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Milan-San Remo: Matej Mohorič goes solo to stunning monument victory

Slovenian breakaway ace surprises favorites with solo dash off the bottom of the Poggio and down the Via Roma.

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Matej Mohorič (Bahrain-Victorious) made a daring descent off the Poggio and held off an all-star chase group to win Milan-San Remo.

Mohorič made a dazzling descent through the bottom of the race’s crucial Poggio climb, distancing an all-attacking lead group including top favorites Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Tadej Pogačar (UAE Emirates).

The Bahrain-Victorious ace hit the start of the Via Roma with just two seconds’ advantage, survived a scare with a dropped chain, and made a thrilling TT to the line for the huge victory that had long seemed just within his reach.

Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies) finished second, just a few meters behind Mohorič. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) won the sprint for third in a huge performance after a five-month road-racing layoff.

Pogačar lit up the day’s king-making Poggio climb with a handful of attacks, but none stuck as van Aert and van der Poel marked out each acceleration. Pogačar and van Aert both finished in the main chase group for fifth and eighth respectively.

It was Mohorič’s trademark descending skills that made the difference on the Poggio descent, and the Slovenian had even taken a specially modified bike to boost his chances.

“I was thinking about this race the whole winter,” he said. “The team came up with the idea of using a dropper post because this race suits me very well and there’s a decent at the end. I knew that if I could train properly over the winter then I could be in a good enough condition not to be dropped on the Poggio.

“Then I had a chance of doing my best descent, risking a little bit but being able to hang on for the win. The team set up a bike for me and had this plan for a long time. At first I didn’t think that it would make a huge difference on the descents but then I tried it in training and the first time I tried it I was amazed.”

Mohorič’s palmarès-topping ride Saturday was made all the more staggering given he failed to finish Strade Bianche at the turn of the month after being caught up in a huge crash. He was initially only slated for co-captaincy at Bahrain Victorious until Italian puncheur Sonny Colbrelli was ruled out with illness earlier in the week.

“I did a lot of physio, every day and every night and I did not stop believing,” Mohorič said of his comeback. “I did some basic training to keep the condition as good as possible. Today I’m here. It was good enough to hang on with the best on the Poggio and I just went all in. I can’t believe it, I’m without words.”

Jumbo-Visma sets tone early

A group of eight had spun away at kilometer zero of the day’s marathon monument and stayed out front some time.

Jumbo-Visma workhorse Jos van Emden did a huge share of pulling in the bunch through the first 200km to keep the escape at around six to seven minutes. Trek-Segafredo, EF Education-EasyPost and Intermarché-Wanty began chipping in through the back-half of the race, but Jumbo-Visma was always present.

The gap to the break inevitably started to tumble at 70km when thoughts turned toward the three Capi and Cipressa and a strong tailwind down the Ligurian coast blew the bunch to top-speed.

UAE Emirates takes control through final

The race started to heat up on the second and third of the Capi in the final 45km.

The break began to break down, and Tom Pidock (Ineos Grenadiers) became the first big name to lose the wheels on the in his return from illness. Peter Sagan (TotalEnergies) was next in trouble, suffering an untimely mechanical in the roads toward the Cipressa before desperately trying to chase back,

All the pre-race hype had been on a Pogačar attack over the Cipressa, but it was Jumbo-Visma that took control first on the crucial penultimate climb. UAE Emirates was next in setting a searing speed, but Pogačar didn’t move and instead marked out van Aert.

Fast finishers Elia Viviani (Ineos Grenadiers), Alexander Kristoff (Intermarché) and Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step-Alpha Vinyl) succumbed to the crushing Cipressa pace as the bunch reduced to just three-dozen.

UAE-Emirates kept hammering on the roads into the Poggio as Pogačar sat poised in third-wheel.

Pogačar pummels on the Poggio

The last two breakaway riders Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) and Samuele Rivi (Eolo-Kometa) were finally reeled in at the start of the 3.7km Poggio climb and the race duly exploded.

Diego Ulissi drilled the pace for Pogačar, and the Slovenian finally launched at 8km to go. Van Aert followed first, and van der Poel winched his way back shortly afterward. The lead bunch came back together for just a second before Pogačar made a huge second move. Again, van Aert and van der Poel were among the first to follow and the race again reformed.

Pogačar and the Roglič briefly accelerated soon after, but van der Poel and van Aert weren’t to be shaken.

Soren Kragh Andersen (DSM) surprised the five-star favorites toward the top of the Poggio, dragging van Aert, van der Poel, and Pogačar with him. Mohorič clawed his way back over he summit and kicked away on the descent at 4.5km to go.

Mohorič railed the decsent and landed at the bottom of the Poggio with just seconds over the fractured chase groups.

The Slovenian looked odds-on for the win as he TT’d down the Via Roma, but hearts were in mouths when he briefly lost his chain inside the final kilometer. He managed to pedal the chain back into gear and held strong as Turgis led the chasers.

Morič held on for the win, with Turgis first of the chasers, head in hands at his near-miss. Van der Poel sprinted from the group to take the bottom step of the podium.

Milano-Sanremo Results

Stage
RankNameTeamTime
1MOHORIČ MatejBahrain - Victorious6:27:49
2TURGIS AnthonyTotalEnergies0:02
3VAN DER POEL MathieuAlpecin-Fenix0:02
4MATTHEWS MichaelTeam BikeExchange - Jayco0:02
5POGAČAR TadejUAE Team Emirates0:02
6PEDERSEN MadsTrek - Segafredo0:02
7KRAGH ANDERSEN SørenTeam DSM0:02
8VAN AERT WoutJumbo-Visma0:02
9TRATNIK JanBahrain - Victorious0:05
10DÉMARE ArnaudGroupama - FDJ0:11
11ALBANESE VincenzoEOLO-Kometa0:11
12GIRMAY BiniamIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux0:11
13ARANBURU AlexMovistar Team0:11
14SÉNÉCHAL FlorianQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team0:11
15CARUSO DamianoBahrain - Victorious0:11
16KWIATKOWSKI MichałINEOS Grenadiers0:11
17ROGLIČ PrimožJumbo-Visma0:11
18NIZZOLO GiacomoIsrael - Premier Tech0:21
19ROTA LorenzoIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux0:21
20PACHER QuentinGroupama - FDJ0:21
21NEILANDS KristsIsrael - Premier Tech0:26
22LAPORTE ChristopheJumbo-Visma0:59
23GARCÍA CORTINA IvánMovistar Team1:05
24ULISSI DiegoUAE Team Emirates1:09
25VALGREN MichaelEF Education-EasyPost1:13
26KRISTOFF AlexanderIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux1:14
27BOUHANNI NacerTeam Arkéa Samsic1:14
28CONSONNI SimoneCofidis1:14
29FIORELLI FilippoBardiani-CSF-Faizanè1:14
30VENDRAME AndreaAG2R Citroën Team1:14
31BRAMBILLA GianlucaTrek - Segafredo1:14
32GESCHKE SimonCofidis1:14
33MEZGEC LukaTeam BikeExchange - Jayco1:14
34VAN GILS MaximLotto Soudal1:14
35VAN AVERMAET GregAG2R Citroën Team1:14
36DOULL OwainEF Education-EasyPost1:14
37COQUARD BryanCofidis1:14
38HONORÉ Mikkel FrølichQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team1:14
39SBARAGLI KristianAlpecin-Fenix1:14
40KIRSCH AlexTrek - Segafredo1:14
41SERRANO GonzaloMovistar Team1:14
42OSS DanielTotalEnergies1:14
43OLDANI StefanoAlpecin-Fenix1:14
44GAVAZZI FrancescoEOLO-Kometa1:14
45GONZÁLEZ AbnerMovistar Team1:14
46ROSA DiegoEOLO-Kometa1:14
47FELLINE FabioAstana Qazaqstan Team1:14
48GOLDSTEIN OmerIsrael - Premier Tech1:14
49BONIFAZIO NiccolòTotalEnergies1:14
50HALLER MarcoBORA - hansgrohe1:14
51GANNA FilippoINEOS Grenadiers1:14
52JUNGELS BobAG2R Citroën Team1:14
53LEKNESSUND AndreasTeam DSM1:14
54BENEDETTI CesareBORA - hansgrohe1:14
55DURBRIDGE LukeTeam BikeExchange - Jayco1:14
56HAYTER EthanINEOS Grenadiers1:14
57POLANC JanUAE Team Emirates1:14
58VAN HOOYDONCK NathanJumbo-Visma1:14
59RESTREPO JhonatanDrone Hopper - Androni Giocattoli1:14
60BAGIOLI AndreaQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team1:14
61BARTA WillMovistar Team1:14
62HAMILTON ChrisTeam DSM1:22
63NIEUWENHUIS JorisTeam DSM1:50
64BOUET MaximeTeam Arkéa Samsic1:50
65SEVILLA Diego PabloEOLO-Kometa1:50
66PHILIPSEN JasperAlpecin-Fenix1:50
67TONELLI AlessandroBardiani-CSF-Faizanè2:41
68ŠTYBAR ZdeněkQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team2:53
69PETILLI SimoneIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux2:53
70SÜTTERLIN JashaBahrain - Victorious3:06
71ZABEL RickIsrael - Premier Tech3:06
72COVI AlessandroUAE Team Emirates3:55
73BOARO ManueleAstana Qazaqstan Team4:30
74RIVI SamueleEOLO-Kometa5:26
75RUSSO ClémentTeam Arkéa Samsic5:26
76PICHON LaurentTeam Arkéa Samsic5:26
77SWIFT ConnorTeam Arkéa Samsic5:26
78COSNEFROY BenoîtAG2R Citroën Team5:26
79WARBASSE LarryAG2R Citroën Team5:26
80DOWSETT AlexIsrael - Premier Tech6:01
81BOASSON HAGEN EdvaldTotalEnergies6:01
82COVILI LucaBardiani-CSF-Faizanè6:01
83BRÄNDLE MatthiasIsrael - Premier Tech6:01
84MAESTRI MircoEOLO-Kometa6:01
85ROWE LukeINEOS Grenadiers6:01
86JAKOBSEN FabioQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team6:01
87RUTSCH JonasEF Education-EasyPost6:01
88SKUJIŅŠ TomsTrek - Segafredo6:01
89GIBBONS RyanUAE Team Emirates6:01
90FRISON FrederikLotto Soudal6:01
91PASQUALON AndreaIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux6:01
92SAGAN PeterTotalEnergies6:01
93VLIEGEN LoïcIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux6:01
94GIDICH YevgeniyAstana Qazaqstan Team6:01
95CATAFORD AlexanderIsrael - Premier Tech6:01
96GABBURO DavideBardiani-CSF-Faizanè6:01
97BAIS DavideEOLO-Kometa6:01
98ZANA FilippoBardiani-CSF-Faizanè6:01
99VAN DER SANDE ToshJumbo-Visma6:01
100ELOSEGUI IñigoMovistar Team6:01
101MOSCON GianniAstana Qazaqstan Team6:01
102DILLIER SilvanAlpecin-Fenix6:01
103KANTER MaxMovistar Team6:01
104CATTANEO MattiaQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team6:01
105ALEOTTI GiovanniBORA - hansgrohe6:01
106MODOLO SachaBardiani-CSF-Faizanè6:01
107GENIETS KevinGroupama - FDJ6:01
108SWIFT BenINEOS Grenadiers6:01
109PÉRICHON Pierre-LucCofidis6:01
110VILLELLA DavideCofidis6:47
111ARASHIRO YukiyaBahrain - Victorious8:31
112GOGL MichaelAlpecin-Fenix9:23
113ZARDINI EdoardoDrone Hopper - Androni Giocattoli9:57
114KONYCHEV AlexanderTeam BikeExchange - Jayco10:15
115MILAN JonathanBahrain - Victorious10:15
116VIVIANI EliaINEOS Grenadiers10:15
117ZAKHAROV ArtyomAstana Qazaqstan Team10:15
118TROIA OlivieroUAE Team Emirates10:15
119CHEREL MikaëlAG2R Citroën Team10:15
120EL GOUZI OmarBardiani-CSF-Faizanè10:15
121LEDANOIS KévinTeam Arkéa Samsic10:15
122COMBAUD RomainTeam DSM10:15
123EDMONDSON AlexTeam BikeExchange - Jayco10:15
124CRADDOCK LawsonTeam BikeExchange - Jayco10:15
125VERMEERSCH FlorianLotto Soudal10:15
126BASSO LeonardoAstana Qazaqstan Team10:15
127CAVAGNA RémiQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team10:15
128ROUX AnthonyGroupama - FDJ10:15
129SAJNOK SzymonCofidis10:15
130TUSVELD MartijnTeam DSM10:15
131BETTIOL AlbertoEF Education-EasyPost11:15
132SCULLY TomEF Education-EasyPost11:15
133PELLAUD SimonTrek - Segafredo11:15
134VAN HOECKE GijsAG2R Citroën Team11:15
135SHAW JamesEF Education-EasyPost11:15
136BAUHAUS PhilBahrain - Victorious11:15
137MARTINELLI DavideAstana Qazaqstan Team11:15
138SIMON JulienTotalEnergies11:15
139GALLOPIN TonyTrek - Segafredo11:15
140TAARAMÄE ReinIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux11:15
141VAN POPPEL DannyBORA - hansgrohe11:15
142ZURITA Ricardo AlejandroDrone Hopper - Androni Giocattoli11:15
143MULLEN RyanBORA - hansgrohe11:15
144GILBERT PhilippeLotto Soudal11:15
145CONCA FilippoLotto Soudal11:15
146BODNAR MaciejTotalEnergies11:15
147VAN DEN BERG JuliusEF Education-EasyPost11:15
148MEYER CameronTeam BikeExchange - Jayco11:15
149SCOTSON MilesGroupama - FDJ11:36
150DAVY ClémentGroupama - FDJ12:16
151HARDY RomainTeam Arkéa Samsic12:16
152TAGLIANI FilippoDrone Hopper - Androni Giocattoli13:13
153MARENGO UmbertoDrone Hopper - Androni Giocattoli13:13
154AFFINI EdoardoJumbo-Visma13:13
155MOSCA JacopoTrek - Segafredo13:13
156GROSU Eduard-MichaelDrone Hopper - Androni Giocattoli13:13
157CIMOLAI DavideCofidis13:13
158VAN EMDEN JosJumbo-Visma20:31
159VERMAERKE KevinTeam DSM21:56

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.