The Start List is announced for tomorrow’s 111th Milano-Sanremo presented by Vittoria. Last year’s winner, Julian Alaphilippe will see many other champions alongside him, such as previous “La Classicissima” winners Vincenzo Nibali (2018), Michał Kwiatkowski (2017), Arnaud Demare (2016, and winner of this week’s Milano-Torino presented by EOLO) and Alexander Kristoff (2014); along with such names as Wout van Aert (winner of 2020 Strade Bianche EOLO), Caleb Ewan (runner-up, 2020 Milano-Torino presented by EOLO), Peter Sagan, Philippe Gilbert, Greg Van Avermaet, Elia Viviani, Alberto Bettiol, Fernando Gaviria, Sam Bennett and Mathieu van der Poel, amongst many others.
The route had to be modified because of the heavy thunderstorms that struck Alessandria in recent days. Accordingly, the route will be extended by 6km.
After 110 years the Milano-Sanremo presented by Vittoria changes route and meets the sea only in Imperia after crossing the Po Valley and the Apennines further west than usual. After leaving Milan, it crosses the Lomellina on flat, wide and straight roads. After Alessandria, the race crosses the Monferrato and then passes through the Langhe before facing the first long challenge of the day, the ascent of Niella Belbo. The slopes are gentle, but there are, especially in the initial part of the climb, steep sections and the ascent is almost 20km long (average gradient of 3%). After Ceva begins the long and easy ascent to Colle di Nava (3.9km and a gradient of 3% in the final part of the climb), followed by the fast dive on Pieve di Teco, then on to reach Imperia. The ascent and descent are both on wide roads while the crossing of Langhe and Monferrato has narrow sections. In Imperia the race returns to the classic route to tackle the Cipressa (first climbed in 1982) from San Lorenzo al Mare and shortly afterwards, the Poggio di Sanremo (first climbed in 1961).
Following the Cipressa (5.6km with an average gradient of 4.1%) is a very fast and challenging descent which takes riders back to the SS 1 Aurelia. At 9km from the finish, the ascent of Poggio di Sanremo begins (3.7km long with an average gradient of less than 4% and a maximum of 8% in the segment shortly before the crest of the climb). The road is slightly narrower, with four hairpin turns in the first 2km. The descent is extremely technical, on asphalt roads, narrow at points and with a succession of hairpins, twists and turns as far as the junctions with the SS 1 Aurelia. The final part of the descent enters urban Sanremo. The last bend, leading into the home straight, is 750m from the finish line.