Milano-Sanremo organizer reshapes finale with new climb

New finale should open up even more aggressive racing along the Italian Riviera

Milano-Sanremo owner RCS Sport has changed the route for the 2014 edition of the sport’s longest monument. The change is aimed at creating a more explosive finale — a change “La Primavera” organizers have long pursued.

In 2014, the race route will skip the Le Mànie climb, which RCS Sport added in 2008 to split the race earlier and give the sprinters more of a challenge ahead of the Capi ramps and infamous Cipressa and Poggio di Sanremo climbs. Instead, riders will face a new climb, the five-kilometer Pompeiana, which climbs at an average gradient of five percent, with a maximum of 14 percent at its steepest point, between the Cipressa and the Poggio. The climb bends sharply near the top and climbs at 10-14 percent for 500 meters before flattening near the summit.

The technical descent of the Arma di Taggia will be key. Just as the tough, hairpin-filled ride off the Poggio toward the final run-in to the finish pushes riders to the edge after more than 290km, the ride down from the Pompeiana should prove decisive. From the bottom, just 4.4km separate the riders from the Poggio.

The finale remains unchanged otherwise, finishing on the Lungomare Italo Calvino after 299km (up from 298km), but the addition of the Pompeiana should completely reshape the finish in Sanremo. With the new route, the sprinters will have their tallest task yet in winning the spring’s first major classic — long known as the sprinters’ classic.

RCS Sport also announced on Tuesday that an amateur race, dubbed La Sanremo, will start and finish in Sanremo. Registration for the event opens October 31.