With the 2014 edition of Milan-San Remo only a few days away The Bike Lane takes a look back at some of the great races of the last four decades.
1972 Eddy Merckx
The Cannibal won La classicissima di Primavera seven times during his career. The 1972 edition was his fifth victory. What else can you say? Merckx dominated this race like no other rider before him, after him and probably never again.
1984 Francesco Moser
Moser was in the form of his life in 1984, beating the hour record, winning this 75th edition of Milan-San Remo in a dominating performance and then two months later winning the Giro d’Italia. Early in the race Phil Anderson went off the front solo for 120km, Lemond and Hinault crashed out. Moser made his move nearing the top of the poggio bringing the dangerous break including Roche and Madiot back. Moser then shot away over the top and the Panasonic team or Sean Kelly could not follow. Moser won by 20 seconds.
Watch and enjoy the incredible footage from Rai Sport
1998 Erik Zabel
Erik Zabel (team Telekom) of Germany won his second straight victory in the race’s 89th edition, sprinting past French challengers Emmanuel Magnien (La Francaise des Jeux) and Frederic Moncassin (GAN). Zabel’s time was 7 hours and 10 minutes. Zabel would go on to win the race a total of four times.
2009 Mark Cavendish
What a finish. Mark Cavendish won his first monument in what would have to have been the best sprint finish of the last decade. Heinrich Haussler leapt out of the bunch taking everyone by surprise and looked like taking the victory. Cavendish after hesitating for a moment realised he had to go and chased hard down the left hand side. Haussler moved slightly right and Cavendish got by on his left and won by what seemed like a few millimetres
When you win sprints you prove you’re a great sprinter,” said Cavendish. “When you win a great one-day race, you’ve proved you’re a great rider.
2013 Gerald Ciolek
Last years Milan-San Remo was won by MTN Qhubeka’s Ciolek in what were terrible conditions for most of the race, snow, sleet and ice battered the riders and the the race neutralised for 46km between Ovada and Arenzano: rather than climb the Turchino, the riders boarded buses and resumed the race and hour later. The German sprinter took the close win ahead of Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Leopard) in a thrilling sprint finish.
Who will win in 2014?
The Bike Lane is predicting the winner of the 105th edition of Milan-San Remo will be one of Peter Sagan, John Degenkolb or Philippe Gilbert.