Europe 1 with AFP 17:53 p.m., March 18, 2023Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel won the Milan-Sanremo race on Saturday, 62 years after his grandfather Raymond Poulidor. He finished ahead of Italy's Filippo Ganna, Belgium's Wout Van Aert and Slovenia's Tadej Pogacar. And becomes the first Dutchman to win in Sanremo since Hennie Kuiper in 1985.
Sixty-two years after his grandfather Raymond Poulidor, Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel won Milan-Sanremo solo on Saturday, the first of five Monuments of the cycling season. The Alpecin rider made the difference just before the summit of the Poggio to lead a group of three riders by 15 seconds, settled in a sprint by Italian Filippo Ganna ahead of Belgian Wout Van Aert and Slovenian Tadej Pogacar. This is the third victory for Van der Poel in a Monument after his successes in the Tour of Flanders in 2020 and 2022.
He became the first Dutchman to win in Sanremo since Hennie Kuiper in 1985. The cyclocross world champion made the difference at the top of the last climb, the mythical Poggio, switching five seconds ahead of a royal chase group, composed of Pogacar, Ganna and his great rival Van Aert. Impressive in his mastery in the downhill, the Dutchman, third last year, widened his advantage to have time to savor the last meters, taking the lead in his hands.
The first Frenchman finished 9th
"I couldn't imagine a better scenario. I wanted to attack at the end of the Poggio. It's a race I really wanted to win. The way I did it exceeds my expectations," he said. The first Frenchman of this 114th edition, run in good weather, was, as in the last two years, the rider of the TotalEnergies Anthony Turgis, 9th. As usual, the longest race of the year (294 km) came alive in the last five kilometers.
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Previously, the long descent to the Riviera, traditionally rather boring, was marked by several racing incidents such as the fall without gravity, at the back of the peloton, of Julian Alaphilippe, on the Turchino. Tadej Pogacar fell, according to RAI, even before the official kick-off, given for the first time in the large suburbs of Milan, in Abbiategrasso. There also without damage for the Slovenian, glithetic glimpse at the real start, while a fan dusted off his left shoulder with a respectful gesture of the hand, while others begged for a selfie, closer to the action.
As for the morning breakaway, with eight riders, it was resumed in the Cipressa, 27 km from the finish, after having sailed for a long time in the lead with about three minutes ahead of the pack.