Cycling superstars Peter Sagan, Alexander Kristoff and Fabian Cancellara, on his birthday, today took part in the pre-Milano-Sanremo by NamedSport press conference at the Palazzo Marino, Milan, in the presence of the Mayor of Milan, Giuliano Pisapia, and RCS Sport Chairman Riccardo Taranto ahead of the 107th edition of the Primavera. It was won exactly 50 years ago by Eddy Merckx at the age of 20.
200 riders from 25 teams are expected to line up on Saturday morning for the early start at Castello Sforzesco. Please find attached the start list.
UCI Road World Champion Peter Sagan: “I like this race. I’ve been close to winning it on three occasions. Twice, I wasn’t feeling very well. I’m not sure if I am in the best form of my life after my second place at Tirreno-Adriatico but I’m well. Everything will be decided in the last 30km.”
Fabian Cancellara: “I prefer this nice weather for racing. It’s been bad in the past few years but it was the same for everyone. The different conditions will make it a new race tomorrow. It’s not a race like others. It’ll be my last time doing Milan-Sanremo. My goal is to do my best. With 300km, it’s the hardest classic to win because there are so many ways to win it. We’ve got a few cards to play. We have [Niccolo] Bonifazio in case of a bunch sprint finish. We know what we want but, after Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico, we know that there are so many protagonists, between attackers, sprinters and so on. Everyone has his own idea for winning. Vincenzo Nibali has his. He’ll have to get rid of the sprinters so how the race unfolds depends on the condition of Greg Van Avermaet, Peter Sagan, Alexander Kristoff, Michael Matthews… As for myself, I’ve already won this race so I don’t feel an extreme pressure to win it again.”
Alexander Kristoff: “Even though I’m from Norway, I prefer the nice weather. I won this race in really bad conditions two years ago but I still look forward to a sunny Sanremo. If the attackers make the race hard in the hills, I’ll use my team-mates to keep the race together. In the past two years, I had Luca Paolini to guide me in the sprint. It’ll be different this time but I have faith in my team-mates.”
Giuliano Pisapia, Mayor of Milan: “Milan-Sanremo is the beginning of the season for the greats of cycling. Every year it reminds me that our city is the Italian capital of two wheels. It’s a 291km-long event in a great sport along a traditional course that always offers great emotions. Therefore, we are proud to have launched the 107th edition at Palazzo Marino with Peter Sagan, Fabian Cancellara and Alexander Kristoff. Great wishes from all Milanese people, may the best man win.”
Riccardo Taranto, RCS Sport Chairman: “On behalf of RCS, I want to thank the Mayor of Pisapia and all his team for giving us the opportunity to launch this great event in the town’s headquarters in the heart of Milan with the Duomo just around the corner. I want to particularly thank the great champions who are with us today. I’d like today’s pre-race event to become a regular fixture for this race and we’d like to create a team presentation for the public, too. At RCS Sport, together with La Gazzetta dello Sport, we work side by side with the administration of Milan to organize other international sport events like the Milan marathon on April 3rd. This shows how central and strategic sport is for the whole RCS group.”
Andrea Monti, La Gazzetta dello Sport Editor in Chief: “This race is a monument of the sport, from the past, present and future. Sanremo isn’t only a race – it’s a journey that delivers a feeling of freedom. The excitement ahead of the event thrills us. There’s an element of poesy that makes this event unique.”
Mauro Vegni, RCS Sport Cycling Director: “This Classic returns to be racing on a Saturday after a few years on a Sunday. Last year marked the return of the finishing line to the Via Roma. Milan-Sanremo is the essence of cycling”.