Milan-San Remo 2023 route
The longest Monument of the season, this year's Milan-San Remo takes place on Saturday 18 March and will showcase some of the world's best riders over a mammoth 294km.
The big news for this season a change in start location, to the town of Abbiategrasso, 22km south-west of Milan, where the race usually heads out from the city centre. The riders will rejoin the traditional route 30km into the race, from which point they will follow a well trodden route all the way to the finish on the famous Via Roma in San Remo. It will take them around six-and-a-half hours of riding.
Along the way riders will encounter the climb of the Passo Turchino at around the halfway mark, followed by the three small capi – the Capo Mele, Cervo and Berta – at around the 250km mark as the race approaches its finale. With 22km to go, riders crest the Cipressa (5.6km at 4.1%) and then finally, those who are left tackle the Poggio (3.7km at 3.7%). Often a small gap will go over the top – it then comes down to whether the escapees can cling on to their advantage on the sinuous descent and the flat 2km to the finish, or whether the chasing bunch can bring them back and unleash the sprinters within.
Milan-San Remo route history
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 since 2014, the race has featured neither climb.
Now, the dynamic of the route has shifted comprehensively back to the sprinters.
After Alexander Kristoff (then 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 (then Giant-Alpecin) in 2015 and Arnaud Démare (Groupama-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.
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.
Only two British riders have emerged victorious at the race, with Tom Simpson being the first back in 1964 for Peugeot-BP-Engelbert team. The next came several years later in 2009, when Mark Cavendish (then Team Columbia-High Road) took victory in a bunch sprint. British champion Ben Swift (Ineos Grenadiers) has come close on various occasions.
Milan-San Remo 2023 provisional start list
VAN AERT Wout
UAE Team Emirates
VAN AVERMAET Greg
Astana Qazaqstan Team
DE LIE Arneau
GARCÍA CORTINA Iván
GIRMAY HAILU Biniam
VAN DER POEL Mathieu
KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren
Watching Milan-San Remo on TV
The race is broadcast on Eurosport and GCN Race Pass, with live coverage as well as a highlights package.
Our full guide on how to watch Milan - San Remo can be found here.
Elsewhere in the world, you can 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: Recent winners
2021: Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
2020: Wout van Aert (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
2019: Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck–Quick-Step
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
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Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.
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