Uneventful Milano-Sanremo

Uneventful?! You probably don't agree if you watched the race: landslide, route change, early break and late attacks, Cavendish dropped, Matthews, Thomas and Demare falling amd  Gaviria crashing in the last meters of the race. Cancellara cut off. A messy sprint and Demare anyway winning on Swift and Roelandts . Uneventuful?! really?!
Yes. That was one of the most boring Sanremo I have ever seen. The attacks on the last climbs weren't serious, I didn't see any team playing a plann. The race is back to its classic route so no scandal nor surprise: a sprint was expected. But approaching the finale crashes took away many contenders. 
The sprint itself wasn't memorable. Gavira crashed and Cancellara had to stop. The most remarkable fact is that Demare was there: crashed, he had to chase. Bravo! But the victory seems fortuit because yes Demare was very good in emerging zigzag from the upset peloton but Swift came from behind with more power and speed. In a more linear sprint Swift could have won. And maybe Gaviria would have won without the crash. And Cancellara would have had a good chance too.... 

Arnaud Demare:
“This is incredible. There are days like this one in which everything works despite the occasional hiccup, like crashing at the bottom of the Cipressa. I made it across at the bottom of the Poggio and the entire way I felt fantastic. I became the under-23 world champion in similar conditions after crashing. I'm delighted to win Milan-San Remo. This is a big one and has been running for over a century. It's extraordinary. I'm extremely happy."

Jürgen Roelandts:
“I was a bit disappointed just after the finish because I was in pole position at about 30 metres from the finish. But I’m very happy with this podium place of course. It was a hectic sprint because everyone was isolated except for our team; Jens Debusschere was still in the group. Gaviria crashed just before me, he rode against the wheel of Greg Van Avermaet. I managed to avoid the crash and I decided to sprint immediately. Last year I started a bit too late so I finished eleventh. I’m happy that I took the initiative and that delivers a very nice third place. My legs felt really good during the race, I had no troubles on the Cipressa and the Poggio. The team did a tremendously good job by taking me to the finale in the way they did. Tony Gallopin said that he would try to attack in the finale. If that wouldn’t work, we would participate in the sprint. It’s difficult to compare this performance with other results such as my second place in Harelbeke a few years ago or my third place in the Ronde van Vlaanderen. But it’s very nice to obtain a podium place in Milano-Sanremo.”

Ben Swift:
"Obviously it's quite disappointing to get second - so close to the win. That said I've got to be happy and I'm back on the podium in a Monument. I'm slowly chipping away. We've had a second, a third and we'll keep on trying in the next few years. The team was brilliant today. Unfortunately we lost Pete (Kennaugh) and Geraint (Thomas) in that crash. It was a super stressful day and we lost a lot of horsepower there. We rode a great attacking race and we did what we wanted to do. When Ian went on the Cipressa it set it up perfectly. Then Michal went on the Poggio so we couldn't have done it any better. I just tried to stay as relaxed as possible in the last kilometre and I tried to follow Jurgen Roelandts. Last year I think I stressed a little bit too much. This year I was a bit more relaxed. I was close to a crash at the finish there but it is what it is."

Michal Kwiatkowski:
"I attacked and tried to gain an advantage before the descent. I was going full gas to the finish. I think we can be happy with second place with Ben. It was a really difficult, nervous last 50-60 kilometres. The race really starts before the Capis. Everyone was trying to get to the front, and with the weather this year the whole bunch were there fighting. We all committed to go for the win. I was not too far away at the end. Stannard was in a great move on the Cipressa, I was there on the Poggio and then Swifty was waiting for the sprint. We had a few ways to try and win the race and that is what Milan-San Remo is all about. You have to try with a few options as sometimes there are crashes and you don't know what is going to happen or control the situation."

Fernando Gaviria:
"I am very sad for what happened. It was my fault, as I was in a perfect position, but then I lost my focus for two seconds, because I began thinking on how to sprint, and touched Van Avermaet's wheel. This was enough to throw away all the hard work of the team. I have mixed feelings: I missed an important opportunity, but on the other hand I am happy that I could cope with a 300-km long race and felt good throughout the day. It's not the crash that hurts, but the outcome, especially as I was thinking of this race since January."

Peter Sagan:
"As I have always said the Milano-Sanremo is unpredictable and that's why I find it futile to talk about my goals two-three days in advance. I did my best, the squad did a very good job but that's racing. Fabian attacked, I said to the others that if we let him go, the Milano-Sanremo is over. I think I was the only one able to catch him and then we broke away with Boasson Hagen, Gaviria and then, I think, Trentin. With 400-500 meters to go, Gaviria turned to check upon the group that was coming from behind and fell. That was it. I barely avoided crashing myself but I lost so much speed that I was unable to catch up in the closing 300 metres. That's why, even if you are in excellent form, a race will never be easy."

Geraint Thomas:
"By the way, all good with me! Wrong place, wrong time. Bit different feeling to last Saturday... Thanks for the messages #ontothenextone".

Fabio Felline:
Today many risks and  a bit of bad luck for me in the finale. I'm sorry for how it went to Fabian Cancellara. Now we look forward #NoExcuses "

Michael Matthews:
”Obviously I’m devastated. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, the team rode really well all day and everything was going perfectly. The cuts on my arm are superficia. I can’t really feel it at the moment because the disappointment is so painful. I will be back though.”

Maarten Tjallingii:
“It was great to be part of the break again. It was a perfect leading group, as well. We were with 11 and we worked together perfectly. I’ve never reached the Cipressa as fresh as I did today.. It’s nice for our team that someone’s in the breakaway and I like to do that. This was my final Milano - Sanremo. The weather was great and I was in front. I’m glad with that.” 

Edvald Boasson Hagen:
"It was a very tough race. The team was always there for me, in all the crucial moments. Jay did a really good job in the beginning of the race, with Steve and the others being there in the end. In the finale I saw that fast riders like Demare, Fernando Gaviria, and Ben Swift were still there, so I thought it was better to attack. Last week at Tirreno-Adriatico we’ve been in a similar situation. I didn’t attack then, which was a pity in the end. Today I tried my luck. It didn’t pay off, but that’s how racing goes."

Fabian Cancellara:
"It was quite difficult because I was isolated and I was a target from all the riders, especially on the [Poggio] climb. Kwiatkowski did a nice move, Tinkoff had to close, and then Nibali attacked over the top, and I was just following and letting him do the work, but then he saw it was me, and it was over. At the bottom, I thought they were going quite slow, and I went, but I didn’t get much of a gap before Trentin closed it, and Gaviria was yelling at him to go, go go! Then Van Avermaet went with Boassan Hagen, and Peter [Sagan] went behind and I could kind of follow, but for me it was hard because I was already attacking before and I had to come back 10-20 meters. I was slowly closing, and on the chicane Gaviria crashed, and Peter and I just missed going down. You can call us lucky guys, but in the end, no results. Not what I was expecting - I was racing for winning. In the end I gave up, it was over. This was a weird race, a strange Milan-San Remo. It was really slow with the headwind. This also neutralizes the race. With [Marco] Coledan in the break, we did a good move to let the others work. A lot of teams had fatigue, and this is why at the end there was a lot of chaos. A lot of riders were isolated; there was a lot of one-against-one in the finish."

Greg Van Avermaet
"Fifth place is a good result but as you know when you do a bike race you go for the win. It was a pretty hectic Milan-San Remo. I went with Edvald Boasson-Hagen and made the decision to wait a bit longer for my sprint. It all comes down to seconds and the others came from behind with more speed. It’s a good feeling to be in front of the other Classics favorites. I’m pretty happy with my shape and how the race went. The guys did a really good job for me. They positioned me well on Cipressa and the Poggio and then it was up to me to get the best result possible and that’s what we did.”


Matteo Tosatto:
“Demare was off the back before the Cipressa. Then on the climb he passed us going twice our speed. I didn’t see if he was on the car window or with a (sticky) bottle. Of course he was strong in the sprint but without that tow he would never have made it to contest the sprint. I’ve never seen a thing like that done so shamelessly. I wasn’t alone at moment, there were other riders with me and I think they saw what happened pretty well.”
“For sure Demare is a champion and I’m sure he’s got the talent to be a great Classics rider but what I really didn’t like was what I saw yesterday. Considering that the race judges were told about it but said they didn’t have the proof to confirm what lots of riders saw, I suggest two things: Why not use the transponder on the bike to verify the time Demare needed to climb the Cipressa. We can only see what the data says. Secondly, the French rider (Demare) could also supply the data from his bike computer to see his time for the Cipressa and the speed he was going. I’m sure it didn’t take him long…”

Eros Capecchi:
“Demare passed us at 80km/h on the climb. I’ve never seen anything like that before. I was on Tosatto’s wheel and saw it very clearly. Demare was hanging onto the right of the team car. It’s disgusting!”

Arnaud Demare:
"I have done nothing wrong. There are judges in cycling. If I had done something forbidden, I would have been disqualified. Because [Michael] Matthews didn't raise his arms in victory like me, we don't care if he took shelter in the caravan. It's part of cycling and always has been: we profit from the draft of the cars. They block the wind. It is not forbidden. I sense a little jealousy from some of our rivals after our third place in the team time trial at Tirreno. I also won a stage at Paris-Nice, as did Nacer Bouhanni. This story won't spoil my moment of pleasure.”

UPDATE about data file
As  Cyclingnews  sums up "Démare temporarily deleted his data file from Strava, but it was restored later on Sunday, and a side-by-side comparison shows he caught back to the peloton between the end of the Cipressa descent and the start of the Poggio. There are no apparent spikes in speed, but Démare rides across a gap of about 40 seconds over the course of the Cipressa ascent and descent, finally making contact just before the start of the Poggio. No power data is displayed."

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  
11 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team  
12 Peter Sagan (Svk) Tinkoff Team  
13 Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
14 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
15 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team  
16 Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
17 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Trek-Segafredo  
18 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ  
19 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin  
20 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
21 Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
22 Andrea Fedi (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela  
23 Paul Voss (Ger) Bora-Argon 18  
24 Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
25 Lars Boom (Ned) Astana Pro Team  
26 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data  
27 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
28 Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar Team  
29 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
30 Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
31 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Trek-Segafredo  
32 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling 0:00:08  
33 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
34 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal  
35 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
36 Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
37 Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Team Katusha  
38 Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:11  
39 Vicente Reynes (Spa) IAM Cycling 0:00:14  
40 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 0:00:34  
41 Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:00:36  
42 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo  
43 Martin Elmiger (Swi) IAM Cycling  
44 Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin  
45 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team  
46 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team  
47 Leigh Howard (Aus) IAM Cycling  
48 Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling  
49 Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky  
50 Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
51 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo  
52 Davide Vigano (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
53 Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
54 Michael Morkov (Den) Team Katusha  
55 Tom Boonen (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step  
56 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff Team  
57 Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky  
58 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida  
59 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge  
60 Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky 0:00:43  
61 Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:44  
62 Dominik Nerz (Ger) Bora-Argon 18 0:00:53  
63 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ 0:01:12  
64 Zico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:01:26  
65 Oscar Gatto (Ita) Tinkoff Team 0:01:30  
66 Laurens De Vreese (Bel) Astana Pro Team 0:01:38  
67 Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step  
68 Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJ  
69 Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
70 Jan Barta (Cze) Bora-Argon 18  
71 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
72 Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
73 Simone Ponzi (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
74 Sven Erik Bystr¿m (Nor) Team Katusha  
75 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha  
76 Angel Vicioso (Spa) Team Katusha  
77 Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data  
78 Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step  
79 Fernando Gaviria (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:01:48  
80 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step  
81 Gatis Smukulis (Lat) Astana Pro Team 0:01:53  
82 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team  
83 Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
84 Elia Viviani (Ita) Team Sky  
85 Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
86 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ  
87 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
88 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:59  
89 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team 0:02:43  
90 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Argon 18  
91 Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky  
92 Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data  
93 K_vin Reza (Fra) FDJ 0:02:58  
94 David Lozano Riba (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk 0:03:17  
95 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 0:03:18  
96 Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:03:26  
97 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
98 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:03:29  
99 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
100 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Tinkoff Team  
101 Mirco Maestri (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
102 Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
103 Simone Andreetta (Ita) Bardiani CSF 0:03:31  
104 Sacha Modolo (Ita) Lampre - Merida  
105 Rudiger Selig (Ger) Bora-Argon 18 0:04:13  
106 Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:04:25  
107 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
108 Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre - Merida  
109 Jaroslaw Marycz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
110 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Dimension Data  
111 Gregory Rast (Swi) Trek-Segafredo  
112 Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
113 Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team 0:06:16  
114 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:06:46  
115 Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
116 Roger Kluge (Ger) IAM Cycling 0:07:01  
117 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal  
118 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Tinkoff Team  
119 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Trek-Segafredo 0:09:25  
120 Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre - Merida  
121 Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale  
122 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge 0:10:16  
123 Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step  
124 Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin  
125 Victor de la Parte (Spa) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:10:48  
126 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal 0:11:37  
127 Marco Haller (Aut) Team Katusha  
128 Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Argon 18 0:12:53  
129 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18  
130 Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin  
131 Tom Stamsnijder (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin  
132 Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
133 Jesse Sergent (NZl) AG2R La Mondiale  
134 Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar Team  
135 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal  
136 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
137 Julen Amezqueta (Spa) Southeast - Venezuela  
138 Gregor Muhlberger (Aut) Bora-Argon 18  
139 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Dimension Data  
140 Jean-Pierre Drucker (Lux) BMC Racing Team  
141 Francesco Chicchi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
142 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step  
143 Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Movistar Team  
144 Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff Team  
145 Marco Coledan (Ita) Trek-Segafredo  
146 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre - Merida  
147 Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre - Merida  
148 Manuel Belletti (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela  
149 Mirko Tedeschi (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela  
150 Patrick Gretsch (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale 0:14:25  
151 Joonas Henttala (Fin) Team Novo Nordisk  
152 Alan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
153 Martijn Verschoor (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk  
154 Christopher Williams (Aus) Team Novo Nordisk  
155 Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
156 Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale  
157 Luka Mezgec (Slo) Orica-GreenEdge  
158 Charles Planet (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk  
159 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge  
160 Kevin De Mesmaeker (Bel) Team Novo Nordisk  
161 Reto Hollenstein (Swi) IAM Cycling  
162 Jos Van Emden (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:14:28  
163 Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ  
164 Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
165 William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ  
166 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Soudal  
167 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge  
168 Adam Blythe (GBr) Tinkoff Team  
169 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky  
170 Adrian Honkisz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
171 Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-GreenEdge  
172 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
173 Adrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice 0:17:59  
174 Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data 0:19:07  
175 Eugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo  
176 Nikolay Mihaylov (Bul) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
177 Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
178 Samuele Conti (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela 0:21:17  
179 Jakub Mareczko (Ita) Southeast - Venezuela  
180 Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:22:25  
DNF Federico Zurlo (Ita) Lampre - Merida  
DNF Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team  
DNF Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-GreenEdge  
DNF Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin  
DNF Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin  
DNF Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha  
DNF Javier Megias (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNF Andrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNF Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - Merida  
DNF Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step  
DNF Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data  
DNF Daniele Bennati (Ita) Tinkoff Team  
DNF Giorgio Cecchinel (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
DNF Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNF Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNF Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale Pro Cycling  
DNF Jerome Cousin (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNF Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNF Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data  
DNS Moreno Hofland (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo

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