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Jasper Stuyven fries them all

20/03/2021

The Belgian rider preempted a bunch sprint after the favorites failed to make a difference on the Poggio. Caleb Ewan and Wout van Aert round out the podium at La Classicisma.

With two kilometers to go, Jasper Stuyven made the winning move. He was joined for a while by Soren Kragh Andersen, as the hot favorites watched each other in the presence of ace sprinter Caleb Ewan, who had managed to follow them up the Poggio. The much anticipated attack up the climb by World Champion Julian Alaphilippe wasn’t decisive this time around. Claeb Ewan and Wout van Aert rounded out the podium, with Peter Sagan and Mathieu van der Poel in fourth and fifth place respectively.

 

Beforehand, eight riders animated the race with a breakaway launched at kilometer 3, comprised of Filippo Tagliani, Mattia Viel (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec), Andrea Peron, Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk), Mathias Norsgaard Jørgensen (Movistar Team), Nicola Conci (Trek – Segafredo), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani CSF Faizane’) and Taco Van Der Hoorn (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux), the last rider to be absorbed by the peloton on the Cipressa climb, 24km before the finish.

The podium of the 2021 Milano-Sanremo presented by EOLO

1 – Jasper Stuyven (Trek – Segafredo)- 299 km in 6h38’06” alla media di 45.064 km/h

2 – Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) s.t.

3 – Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) s.t.

4 – Peter Sagan (Bora – Hansgrohe) s.t.

5 – Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) s.t.

 

 

STATISTICS

 

The 22nd Belgian win at Milano-Sanremo, and the second in a row after Wout van Aert’s victory at the previous edition.

This is the best result at a Monument for Jasper Stuyven whose previous best was fourth at the 2017 Paris-Roubaix.

The third fastest average speed (45.064km/h) for the race after 1990 (45.806, by Gianni Bugno) and 2006 (45.268, by Filippo Pozzato).

Peter Sagan takes the record for most fourth places (5) at Milano-Sanremo.

Quotes: Jasper, Wout, Caleb

The winner, Jasper Stuyven, said in the press conference: “We knew that on the Poggio everyone was waiting for the big explosion [of the peloton]. I managed to stay in the front group. At the top of the hill, I decided that I would attack and give it all or nothing, rather than finish between 5th to 10th place. There were no helpers left in that group, but the big 3 [Van der Poel, van Aert, Alaphilippe] were there, I knew they would look a little bit at each other. The one who’d close the gap wasn’t going to win. After the downhill, I could go on the left side and put a big gear on. I handled thirty seconds of big pain. I saw Soren [Kragh Andersen] was coming. It was nice to get a bit of help. He kind of attacked and put me on the limit but he was at the limit too. I had to believe in my chances until the end. They were coming from the back. It was the hardest final meters of my career, but I’ve won other races in a similar way. It’s one of my strengths, to stay out front if they give me the gap. Winning a Monument this way is really nice. It’s normal that pre-race favourites were designated, based on how those three were riding. If I had to go one against one of them, there was a big chance that they were stronger than me. I said in a lot of interviews that they’re strong and fast but that doesn’t mean I’m on the start line of a race to just finish fourth. That’s my approach to every race. If you believe in yourself, they’re not unbeatable, that’s the right mentality for winning.

 

Runner up, Caleb Ewan, said: “The first time that I came second in Milano-Sanremo [2018] was a really good result. Today, it confirms that I can potentially win the race one day. But I’m pretty disappointed actually. I knew I was coming to the race in good form and I really targeted it through my planning. I tried to improve my climbing for the Poggio and I planned for the attacks on the climb before this race. I was in a really good position up the hill. When they went I was obviously suffering a bit but I still had enough left to follow them. It would have been nice to have a teammate or two to keep the group together. It’s always a lottery in that situation. I took a risk at the end as that’s what I had to do to win. In the end, we waited too long. Hopefully next time…

 

Third-place, Wout van Aert, said: “It was, like always, a fast descent of the Poggio. Once we hit the bottom, Jasper went on the attack, which was a really good move. It was a bit hard for me to chase and a lot of the guys were looking at me. I just came short at the end and Caleb Ewan was a bit faster. Because of the high number of favourites, there was still a big group at the top of the Poggio. I attacked and Julian Alaphilippe did too but apparently it wasn’t fast enough. It was still a good opportunity for me to have a sprint at the end of a long race. Nevertheless we have a nice winner and I have to be satisfied with third place.

 

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