The longest Monument of the year, Milan-San Remo takes place on Saturday 19 March 20 and will showcase some of the world's best riders over 293km.
The 2022 edition welcomes Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) back as the reigning champion, with the Belgian managing to hold off a reduced bunch sprint after attacking with 2km to go last year. 2020's winner Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) arrives as the race favourite, though, having won Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Opening Weekend, while Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) has already won three UCI WorldTour races - including Strade Bianche - already this season.
Once again, the race will finish on San Remo's illustrious high street, Via Roma, with the riders having navigated a fast and technical descent from the top of the famous climb, the Poggio di Sanremo. Despite being most-suited to sprinters, the fact Milan-San Remo is the longest professional one-day race in cycling means it is often won by the strongest and best prepared rider with a strong finish, rather than simply by the fastest rider.
The Passo del Turchino makes its return to the Monument after a two-year absence too, left off the race in 2020 because the mayors of several towns along the Ligurian coastline refused to close their roads, while last year a landslide left it unpassable.
Milan-San Remo 2022 route
In 2022, the route covers 293km from Milan to San Remo, with the final 60km once again featuring the Capo Mele, Capo Cervo, Capo Berta, the Cipressa and the Poggio di Sanremo.
After its two-year absence in 2020 and 2021, the Passo del Turchino returns this year, replacing the Colle del Giovo used instead. Though the famous climb isn't particularly demanding for professional cyclists anymore, averaging a 1.4% gradient for 25km, it has regularly featured since the race's inception in 1907.
Following this false flat, riders will hit the midway mark upon reaching the Mediterranean coastline. It won't be until the peloton reaches the foot of the Cipressa when decisive moments present themselves though, with sprinters often seen struggling to match the pace over 250km into the race on the 5.5km climb.
From there, the riders can enjoy 9km of flat riding before reaching the 3.7km, 3.7% average gradient Poggio - a potentially race defining climb. The descent is a fast one for the riders to navigate lasting over 3km, with 2.2km of flat remaining as the finish line approaches in the centre of the coastal city.
Milan-San Remo route history
Despite being known as the ‘Sprinters' Classic’, the Italian race would not be as prestigious as it is were it a straightforward procession to a bunch sprint, and instead the race is characterised by its tortuous length, thrilling conclusion and delicate balancing act between sprinters and attackers.
The introduction of La Manie in 2008 gave the advantage to attacking puncheurs, as a difficult, significantly-positioned climb to gain an advantage over those hoping for a bunch sprint. It contributed to a handful of more selective editions - Fabian Cancellara won from a solo break in 2008 and Simon Gerrans from a group of three in 2010, and in both 2011 and 2013 a group of seven contested the finish, won by Matt Goss and Gerald Ciolek respectively.
When La Manie was dropped in 2014, the organiser's initial intention had been to make the route even harder by replacing it with the Pompeiana in a slot far closer to the finish. But that climb was deemed unsafe due to the possibility of landslides, so since 2014, the race has featured neither climb.
Now, the dynamic of the route has shifted comprehensively back to the sprinters.
After Alexander Kristoff (then Katusha) won the sprint from a sizeable peloton in 2014, the finish was moved back to its traditional finishing straight of Via Roma, and another sprinter was triumphant in the form of John Degenkolb (then Giant-Alpecin) in 2015 and Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) in 2016.
For the bold and the brave, the Cipressa provides a potential launchpad for an attack at just over 20km from the finish, but for the more realistic, it’s the Poggio.
On the back of around 280km of racing the riders are exhausted upon reaching it, and, peaking at 5.5km from the finish, any rider who goes over the top first with a gap has a chance of zooming down the descent and holding off the sprinters for victory on the Via Roma.
Only two British riders have emerged victorious at the race, with Tom Simpson being the first back in 1964 for Peugeot-BP-Engelbert team. The next came several years later in 2009, when Mark Cavendish (then Team Columbia-High Road) took victory in a bunch sprint. British champion Ben Swift (Ineos Grenadiers) has come close on various occasions.
Milan-San Remo 2022 provisional start list
VAN HOOYDONCK Nathan
VAN DER SANDE Tosh
VAN AERT Wout
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl
UAE Team Emirates
VAN AVERMAET Greg
Astana Qazaqstan Team
VAN GILS Maxim
GARCÍA CORTINA Iván
KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren
GIRMAY HAILU Biniam
BYSTRØM Sven Erik
Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli
Watching Milan-San Remo on TV
The race is broadcast on Eurosport and GCN Race Pass, with live coverage as well as a highlights package.
Our full guide on how to watch Milan - San Remo can be found here.
Elsewhere in the world, you can catch it live on Sporza (Dutch) and RTBF (French); Italy's Rai Sport 2 and SBS in Australia will also show footage.
You can follow the action via Twitter, via the handle @Milano_Sanremo.
Milan-San Remo: Recent winners
2021: Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
2020: Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
2019: Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck–Quick-Step
2018: Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
2017: Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
2016: Arnaud Démare (Fra) FDJ
2015: John Degenkolb (Ger) Giant-Alpecin
2014: Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha
2013: Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
2012: Simon Gerrans (Aus) GreenEdge
2011: Matt Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad
2010: Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
2009: Mark Cavendish (GBr) Columbia-Highroad
2008: Fabian Cancellara (Sui) CSC
2007: Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank
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Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.