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"We have several opportunities. Wellens or Vanendert can escape. Greipel is our man for the sprint, but also Roelandts and Gallopin aren’t slow. Boeckmans is in top condition. The signs are positive for us."

Photo: Lotto Soudal

ADAM HANSEN

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ANDRÉ GREIPEL

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JELLE VANENDERT

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JURGEN ROELANDTS

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KRIS BOECKMANS

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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MARCEL SIEBERG

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MILANO - SANREMO

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TIM WELLENS

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TONY GALLOPIN

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20.03.2015 @ 17:24 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

On Sunday it’s the 106th edition of Milan-Sanremo. Lotto Soudal starts this WorldTour race with a strong team. La Primavera is 293 kilometres long. Just like last year Le Manie and Pompeiana aren’t on the route. As usual, the Cipressa and Poggio are crucial points in the final. For the first time since years the finish line is drawn on the Via Roma.

 

The peloton heads from Milan to the coast. Before the riders get to the seaside they first have to get over the Passo del Turchino. This mountain pass is 25.8 kilometres long, but the gradient is really low. The top lies at 150 kilometres from the finish. One hundred kilometres further the riders get to the Capi: Capo Mele, Capo Cervo and Capo Berta. When the riders get to the top of the Capo Berta they still have 38.7 kilometres to cover.

 

Then it’s time for Cipressa (5,6 km and 4,1% average) and Poggio (3,7 km and 3,7% average). At the top of the Poggio five and a half kilometres are left to go. For the first time since 2007 the finish line is drawn on the Via Roma. That means the finish is six hundred metres closer to the top of the Poggio than previous editions, when the race ended on the Lungomare Italo Calvino. After the descent of the Poggio it’s two kilometres till the end.

 

There are six former winners at the start. Norwegian Alexander Kristoff will try to win for the second year in a row. Also Fabian Cancellara, Mark Cavendish, Gerald Ciolek, Matthew Goss and Filippo Pozzato know how it feels to win in Sanremo. There are many others who chase their first victory, like John Degenkolb, Philippe Gilbert, Peter Sagan and Greg Van Avermaet. The Lotto Soudal team has several strong riders in the selection.

 

“The finish line is drawn on the Via Roma again," sports director Herman Frison said. "According to me that doesn’t make much difference. The descent of the Poggio has always been important. Maybe now fewer riders get the chance to return to the front, but they probably wouldn’t be able to win anyway. The strongest riders are always present in the front.

 

"It is a big difference that Le Manie and Pompeiana aren’t part of the route. The group that gets to the Poggio will be bigger than if the Pompeiana had been an extra obstacle just before that climb.

 

"The Cipressa and Poggio remain crucial. Some teams will have to take control of the race. The strongest riders will attack. There are many who think they can make it till the end, but few who succeed. Often it ends with a sprint of fifteen to thirty riders. Milan-Sanremo is always a special race. It’s difficult to predict and to win.

 

 

“It’s an open race. The moment of truth starts at the Cipressa. We have to have as many riders in front as possible. If the moment is right we can let someone attack or join a breakaway.

 

"We have several opportunities. Wellens or Vanendert can escape. Greipel is our man for the sprint, but also Roelandts and Gallopin aren’t slow. Boeckmans is in top condition. The signs are positive for us.

 

"The recent performances of the team have given us a boost. It’s important that we have won with several riders. You feel it motivates the group. They stimulate each other. We can race without any pressure. We would be happy with  a podium place, but of course we prefer to win.”

 

Selection Lotto Soudal: 

Kris Boeckmans, Tony Gallopin, André Greipel, Adam Hansen, Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Jelle Vanendert and Tim Wellens.

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