The 'all you need to know' on the Italian one-day race that is the first Monument of the year

The first Monument of the year, Milan-San Remo takes place on Saturday March 23, 2019.

The UCI WorldTour race is the longest of the one day spring classics, providing a showcase of some of the best riders in the world over 291km.

A women’s version – Primavera Rosa – took place between 1999 to 2005, but was cancelled by the UCI in 2006. The first edition, in 1999 was won by Italian Sara Felloni and the last, in 2005, by German Trixi Worrack.

Milan-San Remo 2019 route

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 that since 2014 the race has featured neither climb.

milan san remo 2019 route tv start list

Michal Kwiatkowski edges out Peter Sagan at Milan-San Remo. Photo: Yuzuru Sunada

Now the dynamic of the route has shifted comprehensively back to the sprinters. After Alexander Kristoff (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 (Giant-Alpecin) in 2015 and Arnaud Démare (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.

At 4km in length and 3.7 per cent in gradient, the climb is notorious for being relatively straightforward compared with most iconic climbs, but its fame derives from its position in the race.

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.

Milan-San remo 2019 profile

Watching Milan-San Remo on TV

The race will be broadcast live on Eurosport 2, from 1.30pm until 4.30pm.

There will be a highlights package, also on Eurosport 2, at 10.30pm.

Elsewhere in the world, you could 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 2019 start list

The complete start list is yet be be published, but teams have put forward some names. This includes 2018 winner, Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida), 2016 winner Arnaud Démare (FDJ) and 2015’s victor John Degenkolb (Trek – Segafredo).

BORA-Hansgrohe

SAGAN Peter
BENNETT Sam

Bahrain Merida

COLBRELLI Sonny
NIBALI Vincenzo
TEUNS Dylan
MOHORIČ Matej

Movistar Team

VALVERDE Alejandro
BENNATI Daniele
LANDA Mikel

Deceuninck – Quick Step

VIVIANI Elia
ALAPHILIPPE Julian
GILBERT Philippe

AG2R La Mondiale

VUILLERMOZ Alexis
PETERS Nans
BARDET Romain
VENTURINI Clément
COSNEFROY Benoît

Team Sunweb

MATTHEWS Michael
DUMOULIN Tom 

Lotto Soudal

EWAN Caleb
KLUGE Roger
MARCZYŃSKI Tomasz
HANSEN Adam
KEUKELEIRE Jens
MAES Nikolas
VAN DER SANDE Tosh

Astana Pro Team

CORT Magnus
LUTSENKO Alexey
BALLERINI Davide

CCC Team

VAN AVERMAET Greg

Arnaud Démare

DÉMARE Arnaud
LE GAC Olivier
ROUX Anthony
GUARNIERI Jacopo
KÜNG Stefan

Mitchelton-Scott

TRENTIN Matteo

Team Dimension Data

BOASSON HAGEN Edvald
NIZZOLO Giacomo

EF Education First

MODOLO Sacha

Direct Energie

CALMEJANE Lilian

Team Jumbo-Visma

GROENEWEGEN Dylan
JANSEN Amund Grøndahl
VAN AERT Wout
VAN POPPEL Danny
VAN EMDEN Jos
TEUNISSEN Mike
POWLESS Neilson

Team Katusha – Alpecin

GONÇALVES José

Team Sky

MOSCON Gianni
VAN BAARLE Dylan
ROWE Luke

Trek – Segafredo

FELLINE Fabio
STUYVEN Jasper
DEGENKOLB John
SKUJIŅŠ Toms

UAE-Team Emirates

KRISTOFF Alexander
GAVIRIA Fernando
PHILIPSEN Jasper
BYSTRØM Sven Erik

Cofidis, Solutions Crédits

WAEYTENS Zico
BOUHANNI Nacer
SIMON Julien

Team Novo Nordisk

KAMSTRA Brian

Neri Sottoli – Selle Italia – KTM

Israel Cycling Academy

CIMOLAI Davide

Bardiani – CSF

Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec

Milan-San Remo : Recent winners

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

Previous editions: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009