Race Report | Milano-San Remo, E3 Harelbeke, & Ghent-Wevelgem

Last Week’s racing was inspirational and exciting. The spring classics are in full swing and have not disappointed. We have seen some messy nasty weather, difficult roads, some insane carnage, long soul crushing breaks, and a bunch sprint.

Milano-San Remo

This race is the first of the five cycling monuments of the season. The distinction of cycling monument is reserved for the longest and oldest one day races on the calendar. Milano-San Remo fits this mold at 298 kilometers and dates back to 1907.

This year’s race had a flurry of attacks and a number of crashes on the narrow roads that wind throuth Italy. The two climbs at the end of the day are usually the deciding factor in the race. The Cipressa and the Poggio are where the fireworks begin. The notable attacks came from Daniel Oss from team BMC and Geraint Thomas from team Sky, but they were reeled in before the finish. That is when Luca Paolini took to the front and led out Alexander Kristoff from Katusha who was last year’s victor. Kristoff couldn’t  hold off the charging group and John Degenkolb from team Giant Alpecin came around to take the win. It was quite the finish to a long day on the bike. Cosmo Catalano sums up the race below.

E3 Harelbeke

E3 usually makes some waves with their risqué promotional posters, and this year was no different. If you remember back to 2013, Peter Sagan got into some hot water after harassing one of the podium women, and for some reason the race promoters found it appropriate to make a mockery of it. Karma seemed to strike though, because when the time came for Peter to defend an attack from the three-man break he seemed to hit a wall, and could no longer continue. He would eventually get caught and spit out the back while the two men in his attack went on to take first and second in the race. Geraint Thomas from team Sky would take the much deserved victory. Geraint Thomas has looked really impressive as of late. Peter Sagan’s form on the other hand has been pretty lack luster this year, and I hope he can turn things around. He is one of my favorite riders to watch, and I look forward to him shaking off the slump. This year’s race also saw the exit of Spartacus (Fabian Cancellara) from team Trek Factory Racing. Cancellara broke some vertebrae in his back and will be recovering for a while after a tough crash early in the race. We wish him luck in his recover, and hope he is back soon.

Ghent-Wevelgem

The race took place in the most horrendous conditions imaginable. The wind was so bad that many riders found themselves in ditches across the course, and only 39 riders finished the race. Geraint Thomas from team Sky was one of the many unlucky ones, but managed to fight back after being blown off his bike to eventually take third place.

The race showed us how echelons form, and how tough riders need to be to finish some of these races. It was clearly one of the tough men that would take the win this day. Everyone knew that the man who would cross the line would need some sort of facial hair to protect his face from the wind all day. The veteran rider Luca Paolini (age 38) from team Katusha would eventually out wit the other riders and solo to victory using the protection of his beard the entire way. That makes two races won this past week from gentlemen sporting facial hair. Again Cosmo Catalano has the race recap for us in his internet mini series, “How the Race Was Won.” Hope you enjoy.

 

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