Posted by Editoress on 03/19/16
Arnaud Démare claims his first Monument
France’s Arnaud Démare (FDJ) expressed great emotion as he crossed the line victorious, winning the 107th Milan-Sanremo presented by NamedSport ahead of Englishman Ben Swift and Jurgen Roelandts from Belgium. Unfortunately, Colombian sensation Fernando Gaviria crashed on the final stretch, but it was once again a thrilling finale with favourites Peter Sagan, Fabian Cancellara and Alexander Kristoff in contention.
A crash with 30km to go hampered Michael Matthews' chances of victory. Démare was also involved, as well as Geraint Thomas and Simon Clarke, but he made it back to the main group before climbing the Poggio where repeated attacks were launched, by Andrea Fedi (Southeast-Venezuela), Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Cycling Team), who tried his luck on the descent. Kwiatkowski was the last attacker to be reeled in before the sprint was launched with 1km to go by Edvald Boasson Hagen and then Roelandts, before Démare wrote his name in the Milan-Sanremo record books.
Earlier in the day, Marco Coledan (Trek-Segafredo), Matteo Bono (Lampre-Merida), Gediminas Bagdonas (AG2R-La Mondiale), Maarten Tjallingii (LottoNL-Jumbo), Roger Kluge (IAM Cycling), Samuele Conti (Southeast-Venezuela), Adrian Kurek (CCC Sprandi Polkowice), Sergei Tvetcov (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), Mirco Maestri (Bardiani CSF), Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18) and Andrea Peron (Team Novo Nordisk) took off at 9km. They reached a maximum advantage of 11 minutes after one hour of racing, after which Tinkoff and Katusha went to the front to drive the chase by the peloton. A landslide forced the organization to divert the race onto the A10 highway, which increased the total distance from 291km to 293km (and not 295km as previously communicated).
The winner, Arnaud Démare, said: "I thought it was game over. From the team car, I was told that Michael Matthews’ group was behind, but that I shouldn’t worry. William Bonnet was along. I had great legs on the Cipressa and successively I found my team-mates, Matthieu Ladagnous, Kevin Reza and Ignites Konovalovas, who replaced in extremis at the foot of the Poggio. I thought I had lost a lot of energy but I climbed the Poggio very well despite my efforts. But everyone was cooked and I had nothing to lose. I launched my sprint from far out as usual. I had lost track of how the race unfolded so I wasn’t too sure if all the attackers had been caught, but the cars ahead of the race helped me to understand that I was sprinting for the win. I thought it would have taken me more experience to win Milan-Sanremo, one of the five classics that all cyclists dream of winning."
Milano to Sanremo, 291 km
1 Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ, 6:54:45
2 Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky
3 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
6 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha
7 Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling
8 Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela
9 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF
10 Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step, all s.t.
121 Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Momdiale, 9:25
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