The big Milan-San Remo let down

Milan San Remo

Football is boring. Cycling is interesting.

Football is simple. Cycling is complicated.

Cycling is better than football.

This is how we’re all supposed to think isn’t it? Cycling is the reserve of the sporting connoisseur whose palate for action is more distinguished and refined than simply watching 22 dunderheads kicking a ball around a field. There is more subtlety on two wheels, more going on than any of us can see or realise, therefore it’s harder to understand, therefore you need to be more intelligent to understand it.

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Nokere Koerse

Nokereberg

The history of this race actually dates back to the Paris-Nice of 1938. Paris-Nice was only in its sixth year of existence and although it was still organised by Albert Lejeune and his pair of newspapers in Paris and Nice, it was struggling to attract a large amount of competitiors. Stage racing in France was still very much the exception, with the Tour de France itself the only other race of its kind in the country. The big bucks were to be made in the velodromes, a fact not lost on most riders.

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Milan-San Remo Preparation

Cycling : BOONEN Tom / Milan - Sanremo

Which is the best race to ride yourself into form for Milan-San Remo? Is it Paris-Nice? Or is it Tirreno-Adriatico?

While the respective race organisers ASO and RCS try to tempt the major G.C. riders to their events, the classics stars are also faced with a choice of how best to prepare for the first monument classic of the season.

Take a look at the results of Milan-San Remo for the last few years and it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that Paris-Nice provides the better preparation. Last year’s winner John Degenkolb was present at the French race as were the winners of the 2014, 2012 and 2011 editions, Alexander Kristoff, Simon Gerrans and Matt Goss. Additionally, all three podium finishers last year chose Paris-Nice – Degenkolb, Kristoff and Michael Matthews.

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