Milan–San Remo (in Italian Milano-Sanremo), also called “The Spring classic” or “La Classicissima”, is an annual cycling race between Milan and Sanremo, in Northwest Italy. With a distance of 298 km (~185.2 miles) it is the longest professional one-day race in modern cycling. It is the first major classic race of the season, usually held on the third Saturday of March. The first edition was held in 1907.
Today it is one of the five Monuments of cycling. It was the opening race of the UCI Road World Cup series until the series was replaced by the UCI ProTour in 2005 and the World Tour in 2011.
The most successful rider with seven victories is Belgian Eddy Merckx. Italian Costante Girardengo achieved 11 podium finishes in the interwar period, winning the race six times. In modern times, German Erik Zabel and Spaniard Óscar Freire have recorded four and three wins respectively.
Milan–San Remo is considered a sprinters classic because of its mainly flat course, whereas the other Italian Monument race, the Giro di Lombardia, held in autumn, is considered a climbers classic.
From 1999 to 2005, a women’s race, the Primavera Rosa, was organized alongside the men’s but at a shorter distance.
At almost 300 kilometers the Milan-Sanremo tests rider’s patience and endurance. The Milan Sanremo pro race is THE monumental classic one day race in the whole of the professional calendar.
The race is organised by the Italian race organisers RCS, owners of sports newspaper Gazetta dello Sport, the same people who organise the Giro d’Italia. This Spring Classic covers nearly 300km from Milan, south to the coast. Always held at the beginning of the year, it is a true “classic” event, with most of the world’s major cycling heroes having won it at some point.
Belgium’s Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo – Visma) pipped Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick Step) on the line of Milano-Sanremo to claim the first Monument of his career. He followed the path of the Frenchman who won both Strade Bianche and La Classicissima last year. Australia’s Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) rounded out the podium in spectacular fashion as he won the bunch sprint after a bad crash on the Poggio.