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The 113th edition of Milano-Sanremo will be held this Saturday. It's the first monument classic of the season, has been the opener of the springtime cycling season worldwide since forever. It's Italy’s most important and illustrious one–day race, also known by a number of names, including La Primavera and La Classicissima. The race is played out on a route of 293 kilometers. The Cipressa-Poggio combo marks the finale before a technical and fast descent down to Via Rome in Sanremo.
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Each year, on a typically cold March Saturday morning, the race leaves the thriving center of Italian finance and fashion, Milano, then makes its way across the Lombard plain and the faint whispers of spring, followed by a return to winter with the crossing of the Apenninies by way of the Turchino.

After passing through the Turchino tunnel, the race winds its way down from winter to full spring as it hits the Ligurian coast for the rapid (but tough) journey along the lumpy, twisting road. It’s here where the magic happens – the three small capi are the final appetizers before meeting the race’s two defining features, the Cipressa and the Poggio. From there, the hopefuls have only one of the more hair-raising descents in cycling to manage – all with the year’s first Monument on the line.
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It’s a race of different worlds, different terrains, a race that could not be placed any more perfectly on the year’s calendar. It’s the race of spring; it’s a rite of passage into the new year. On paper, it doesn’t sound like much when compared to other Monuments – hours and hours and hours of introduction, followed by a wild, ever uncertain finale.

It’s in this finale, perhaps the most riveting final 20 minutes of the season, where the full magic of Milano-Sanremo hits. It’s the fact that the winner is never fully decided until the last gasping moments that makes Milano-Sanremo like no other race. There are no lengthy solo exploits like you can get at Roubaix or Flanders – the longest solo ride in recent Sanremo history begins somewhere on the day’s final climb of the Poggio, followed by the daredevil descent into Sanremo. Everything rests on the question: will an attacker (or a small group of attackers) getaway on the Poggio – or will the race come together for a select group bunch sprint?
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