Milan-Turin has a different character this year than in previous years. The organization of the Italian semi-classic has chosen to leave the Superga ascent from the course, which suddenly creates space for sprinters. Cycling Flash looks ahead!
Cycling in Northern Italy flourished at the end of the nineteenth century. Almost every major city did have its own bicycle repair shop, who believed that he could build the very best bicycles. Think, for example, of Edoardo Bianchi, the Milanese who founded the Bianchi bicycles in 1885. But there were many more bicycle repairers, who needed decor to show that they could make the best bicycles. The first cycling races were organized in this way, sponsored by Italian newspapers. La Gazzetta dello Sport is an excellent example of this. The Italian newspaper has been inextricably linked to the Giro d’Italia since 1909.
But there are even older competitions, which were created in much the same way. Similarly, Milan-Turin. The competition was first organized in 1876. Paolo Magretti – an entomologist in everyday life – became the first winner of Milan-Turin. The cyclist from Milan stayed ahead of Carlo Ricci Gariboldi and Bartolomeo Baldiani after 150 kilometers.
This year the competition is already in its 101st edition and the race is on back to the roots. Due to circumstances, Milan-Turin is again a preparatory match at Milan-San Remo this year. It was until 1987, but due to the unpredictable Italian weather in March, it was then decided to move the game to autumn. Milan-Turin thus became part of the Triptych of Autumnalong with the Gran Piemonte and also the Tour of Lombardy.
Milan-Turin has a lot of big winners on the honors list. Costante Girardengo, Roger De Vlaeminck (2x), Francesco Moser, Danilo Di Luca and Alberto Contador were once allowed to make victory in Turin. Names such as Michael Woods, Thibaut Pinot, Rigoberto Úran and Miguel Ángel López have been added in recent years.
Last ten winners Milan-Turin
2019: Michael Woods
2018: Thibaut Pinot
2017: Rigoberto Uran
2016: Miguel Ángel López
2015: Diego Rosa
2014: Giampaolo Caruso
2013: Diego Ulissi
2012: Alberto counter
2007: Danilo Di Luca
2006: Igor Astarloa
Last year Michael Woods won Milan-Turin to his name. The Canadian proved to have the best legs on the last climb of the Basilica di Superga. On the steep final climb (4.9 kilometers at 9.2 percent), it was Jakob Fuglsang who opened the debates, after which Woods counterattacked. The EF Education First rider saw Jack Haig and Gorka Izagirre make the connection, but they had to pass not much later. Alejandro Valverde, Egan Bernal, Adam Yates, David Gaudu and Bauke Mollema managed to return to the Canadian in the final kilometer. But Woods’ final shot turned out to be too powerful, even for Valverde in blood form.
Rash Milan-Turin 2019
1. Michael Woods (EF Education First)
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in zt
3. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) op 5s
4. Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) at 10s
5. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) op 10s
The ascent of the Basilica di Superga has been left out of the Milan-Turin course this year, so that the race can again manifest itself as a preparation race at Milan-San Remo. This way the sprinters can test the legs again before they start on Saturday in La Classicissima.
On Wednesday, the starting signal will be fired in Mesero, a small village west of Milan. Then you drive south-west to finish place Turingi, which is also located southwest of Turin. This route must be driven south, as the Alps are located north of Milan and Turin.
After the start, the riders ride through the Po Valley on wide and straight roads. About halfway there are some short climbs around Monferrato, but they won’t put the rider in too much trouble. The last seventy kilometers to the finish are almost flat. And that will appeal to the sprinters present.
Wednesday August 5: Mesero – Stupingi (198 km)
Start: 1.45 pm
Finish: 6.13-6.37 pm
The battle for victory this year in Milan-Turin is most likely between the sprinters. We also see that on the list of participants. The names of riders such as Alexey Lutsenko and Vincenzo Nibali are on the list of participants of the 1.Pro race. Normally they would also be among the favorites, but Wednesday is really looking forward to the fast men.
The top favorite for Milan-Turin will only return to the peloton on Wednesday. There will be some question marks after his name, but Caleb Ewan has often proven to be there immediately. The Australian repeatedly relegated competition in the Santos Tour Down Under at the beginning of the season, making the Pocket Rocket may also have confidence in his second start of the cycling season. Ewan also knows that he can build on the sprint train of Lotto Soudal.
Sam Bennett will likely be Ewan’s main competitor. The Irishman already made his restart of the cycling season in the Tour of Burgos, where he also immediately won a stage. After Bennett missed the victory in the second stage, it was a hit in the fourth stage. A powerful acceleration in the ascending final kilometer brought him the victory. The condition is therefore mustache. Bennett has the team with Deceuninck-Quick-Step par excellence to make the Lotto Soudal difficult.
The other contenders also have the necessary course kilometers in their legs. Fernando Gaviria has even already won. The Colombian, who was tested positive for the corona virus during the UAE Tour, has fully recovered and convincingly won second stage in the Tour of Burgos for Arnaud Démare and Sam Bennett. Die Démare also has a big chance of winning on Wednesday. In the Tour of Burgos, the Frenchman showed that his train was fine and that his own condition was of a high level. Only luck was missing on the side of Démare, who finished second twice.
Some favorites have already proven themselves, but that is not yet the case for a number of other top sprinters. One does have course kilometers in the legs again, the other not yet. Alexander Kristoff did not take action yet, but the Norwegian can have confidence in a good result. The strong Kritstoff had an excellent start to 2020. A victory is still missing, but with six top-4 odds in his first thirteen race days, Kristoff can certainly be given an opportunity.
Then to the two cyclocross riders, to do it all these weeks. Wout van Aert triumphed Saturday in a dusty edition of Strade Bianche. So no one will doubt the shape of the Fleming. But the course in Milan-Turin is not too easy for it WVA? Of course, the rider of Jumbo-Visma has a nice sprint. However, it is fair to say that we have not seen this sprint for more than a year. But no reason to doubt Van Aert, especially after Saturday. He is a big contender.
His rival Mathieu van der Poel is also present. Van der Poel went a lot less well in the Strade Bianche. The Dutchman had a leak at an unfavorable moment, after which he blew himself up on the way back to the peloton. It can happen to the best. Knowing Van der Poel, he will be keen to show himself in Milan-Turin, in order to build confidence for Milan-San Remo in this way. Goes MVDP firing a warning shot for Saturday with a mighty sprint in Milan-Turin?
Peter Sagan resumed his season in the Strade Bianche. The 30-year-old Slovakian from BORA-hansgrohe – who recently returned from an altitude training session – did not compete to win the match and did not finish the race. So the question is how it is with his condition. Earlier in the season, the driver collected a handful of places of honor in Paris-Nice, among others. There is no doubt that the Slovak should be able to do it on Wednesday.
Finally, there remains a can of outsiders. How about Nacer Bouhanni? The 30-year-old Frenchman seems to be bolting again at Arkéa-Samsic. He already won a ride in the Saudi Tour and the Tour de La Provence this year. The question remains whether he can handle the very best. That question also applies to an Astana rider Alex Aranburu, who finished second in Gran Trittico Lombardo on Monday. Circus-Wanty Gobert has several trump cards with Timothy Dupont and Danny van Poppel.
In addition, an Italian victory cannot be ruled out. Sonny Colbrelli is the hope of the Italians on Wednesday. The Bahrain-McLaren hill printer struck Sunday in the Route d’Occitanie and is therefore in great shape. Side note: Milan-Turin is on the program a day after the Route d’Occitanie. So Colbrelli still has a tough travel day ahead after the last stage. Matteo Moschetti from Trek-Segafredo is also a rider to keep an eye on. At the beginning of this year, he beat the German top spurter Pascal Ackermann twice in Mallorca. Otherwise, the Italians will take a look at outsiders Davide Cimolai, Jakub Mareczko, Manuel Belletti, Sacha Modolo or Matteo Pelucchi.
Favorites according to WielerFlits
**** Caleb Ewan
*** Sam Bennett, Fernando Gaviria
** Arnaud Démare, Wout van Aert, Mathieu van der Poel
* Alexander Kristoff, Nacer Bouhanni, Sonny Colbrelli, Alex Aranburu
Weather and TV
The weather conditions in Milan-Turin on Wednesday are less extreme than in the Strade Bianche five days earlier. The temperature of 27 degrees Celsius can be called pleasant and no wind or precipitation is predicted. A mass sprint can hardly be missed in this way. Eurosport 1 broadcasts Milan-Turin from 5 pm.