Trek-Saegrafredo’s Jasper Stuyven was not the Belgian pundits were expecting to cross the line first on The Via Roma in San Remo, but it is Stuyven nonetheless who became the winner of the 112th Milano-San Remo, La Primavera, just holding off Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) and 2020 winner Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma).
How the finish Unfolded
Much of the day had been the preserve of a group of eight riders who went away with just three kilometres of the 299km race covered and comprising Filippo Tagliani, Mattia Viel (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermec), Andrea Peron, Charles Planet (Team Novo Nordisk), Mathias Norsgaard Jørgensen (Movistar Team), Nicola Conci (Trek – Segafredo), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani CSF Faizane’) and Taco Van Der Hoorn (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux).
Behind them life in the biunch was largely uneventful, excepting crash when Team Arkéa Samsic teammate Thibault Guernalec took down Nacer Bouhanni on a corner after hitting some rutted road surface. Bouhanni was more angry than hurt and easily managed to rejoin the peloton.
The break enjoyed a lead that went above five minutes but it was never going to last and it was Van Der Hoorn the last rider to be reeled in by the peloton on the Cipressa climb, 24km before the finish.
The Cipressa may have done for the break and broken up the peloton but it was still a very large group that reached he foot of the Poggio and started the climb amongst the ramshackled green houses. The speed of the climbing meant that thought of attack was largey futile, though Alaphilipe did attempt one, so it came to the descent to create separation.
One surprise survivor of the relentless pressure was Caleb Ewan. If it came to a bunch sprint it was Ewan the odds one favourite. Tim Pidcock of Ineos Grenadiers then pushed descent speeds hard hoping to rule sprinters out of contention but it was still a high density group that was approaching the foot.
It was then with two kilometres left while the favourites looked and schemed their solution to the issue of a bunch sprint that Stuyvens said ‘adios’. The only man who could match his pace was Soren Kragh Andersen (team DSM).
The gap was closing down rapidly but Stuyvens raced on to hold off a de facto bunch sprint which was unsurprisingly won by Ewan, with Wout van Aert third, and Peter Sagan and Mathieu van der Poel in fourth and fifth place respectively.
“I just knew I had to try, all or nothing. I prefer to do this than gamble for the sprint and finish in 5th or 10th place, so I prefer to go all-in. Most of the time it’s nothing; sometimes it’s all, and today it was all. It’s incredible. I don’t realize [what I’ve done] yet. I am just incredibly happy”, said Stuyven
Top 10 Results
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