Milan-San Remo analysis - Podcast

Julian Alaphilippe gets a face full of champagne, not that he'll mind

In the latest episode of the Cyclingnews podcast, brought to you in association with Sportful, Pinarello and Floyd's of Leadville, we look back on the action from Milan-San Remo after Julianne Alaphilippe won the first Monument of his career ahead of Oliver Naesen and Michal Kwiatkowski. We hear from an emotional Alaphilippe, Naesen, Kwiatkowski, a disappointed Matej Mohoric, Peter Sagan, Elia Viviani and Michael Matthews. Sponsor message Born in the Italian Dolomites, Sportful has been making athletes faster, more efficient and better protected since 1972. Sportful has a rich and successful racing history; optimising performance for athletes who have gone onto win Grand Tours, one-day classics, and the World Championships. Sportful leads the market with innovative and technical apparel so you can experience those unforgettable moments, your very best days on a bike. For more details visit Sportful.com and follow the ride on Instagram @sportful . You can read more ...

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Classics power play: How many watts did it take to win Milan-San Remo?

Classics power play: How many watts did it take to win Milan-San Remo?

Joe Robinson 25 Mar 2019 Some of Saturday's best riders posted their San Remo rides to Strava and the numbers are incredible The 2019 Milan-San Remo reverted to type; seven hours of anticipation with 20 minutes of electrifying entertainment. However as Strava shows, the race was as brutally hard as expected. For a third consecutive year, the winning move came on the slopes of the Poggio, the race's final climb just 5km from the Via Roma finish line, after a nervy, fast yet controlled first seven or so hours of racing. Eventual winner Julian Alaphilippe made the most of Deceuninck-Quick-Step's furious pace to force an eight-man who's who of Classics racing move when the Poggio was at its hardest. The move plus its protagonists were enough to go clear until the finish with Alaphilippe by far the strongest and smartest rider in the sprint finish. Alaphilippe's ability to sprint to ...

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Valverde so near and yet so far at Milan-San Remo

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

Alejandro Valverde 's seventh place at Milan-San Remo , which came as having been part of the 12-man lead group, was the Movistar rider's best finish yet at La Classicissima – a race that continues to elude and frustrate the world champion. It was a case of so near, and yet so far: the 38-year-old Spaniard was right where he needed to be on the Via Roma, but was never really a challenger to 26-year-old winner Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), whose greater concerns as the line approached were AG2R's Oliver Naesen, 2017 Milan-San Remo winner Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and former world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe). "It's been a spectacular Milan-San Remo, both because of the high level of racing and the great weather," Valverde said on the Movistar website. "Being up there with the top contenders and finishing with the first group, after 20 days with no racing, is something ...

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Milan-San Remo highlights: Alaphilippe’s masterclass

Julian Alaphilippe shows off the new Deceuninck-Quick-Step jersey

The yearly seven-hour battle between the sprinters and puncheurs that is Milan-San Remo has once again come and gone, and for 2019 we can strike another one up to the latter – the third in a row for that most versatile of rider groupings. Julian Alaphilippe ( Deceuninck-Quick Step ) was the man to continue the mini-streak on Saturday afternoon, pulling off a masterful display in the finale. The Frenchman was ably aided by his powerful Quick Step team on the final climb of the day, the legendary Poggio, before launching over the top. He wasn’t alone though – far from it, in fact. The best of the best had joined him, with the last two winners Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) up there, along with legends of the modern era Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), among others. After navigating the potential treachery of the ...

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Naesen unlocks potential for first Milan-San Remo podium

Oliver Naesen celebrates his second place

Oliver Naesen ( AG2R La Mondiale ) finally delivered in a spring Monument to take second place behind Julian Alaphilippe in Milan-San Remo , the first of the season. The 28-year-old Belgian has been a consistent presence in the spring classics for a number of years, yet despite his undoubted class he has always failed to deliver a result that truly reflected his pedigree. That changed on Saturday, with the AG2R La Mondiale rider deserving of his podium place ahead of Michał Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) and Pete Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe), who finished third and fourth respectively. “I hope that this is something that unlocks my 'no results' streak,” a beaming Naesen told Cyclingnews after the podium celebrations on the Via Roma. The race burst into life on the Poggio, with Alaphilippe unleashing a stinging attack that drew only the best of the best from a reduced field. Sagan and Kwiatkowski were ...

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Kwiatkowski nets third behind unstoppable Alaphilippe in Milan-San Remo

The 2017 winner Michal Kwiatkowski rides through the fans at the start of Milan-San Remo

Michał Kwiatkowski and his Team Sky squad threw everything they had at Deceuninck-Quick Step at Milan-San Remo on Saturday, but the Pole would have to eventually settle for third with Julian Alaphilippe continuing the Belgian team's 2019 dominance and Oliver Naesen securing second. For the briefest of moments, as Alaphilippe crested the Poggio with Peter Sagan and Kwiatkowski in tow it looked as though a repeat of the famous 2017 San Remo would ensue. However, the race was far from over, with another group escorted by Wout Van Aert and Matteo Trentin quickly making contact. As the road dipped towards the finish and the flat run-in, several attacks flew from the front. Kwiatkowski held his nerve and patiently waited for the sprint. It was Sagan who found himself at the front of the lead group as the line approached, with Alaphilippe on his left shoulder and Naesen just behind. At ...

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The weekly spin: Breaking down Alaphilippe’s perfect day at Milan-San Remo

It was a who’s who of professional cycling. Barreling down the Poggio, the final climb of Milan-San Remo, was a handful of the top riders in the sport, all in with a shot at winning the first Monument of the season. A few minutes later, that group had swelled to a dozen. There would be … The post The weekly spin: Breaking down Alaphilippe’s perfect day at Milan-San Remo appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Alaphilippe Wins Milan San Remo

Deceuninck Quick-Step Rider Bags His First Monument Julian Alaphilippe won Milan San-Remo on Saturday afternoon, comfortably winning a sprint from a group of ten that went clear over the top of the Poggio. He was joined on the podium by Olivier Naesen and Michal Kwiatkowski. This year’s first monument went according to the script, with a large break given plenty of room on the road and building up a sizable gap. The ten riders, including six Italians and four representatives of Novo Nordisk, were steadily reeled back in as the race hit the coast in perfect weather. Quick Step, UAE, Lotto Soudal and Groupama-FDJ were among the teams working at the front and by the foot of the Cipressa only Fausto Masnada was left in front. Getty Images Masnada was caught on the earliest slopes of the penultimate climb and there were few fireworks on the climb, though a daring ...

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Alaphilippe wins Milan-San Remo

Julian Alaphilippe lets out a roar

It may have been the first Monument of the season, but the story was the one we’ve seen so often already this year. Some 175 men fought for half the day to win a bike race, and Julian Alaphilippe ( Deceuninck-QuickStep ) ended up on the top step of the podium. Milan-San Remo is the seventh victory of the season for the Frenchman, and the 19th for his team - no doubt the sweetest yet. Part of an elite group contesting the win in San Remo, Alaphilippe beat Oliver Naesen ( AG2R La Mondiale ) and Michał Kwiatkowski ( Team Sky ) to the top spot after a tense sprint to the line. The Frenchman had played a major part in forming the elite group that made it to the finish, launching an attack over the top of Poggio and bringing a number of the strongest men in the sport ...

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Milano-Sanremo: The ‘Who Will Win’ Piece

Milano-Sanremo is at the same time the most and least predictable race on the calendar. It’s not every race you can work through every single scenario in which the race can be won and coming up with a manageable number - go on, try doing it with E3 Harelbeke - but then again it’s not every race that can be won by Mark Cavendish, then a few years later undergo alterations that make it notably easier, following which it is won by Vincenzo Nibali. I’m not going to go through all the scenarios in which any given rider can win, Andrew did that expertly last year and much of it is still relevant. What I aim to achieve with this preview is to come up with one name and a set of very plausible reasons why they will be the first person to win a Monument classic in 2019. This ...

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Bernal wins Paris-Nice

The final Paris-Nice podium (L-R) Nairo Quintana, Egan Bernal, Michal Kwiatkowski

Egan Bernal ( Team Sky ) secured overall victory at Paris-Nice after a tense final stage which saw his yellow jersey come under attack by Nairo Quintana (Movistar). Ion Izagirre (Astana) took the stage win in Nice, attacking on the final climb of the day to leave behind the remains of the elite break group led by Quintana. The Spaniard quickly built a stage-winning gap, staying upright on the descent to secure the win, 19 seconds ahead of Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) and Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb). Quintana, meanwhile, attacked 50km out, echoing similar moves against Team Sky by Alberto Contador in 2016 and 2017. But like the legendary Spaniard, Quintana would fall short. He was the virtual leader at several points, but ended up only taking four seconds on Bernal at the finish. The Movistar man attacked on the Côte de Peille to link up with the remnants ...

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Classics power play: The watts needed to ride Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne

Joe Robinson 4 Mar 2019 Naesen provides his power data from the opening Classics weekend to prove just how hard racing is Just in case you were under any illusions that you could have kept pace with the professionals at the opening weekend of the Spring Classics, AG2R La Mondiale rider Oliver Naesen has uploaded his rides to Strava proving just how average us amateurs are. Former Belgian road race champion Naesen had a solid opening weekend finishing 10th at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday and 43rd at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne on Sunday having been part of the five-man break that launched Bob Jungels to his eventual race victory . To do this, Naesen produced some exceptionally high numbers which he has since shared on Strava . Across 4 hours 45 minutes of racing at Omloop , Naesen recorded an average weighted power of 322w as he formed part of a chase ...

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Astana take the fight to Deceuninck-QuickStep at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

Davide Ballerini and Magnus Cort Nielsen take pulls in the breakaway at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

On the face of it, 20th place was scant consolation for Astana in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne with the team one of the few squads willing and able to go toe-to-toe with a dominant Deceuninck-QuickStep. Although Alexey Lutsensko pulled out of the race after his exploits 24 hours ago in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the Astana squad rallied in Kuurne with Davide Ballerini and Magnus Cort making the key selection of the race on the Varent stretch of cobbles with 66km remaining. The move was sparked by eventual winner Bob Jungels, with Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) and Sebastian Langeveld (EF Education First) the only other riders who could follow. When Jungels surged clear with 16km to go there was no response from those left in his wake, and although the remnants of the break were swallowed up by the pursuing bunch, with Hugo Houle the best Astana rider over the line, their director ...

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Electrifying Ride from Jungels Turns Opening Weekend to Wolfpack Weekend

Bob Jungels’ outstanding win in Kuurne. It is a rare treat when the strongest guy in a race just decides to go out and win it, even if that race doesn’t suit him, and that is without doubt what happened today as Jungels ate up the metres on the Kluisberg, dragging away a group of Oliver Naesen, Sebastian Langeveld and the Astana duo of Davide Ballerini and Magnus Cort, who had been in the day’s breakaway, from a split that had already formed. A long chase ensued, as the chase group followed the leaders and the peloton followed the chase group. The chase, populated heavily with Quick Step riders, never looked like an efficient force which may have had a hand in Michelton-Scott’s decision to ride hard on the front of the peloton in order to catch the chase group, despite it containing their leader Matteo Trentin, who I’m going ...

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Jungels wins Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-QuickStep) takes a solo victory at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne

Bob Jungels completed an Opening Weekend double for Deceuninck-QuickStep as he soloed to victory at Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, 24 hours after his teammate Zdenek Stybar annexed Omloop Het Nieuwsblad . The Luxembourg champion powered away from the decisive break with 16 kilometres remaining and he employed his qualities as a rouleur to hold off the chasing peloton and land victory. Owain Doull (Team Sky) clipped away to take second place ahead of Niki Terpstra (Direct Energie), seven seconds down. Winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège a year ago, Jungels was seconded to Deceuninck-QuickStep’s cobbled Classics unit this season and he produced a remarkably accomplished display in what was only the second Flemish Classic of his career after his 16th place at Omloop on Saturday. Jungels does, of course, have some pedigree on the pavé, having won the under-23 Paris-Roubaix in 2012, and he showcased those skills to force the winning move on the flat stretch ...

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Bob Jungels wins Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne solo to crown perfect weekend for Deceuninck-QuickStep

Bob Jungels wins Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne solo to crown perfect weekend for Deceuninck-QuickStep

Joe Robinson 3 Mar 2019 A powerful performance from Jungels who used time trialling ability to win solo in Kuurne Deceuninck-QuickStep doubled up on the opening weekend of the Spring Classics as Bob Jungels produced an extraordinary solo performance to win Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. Jungels was the race's strongest rider, escaping a small group 16km away from the line, holding off a rampaging peloton to an impressive win. Britain's Owain Doull impressed to win the sprint for second as Niki Terpstra (Direct Energie) rolled over the line in third. Jungels victory came as a result of the QuickStep team lacking a sprinter. With this in mind, their powerful team used the early climbs and crosswinds to cause havoc in the peloton, with Jungels eventually finishing off the work of his team in style, alone. This sees the Deceuninck-QuickStep team finish the opening weekend of the Classics with victory in both Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and ...

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Benoot injures knee in crash at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal) at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

After completing a two-week training camp at altitude in Sierra Nevada with Lotto Soudal teammate Jens Keukeleire, Tiesj Benoot headed back to Belgium on Wednesday hoping to perform at his best in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad , and upcoming Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and Strade Bianche. The 24-year-old Belgian rider was riding well at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, surviving the first major selection on the Molenberg climb in a group of 18 riders at 40km from the finish. Ten kilometres later, however, Benoot's race was over when he slipped out in a left-hand corner. He injured his knee and will be forced to skip Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, but hopes to be back to defend his title at Strade Bianche in Italy next weekend. "It's a real shame because I felt really good," said Benoot said to the press at the team bus following the race. "I was going really well on the Berendries ...

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Kuurne - Brussels - Kuurne Preview

Jasper Stuyven may be primed to win here again

The perfect bland dessert to the perfect opening weekend Consider this. It’s date night. You order a five star plate of cobbles, spring time weather and opening day energy. The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Your spouse orders a hearty dish of Grand Tour, and gives you a fork full of Maillot Jaune contenders, Cols and descents, and French commentary. The Classic Sud Ardeche. Delicious. And now, just to cap things off you head to McDonalds for the perfect dessert: soft-serve ice cream. Wholesome, reliable, honest, satisfying and most importantly cold. That’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. The perfect I-don’t-care,-what-do-you-want ending to a perfect opening weekend date. The Course This year’s edition takes the same general form of previous editions. It starts headed eastward for 60 km to a town called Voorde, but not before traversing the first two of 13 bergs, and the two newbies included in this year’s edition: The Volkegemberg is 1 km ...

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Pre-Classics Season Power Rankings

Ladies and gentlemen, congratulations. You have made it. We have all made it. We have braved the offseason, the 4am Tour Down Under, piecing together tweets to form a picture of what happened in Oman and watching Amaro Antunes having his annual peak in the Algarve to arrive here, bare days before the joy of Omloop het Nieuwsblad. [The box on Conor’s desk wrapped in four whole rolls of packaging tape, hitherto motionless like all good packages, begins to move, almost imperceptibly] Ahem, anyway, as is customary here at the Café, before clip meets pedal and wheel meets cobble, it’s time to look at where all the teams stand ahead of the Omloop. Ah, the Omloop- [Tape rips suddenly. A mighty groan emerges from the box as it bursts open, revealing...] Ta flippin’ da, bitchez. Cuddles! How have you been? You bastard, I’ve been in Edinburgh for nearly two years. ...

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Sizing each other up, classics stars play desert poker

Supported by MUSCAT, Oman (CT) — Four thousand miles from Flanders, a handful of cycling’s top classics riders gritted their teeth and dug deep to ascend the gruelling Green Mountain climb on Wednesday. It was never going to be Oliver Naesen or Greg Van Avermaet standing atop the podium at the end of the Tour of Oman’s … The post Sizing each other up, classics stars play desert poker appeared first on CyclingTips .

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