Five milestones of the 2021 Milano-Sanremo: the wait
27 km to go to Sanremo.
The peloton is about to tackle the Cipressa, the second-last ramp before the finish.
Here you can fully appreciate the distinctive appeal of the ‘Classicissima’. Low‑key and subtle, at times hardly noticeable at first sight, the charm of this race is even more uncommon and extraordinary. The wait is the key.
At a causal glance, it looks as if nothing is happening over 300 kilometres and more than six hours in the saddle. But the truth is, everything can – and will – happen.
The wait builds up during the lengthy ride from Milan to the Cipressa, raising hopes and expectations for what is probably the most unpredictable race of all.
Will the sprinters stand a chance for the final dash, after surviving the final ramps? Will the classic hunters – the usual favourites – hang tough, and drop the sprinters without wasting too much energy? Or will a climber attempt a surprise attack, as Nibali had done in 2018?
The wait at the Milano-Sanremo has its own unique feature: it’s alive, researched, and actively prepared, as you can see in the photo above.
Each team is lined up in a train, each rider in their place, based on their role.
They are well aware that the following kilometres will be decisive. They do know that the Cipressa and the Poggio have always been the conclusive points of the race, revealing the possible winner and the definite losers.
The Classicissima is the first monument classic of the year, and it is not by chance: after the long winter months, the wait is finally over, and spring breaks in.