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Superga left out of Milano-Torino to ease things for sprinters

Organizers sidelined emblematic climb to give San Remo-bound sprinters a chance to click back into race speed.

There won’t be the exciting Superga finale in this year’s Milano-Torino. Why? Blame the coronavirus.

Organizers are leaving out the emblematic finishing climb, set on the Superga Hill that towers above Turin, due to the dynamics of the reshuffled racing schedule.

Race officials confirmed to VeloNews that the distinctive hilltop finale, introduced in 2012 to spice up the long-running Italian semi-classic, was removed this year because the race is coming just days ahead of Milano-Sanremo.

Organizers didn’t want to put such a searing climb so early in the new-look racing calendar, especially for a race that comes just three days before the sprinter-friendly Sanremo route. Instead, they want to refit this year’s edition of Milano-Torino to be a “kind of a test” for riders heading to Sanremo, an official said, and have offered up a mostly flat course across northern Italy.

The race, won last year by EF Pro Cycling’s Michael Woods in dramatic fashion, will be attracting a different profile of riders as part of a busy August calendar set in Italy with a series of rescheduled one-day races. The likes of Strade Banche, Il Lombardia, and Milano-Sanremo take a starring role in August as the racing season tries to reboot following a race stoppage dating back to Paris-Nice in March.

The WorldTour resumes August 1 with Strade Bianche. Milano-Torino is slotted in with a mid-week date on August 5, with Sanremo the following weekend on August 8. Gran Piemonte keeps things moving on August 12, with Il Lombardia on August 15 to round out the opening block of Italian races.

RCS Sport, organizers of the above races, has been shuffling its quiver of one-day races over the past several years, moving Milano-Torino from its historic March date to the fall to run as part of a “fall classics” program to lead into Lombardia, typically the last European race on the calendar.┬áConsidered Italy’s oldest race, first held in 1876, this year will mark the race’s 101st edition.

“This race will symbolize a restart, not only from a sporting point of view but also from a tourist point of view, since cycling is closely connected to the promotion of the territory,” RCS Sport said in a statement. “The proximity to the first classic monument of the season offers a new interpretation for this race which will be a real test for all those who want to try to win Milano-Sanremo.”