During the Rai TV commentary, the great former sprinter and Milano-Sanremo winner Alessandro Petacchi said: “Mohoric has risked his life to win this Milano-Sanremo”. And indeed, that is exactly what it looked like, particularly on one of the last corners of the Poggio descent, before entering the final section of the race towards Via Roma. The Slovenian briefly lost his grip on the rear of the bike and went sideways, risking crashing into the hedge in front of him. However, his cool head and technical ability enabled him to adjust his trajectory, avoid the step of the pavement and strengthen his pace towards the Sanremo triumph.
The one and only way to get rid of athletes such as Tadej Pogacar, Wout Van Aert and Mathieu Van der Poel, was to go where they could not. So Mohoric decided to pull out the insane madness that all great downhill racers have. He did risk breaking his neck a couple of times, but in the end, he found himself with his arms raised in the skies of Via Roma, for what is surely the most important and incredible victory of his career.
Ten months ago, at the Giro d’Italia, it didn’t work out so well for him, or rather, it worked out just fine considering the frightening somersault he made down the Passo Godi in Abruzzo. The 1994 athlete, native of Kranj, had attempted a similar action to the one he made on his way down from the Poggio, making a rather similar mistake to the one he made today, but on that occasion, he was unable to recover and hit his head and neck. Luckily, and thanks to his helmet, the Slovenian escaped with a simple concussion, which allowed him to get back on his bike fairly quickly. Apparently, that back flip didn’t scare him at all, as today he was the protagonist of one of the craziest descents in recent memory down the Poggio.
Mohoric was a predestined rider, having been world champion in two consecutive years both as a junior and U23, but the fact that he had not won so much as soon as he turned professional led to the belief that he might be one of those riders who only dominate in the youth categories. However, that wasn’t the case at all, because Matej has gradually built up a list of titles that is the envy of many champions, including stages at the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España.
Today, the icing on the cake arrived in front of the world cycling elite. Pogacar was expected, Roglic was expected and instead another phenomenal Slovenian stepped up to the plate.