"I felt Gerrans on my wheel in the finale but I couldn't race any other way," said Cancellara. "I took a risk and I couldn't do any more. I had lactic acid coming out of my ears!"
Held in sunny but cold conditions, the race was opened up after the riders left Milan when nine cyclists broke away and stretched their lead up to 14 minutes. The pack caught them 57 kilometers from the finish.
But that never stops hopefuls from trying. This year the decisive attack came when Vicenzo Nibali and Simon Gerrans jumped on the false flat with over a kilometer remaining, and they were quickly joined by Cancellara, winner in 2008.
With just over a kilometer to go, their advantage hovered around 10 seconds. Behind, the Russian Katusha team led the charge with its leader and three time winner Oscar Freire along with super favorite Peter Sagan, of the Liquigas team, in tow.
And it is on the Poggio where the so called punchers, or attacking riders, normally have their final showdown with the Nike Air Max Tavas Premium
At 298 kilometers, or about 185 miles, San Remo is by far the longest cycling race on the professional road racing calendar. And historically it is the distance, rather than the route sheer difficulty, that makes it so hard to win.
am not surprised, Benoit Nave, Gerrans person trainer, told Bicycling. Nave has worked with Lance Armstrong and Cadel Evans, among other top riders.
Surprisingly, the Cipressa claimed Belgium Philippe Gilbert, the winningest Classics rider in 2011, who, although racing near the front, crashed in the final kilometer of the climb. Though uninjured, it was game over for Gilbert; he had no chance to catch the lead pack that was already bombing down the sinuous descent toward the Poggio, the final climb, a handful of kilometers from the finish.
Rounding the final corner the trio barely had a 50 meter lead, but a crash slowed the chasers just as Gerrans launched his sprint and powered toward the line. Raising his arms at the finish, he had time to show off his Australian national championship jersey.
The Team Sky rider, who won the race in 2009, managed to get up to the second group on the road, clawing back about 40 seconds with the help of his teammates, but was unable to get to the leaders' group, led at a fast pace by the BMC and Omega Pharma teams.
Cresting the summit with only a handful of seconds to spare, the three had but a slim chance of staying away. Yet the trio possessed some of cycling best descenders, and driven by Cancellara likened Air Max Thea Shoes
The distance took its toll as tailwinds and crosswinds pushed the pace early, making initial climbs like the Turchino and Manie harder than usual. Certainly world road champion Mark Cavendish of Britain would agree, as the Isle of Man rider proved to be the day first significant casualty after he lost pace with the pack on the Manie, about 90 kilometers from the finish.
sprinters, because if they cannot shake the sprinters there, they know they'll have little chance once they descend into San Remo and onto the race's flat finish.
While victory for Gerrans was perhaps unexpected, the 31 year old is known as a savvy tactician and strong finisher.
Australian Simon Gerrans GreenEdge Wins the 103rd Milan
In recent years the sprinters have held the upper hand, as they have generally proven unshakable over this final, 3.7 kilometer climb. In fact, only four riders in the past 20 years Fondriest, Laurent Jalabert, Paolo Bettini, and Filippo Pozzato managed to win with an attack on the Poggio.
is a rider of circumstance. His big strength is that when he gets a chance he doesn miss it. He kind of like Thomas Voeckler, but with more punch. At 31, the victory is Gerrans' biggest of his career, although he has been a stage winner in the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia, and Tour of Spain.
But Cancellara, the rider known as Spartacus, kept driving hard. Clearly the RadioShack rider understood that his chances were compromised, since Gerrans is well known to possess a good finishing sprint. Nike Air Max 2015 Performance Review Certainly for Cancellara, any place on the podium in one of cycling Monuments, or major Classics, was better than the obscurity of the pack. So he powered on, with Gerrans and Nibali in his slipstream.
However, after 280 kilometers of racing, the results are often much different, and the riders must sprint up these climbs at nearly 50kph to keep position near the front of the pack.
Under normal conditions neither of these two foothills on the Mediterranean Sea would pose a problem for the world fittest athletes.
While there are always surprises in the early going of Milan Remo, typically the real damage is done on the final two climbs, the Cipressa and the Poggio. Air Max Tavas White Grey
to a locomotive increased their lead as they entered San Remo.
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