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The first of the five annual cycling monuments to be raced this year is Milan-San Remo.
The 112th edition of this Italian classic, known as La Classicissima stretches for 298 km (~185.2 miles) making it currently the longest professional one-day race.
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Traditionally, Milan-San Remo is sprinter-friendly, whereas the final monument of the season, Il Lombardia, is a climber’s route. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin), and Arnaud Démare (FDJ) claimed victories in 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively. But the past two editions, in 2021 and 2020, were won by Belgian all-rounders Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).
In this year’s race, Wout van Aert looks to repeat his performance of 2020 — which came in the heat of summer following the COVID delay and saw an altered route due to road permitting — in which nearly a third of the field did not finish due to heat attrition. He’ll have to fend off a motivated Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) who looks to be on good form after winning early on in Tirreno-Adriatico before abandoning the stage race to prepare for the first monument of the season. And, of course, there are a dozen other riders who also want to add this special, if not rather long, race to their palmarès for the first time, or like van Aert, repeat.
Ineos Grenadiers are bringing, among others, Filippo Ganna, Thomas Pidcock, sprinter Elia Viviani, and 2017-winner Michał Kwiatkowski, and will have to contend with van Aert’s teammates Primož Roglič and Christophe Laporte, who are just off a hot Tirreno-Adriatico. The “Wolfpack” is bringing the world champion Julian Alaphilippe and Kasper Asgreen — winner of the 2021 Tour of Flanders — and others to hunt the win. John Degenkolb is returning for another shot at the win with Team DSM teammate Søren Kragh Andersen. Ewan may have Philipe Gilbert for support, but Gilbert may have an interest in winning this race in his last season as a pro.
Milan-San Remo is the only remaining monument which the Belgian former world champion has not yet won, and it would be the final jewel in his crown, in his swansong season. Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R-Citroën) is always a threat in one-day races, as is the ever wiley Peter Sagan (Team TotalEnergies), and previous winner Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ).
But the smart money just might be on the rider who has already won two monuments and a handful of other, one-day races in his relatively short, pro career and who so far in 2022 has been in a class of his own: Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates).
The southerly route takes riders through the Lombardy and Piedmont regions before ultimately finishing in the “Italian Riviera.” If you want to watch the (epically long) Milan-Sanremo, you’ll want to tune in for the action on the Cipressa and then the Poggio, the second of which comes before the run-in to the finish.
How to watch Milan-San Remo in the United States
One option: subscribe and stream through GCN+. Coverage begins at 4:30 a.m. EST and is expected to continue to close to 1:00 p.m.
How to watch Milan-San Remo in Europe
U.K. viewers can tune into the live television broadcast, on Eurosport, which starts at 11:45 a.m. local time and continues through 16:15. The race will also be live-streamed through the Eurosport player and GCN+ for subscribers with coverage starting at 08:30 a.m. GMT.
How to watch Milan-San Remo in Australia
Like most European and North American viewers, Australians can watch the Milan-San Remo live stream on GCN+.