Milano-Sanremo runs along the classic route that for more than 110 years has connected Milan with the western Riviera through Pavia, Ovada, the Passo del Turchino that leads into Genua Voltri. From there, it rolls westwards through Varazze, Savona, Albenga to Imperia and San Lorenzo al Mare where, after the classic sequence of the Capi (Mele, Cervo and Berta), the atheltes will deal with the two climbs added in recent decades: the Cipressa (1982) and the Poggio di Sanremo (1961). The Cipressa is just over 5.6 km long with a gradient of 4.1%. The highly testing descent leads back down to SS 1 Aurelia.
The ascent of Poggio di Sanremo begins with 9 km remaining to the finish (3.7 km, average gradient less than 4%, maximum 8% in the segment before getting to the top of the climb). The road is slightly narrower, with 4 hairpin turns in the first 2 km. The descent is testing, on asphalt switchback roads, narrow at points and with twists and turns as far as the junction with SS 1 Aurelia. The final part of the descent enters urban Sanremo. The last 2 km are on long, straight urban roads. There is a left-hand bend on a roundabout 850 m from the finish line. The last bend, leading into the home straight in Via Roma, is 750 m from the finish line.