It runs every year around the end of March, starting from the cold of Milan to get to the heat of the Riviera dei Fiori; the Milan-Sanremo is undoubtedly the most famous and important cycling competition that takes place in Italy.
Among its most famous nicknames is that of “spring world championship”, even if it is known above all as the Spring Classicissima .
The first edition of the race dates back to 1907; for about fifteen years, from 1989 to 2004 the cycling race was part of the World Cup circuit then replaced by the UCI ProTour competition.
The route of the Milan-Sanremo is slightly changed from year to year, but in a really insignificant way. The final stretches of the route are highly spectacular when cyclists cross the Riviera, very close to the sea.
On the hills of the Cipressa and the Poggio the main difficulties faced by cyclists reappear on time, the proximity of the finish line has often ensured that the selection on these hairpin bends was decisive.
In recent years, according to experts, there has not been a great selection among the participating athletes, so much so that there has often been a final sprint with the whole compact group.
To remember the Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx, the one who today holds the record of victories of the Milan-Sanremo: he won seven editions out of nine in which he took part from 1966 to 1976.
For lovers of two wheels, we remind you that the longest cycle path in Europe (twenty-four kilometers) was recently inaugurated in Sanremo.
The Centenary of the Milan-Sanremo
Sanremo literally turned pink in memory of what happened a hundred years earlier.
A midsummer night in 1906, a few months before a disastrous car race from Milan to Sanremo was completed: 32 cars at the start and tragically only 2 at the finish. In those years, which for the wealthy and the European nobles were the years of the “Bell’Epoque ”, the Cafè Européen by Monsieur Rigollet, represented the true cultural center of Sanremo: here the worldly and political personalities of the city met and, together with the owner of the Gazzetta dello Sport, the idea of a cycling race from Milan to Sanremo was born.
The first historic edition of the Milan-Sanremo race in 1907 was held on March 19, the feast day of San Giuseppe, and was won by the French cyclist Petit Breton who also won the Tour de France the same year.
In 2007, the Spaniard Oscar Freire Gomez, who had already been the winner three years earlier, won the Milan-Sanremo del Centenario. This edition had a boom in television ratings with peak ratings of well over three million viewers.
Sanremo and the “Spring Classic”
The sidewalks along the passageways are cordoned off to prevent crowds from hindering the runners in the most exhilarating and decisive moment of the race, some of the enthusiasts observe the race from small metal grandstands that are set up near the finish line, others instead, according to some the wisest, they prefer to take their places along the hairpin bends of the Poggio to enjoy the most exciting curves.
One last piece of advice, whether you are interested in cycling or not, if you are in Sanremo on the day of the Milan-Sanremo, know that for about a couple of hours near the arrival of the race, the main roads of the city are closed by the police. urban and are literally unusable to traffic.