adriatico, Cipo says Milan - San Remo's climbs are very different from Tirreno-Adriatico's and he'll be "150 percent ready."

Also looking strong is the T-Mobile ensemble of Alexandre Vinokourov and Erik Zabel. Zabel already has four Milan-San Remo victories to his name and would love a fifth, but if the race gets away from the sprinters, Vinokourov, who found his form halfway through Paris-Nice last week, will be there to "follow Bettini and the favourites on the Poggio."

Because Milan - San Remo carries enormous prestige - previous winners include sean Kelly, Laurent Fignon, Laurent Jalabert, Eddy Merckx (a staggering seven times), Fausto Coppi and Alfredo Binda - it's always a hard-fought, fascinating race. With the cream of today's stars looking to add their names to the Milan - San Remo honour roll, this year's edition looks like being no exception.

Past winners

2003  Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick.Step-Davitamon   297 km in 6.44.43 (44.03 km/h)
2002  Mario Cipollini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone       287 km in 6.39.30 (43.105 km/h)
2001  Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom                   287 km in 7.23.13 (38.852 km/h)
2000  Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom                   294 km in 7.11.29 (40.882 km/h)
1999  Andrei Tchmil (Bel) Lotto-Mobistar         294 km in 6.52.37 (42.752 km/h)
1998  Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom-ADR               294 km in 7.10.14 (41.00 km/h)
1997  Erik Zabel (Ger) Telekom
1996  Gabriele Colombo (Ita) Gewiss Playbus
1995  Laurent Jalabert (Fra) ONCE
1994  Giorgio Furlan (Ita) Gewiss Ballan
1993  Maurizio Fondriest (Ita) Lampre
1992  Sean Kelly (Ire) Festina
1991  Claudio Chiappucci (Ita) Carrera
1990  Gianni Bugno (Ita) Chateau d'Ax
1989  Laurent Fignon (Fra) System U
1988  Laurent Fignon (Fra) System U
1987  Erich Mächelr (Swi) Carrera
1986  Sean Kelly (Ire) KAS Mavic
1985  Hennie Kuiper (Ned) 
1984  Francesco Moser (Ita) GiS Gelati-LucTuc
1983  Giuseppe Saronni (Ita) Del Tongo
1982  Marc Gomez (Fra) Wolber Spidel
1981  Alfons DeWolf (Bel) Vermeer-Thijs-Gios
1980  Pierino Gavazzi (Ita) Magniflex Olmo
1979  Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel) Gis
1978  Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel) Sanson
1977  Jan Raas (Ned) Frisol-Gazelle
1976  Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1975  Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1974  Felice Gimondi (Ita) 
1973  Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel)
1972  Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1971  Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1970  Michele Dancelli (Ita) 
1969  Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1968  Rudi Altig (Ger)
1967  Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1966  Eddy Merckx (Bel)
1965  Arie den Hartog (Ned) 
1964  Tom Simpson (GBr)
1963  Joseph Groussard (Fra)
1962  Emil Daems (Bel)
1961  Raymond Poulidor (Fra)
1960  René Privat (Fra)
1959  Miguel Poblet (Spa)
1958  Rik Van Looy (Bel)
1957  Miguel Poblet (Spa)
1956  Fred DeBruyne (Bel)
1955  Germain Derijcke (Bel)
1954  Rik Van Steenbergen (Bel)
1953  Loretto Petrucci (Ita) 
1952  Loretto Petrucci (Ita) 
1951  Louison Bobet (Fra)
1950  Gino Bartali (Ita) 
1949  Fausto Coppi (Ita) 
1948  Fausto Coppi (Ita) 
1947  Gino Bartali (Ita) 
1946  Fausto Coppi (Ita) 
1943  Cino Cinelli (Ita) 
1942  Adolfo Leoni (Ita) 
1941  Pierino Favalli (Ita) 
1940  Gino Bartali (Ita) 
1939  Gino Bartali (Ita) 
1938  Giuseppe Olmo (Ita) 
1937  Cesarde Del Cancia (Ita) 
1936  Angelo Varetto (Ita) 
1935  Giuseppe Olmo (Ita) 
1934  Joseph Demysere (Bel)
1933  Learco Guerra (Ita) 
1932  Alfredo Bovet (Ita) 
1931  Alfredo Binda (Ita) 
1930  Michele Mara (Ita) 
1929  Alfredo Binda (Ita) 
1928  Costante Girardengo (Ita) 
1927  Pietro Chesi (Ita) 
1926  Costante Girardengo (Ita) 
1925  Costante Girardengo (Ita) 
1924  Pietro Linari (Ita) 
1923  Costante Girardengo (Ita) 
1922  Giovanni Brunero (Ita) 
1921  Costante Girardengo (Ita) 
1920  Gaetano Belloni (Ita) 
1919  Angelo Cremo (Ita) 
1918  Costante Girardengo (Ita) 
1917  Gaetano Belloni (Ita) 
1915  Ezio Gorlaita (Ita) 
1914  Ugo Agostoni (Ita) 
1913  Odiel Defraeye (Bel)
1912  Henri Pellessier (Fra)
1911  Gustave Garrigou (Fra)
1910  Eugene Christophe (Fra)
1909  Luigi Ganna (Ita) 
1908  Cyrille Van Hauwaert (Bel)
1907  Lucien Petit-Breton (Fra)      

Past Winners by Mario Stiehl, www.world-of-cycling.com.