Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Milan-San Remo 2008

Here's for those who missed one of the most exciting classics of Spring - the Italian Milan-San Remo. The looming idea for any strong rider who wanted to win this baby was to get away on that last climb of the famous Poggio, essentially keeping the main pack at bay.

After riding 180 miles, who the heck wants to give all the sprinters an easy victory?

The tactic would be good, as chances were that a single rider or smaller group of riders would better maneuver around the dizzying narrow corners of the descent to the finish line at San Remo. All the top names were there off in the front break, including Cancellara and Rebellin whose racing is always a pleasure to watch since he's one of those amazingly persistent race campaigners that Italy has ever produced.

While I frantically shouted 'forza Rebellin' during those final minutes, an unsurprising turn of events took place. Cancellara manned up, bit his teeth and decided to time trial to the finish line himself, emasculating all the top sprinters of the world and some 150+ riders behind. Letting him escape would be the biggest mistake of the day.

Notice some of his race winning elements :

1. Being at the front of the race or in a break at the crucial time.
2. Being a world class time trialist.
3. Efficient cornering technique.
4. Catching riders unaware and bumping up speed.
5. Hitting the hammer at the right moment, reeling in an attack by Inigo Landaluze and counterattacking him when he had no legs anymore.
6. He finally accelerates, ensuring that he takes no rats with him in his solo move. Landaluze is fried.


Thanks to user BURNIE87 for uploading the Rai TV segment. Boy, those helicopters did an amazing job!


Zachary Ellwood said...

Fabian Cancellara is undoubtedly a great cyclist. I wouldn't be surprise if he grabs the Tour de France one of these upcoming years.

Chris said...

That race was fantastic. First hats off to Bettini for trying to get away. One thing I can guarantee is that if you don't try to get away you won't win a race - ever.

Fabian's move was textbook. You could see the look on Ballan's face - we just screwed the pooch.

As for your 6 points, I think it all comes down to point 1. You can never ever win a race from the back.