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"As often before, I tried to get to the bottom of the descent of the Cipressa in first position but there was a headwind. And in this group, almost all the sprinters had teammates to do the job. I talked to Sylvain Chava...

Photo: ASO / B. Bade








24.03.2014 @ 10:31 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Having shown solid form in Tirreno-Adriatico, Arnaud Demare was one of the potential winners of yesterday's Milan-Sanremo and he was well-positioned in the main group after the Cipressa. However, the Poggio was a bit too much for the young Frenchman and instead it was left to his teammate Yoann Offredo to chase success.


Last year Arnaud Demare proved that he has all the capabilities to become a great classics rider and yesterday he faced the first big test to see how far he has come in his development when he lined up in Milan-Sanremo. Things looked promising for the young Frenchman when he made it over the Cipressa with the best.


However, the final challenge of the day was his undoing. After almost 300km in the saddle, Demare was one of many riders to get dropped on the Poggio and so he finished back in 34th, 1.22 behind winner Alexander Kristoff.


The only FDJ rider in the front group was Yoann Offredo who has animated the finale in the past. This year he planned to do so again but he regretted the lack of opportunities for attackers like him.


"As often before, I tried to get to the bottom of the descent of the Cipressa in first position but there was a headwind," he said. "And in this group, almost all the sprinters had teammates to do the job. I talked to Sylvain Chavanel (IAM) about doing something but it was useless. Even Philippe Gilbert who had good legs, made no attempt.


"On the Poggio, I stayed on the small chainring as my derailleur was not working. I managed to get onto the large chainring on the descent and reposition myself. I wanted to attack one to two kilometers from the finish, where there are corners, but I got boxed in. I'm glad that the organizers will change the course and include new climbs next year. For me it will be better."


Offredo ended the race in 16th.


"The rain has played a huge role," sports director Martial Gayant said. "Down the descent of the Turchino, the rain stopped, there was a beautiful clearing. The temperature went from 6 to 12 degrees. The riders took off their jackets but in Savona, thirty kilometers away, it was again raining and the temperature dropped. Many never recovered from that."



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