|Liquigas, Team Barloworld, Quickstep, Bouygues, Rabobank , AG2R
Pippo wins Haut Var – Courtesy daily peloton
Liquigas Cycling Team
Pippo Pozzato leads a great squad. The green team will feature Paolini, Gasparotto and Pellizotti too. The effects of the flu have sidelined Di Luca.
The Milan-Sanremo is the first great season goal of the Liquigas team that in the Classicissima will line up a great squad. Filippo Pozzato, the winner of the 2006 Sanremo, is confident: «I've trained well; the Tirreno-Adriatico gave me the answers I hoped. I believe I'm pedalling better than last year. Having strong and motivated team-mates at my side makes me more serene».
Next Saturday Liquigas will draw up, besides Pozzato, other three riders who are candidate to play a key role: Luca Paolini, Enrico Gasparotto and Franco Pellizotti. While there won't be Danilo Di Luca that after winning the Milano-Torino has got a flu attack.
General manager Roberto Amadio - that will lead the team assisted by Mario Scirea - underlines: «The contribution of Paolini, Gasparotto and Pellizotti will be very precious. Pozzato raced the Tirreno-Adriatico in view of the Sanremo and will be our forward. Having more alternatives will play in his favour and makes Liquigas one of the strongest team». However this fact doesn't expose us to excessive pressures: «There are at least other five teams aiming at the win and which could use the same strategy as us. So the management of the race could depend on us but also on the Quick Step, Lampre and Milram, for example...»
Liquigas at the Milan-Sanremo: Patrick Calcagni, Enrico Gasparotto, Luca Paolini, Franco Pellizotti, Roberto Petito, Filippo Pozzato, Manuel Quinziato and Alessandro Spezialetti.
The Quick. Step Innergetic team is almost ready for the first real topper of the season.
Bettini is recovering from his injuries and despite his bruised ribs was training on Wednesday with Visconti, Hulsmans and Barredo for a couple of hours.
Tonight he joins 4 other team members in Italy and they will do a three hour session tomorrow.
Tosatto, Van Impe and Boonen arrive Thursday evening in Milan. Boonen trained for 6 hours today covering 210 KM. The Quickstep team will be-
Carlos Barredo, Paolo Bettini, Tom Boonen, Kevin Hulsmans, Sebastien Rosseler, Matteo Tosatto, Kevin Van Impe, Giovanni Visconti.
The beauty of cycling – Courtesy daily peloton
Following the excellent results in the first part of the season, with six wins and 11 second places, Team Barloworld are motivated and determined to do well at the Milan-Sanremo, the first big one-day classics of the season.
Team manager Claudio Corti has decided the team with directuer sportifs Alberto Volpi and Valerio Tebaldi and has named South Africa's Robert Hunter as leader (after his important victories at the Cape Argus and at the Volta ao Santerem in Portugal - 1 stage+overall standing).
Hunter will be supported by the experienced Fabrizio Guidi , the winner of the Giro del Capo stage race Alex Efimkin , as well as Giosuè Bonomi, Diego Caccia, Enrico Degano, Paolo Longo Borghini and Kanstantsin Siutsou. Gianpaolo Cheula and Felix Cardenas are the two reserves for Saturday's race.
Boulanger and Voeckler on the attack – Courtesy daily peloton
Philippe Mauduit has chosen a team that includes Xavier Florencio, Jérôme Pineau and Ronny Martias if the race comes down to a sprint.
The presence of riders like Thomas Voeckler give the team another dimension if a breakaway gets the upper hand .
Xavier Florencio, Anthony Geslin, Rony Martias, Alexandre Pichot, Jérôme Pineau, Erki Putsep, Franck Renier, Thomas Voeckler.
Rabo back Freire in Primavera
The Tirreno-Adriatico was not a big success for the Rabo ProTeam, but the morale of the team for Milan-San Remo is still good, assures team leader Erik Breukink. "We do have Oscar Freire as one of the top-favorites with us. Everyone knows that and so do we. Oscar knows what it is like to win the Primavera, and it might happen again. It could be possible," reported Breukink from Italy, where the cyclists that competed in the Tirreno were accompanied by the riders from Paris-Nice (Juan Antonio Flecha and Mathew Hayman) and by the experienced riders Max van Heeswijk and Léon van Bon later this week .
Freire was already supported by Bram de Groot and Jan Boven during the Italian cycling stage race. Pedro Horrillo (picture) was also on the list of participants for the Tirreno, but Oscarito only saw his buddy on the first day. Horrillo was already ill at the start of the race and returned home on the first day. He was the substitute for the first big classic race of the spring season this Saturday. He received a call immediately after Thomas Dekker had decided with the team leaders that he was not going to start.
"Pedro is the perfect helper for Oscar. They know each other very well and there is a very good chemistry between them," said Breukink. "Horrillo has fully recovered from his illness, which plagued him at the start of the Tirreno, but it is of course a shame that he did not get to fully compete in that race. But, when he is healthy, it is logical to call him to replace Dekker."
The competition, according to Erik Breukink, will come from the familiar group of cyclists, but he does not believe Riccardo Riccò, who was extremely successful in the Tirreno, to be one of them. Breukink: "I might be wrong, but I do not think this finale is really made for him. Had the arrival been on the top of the Cipressa, it would have been a different story. If he does win, it would, despite his two victories in the Tirreno, be a surprise. And Oscar? He is feeling well, even though the results in the Tirreno were somewhat disappointing. His shape was and is good. The morale is good. I hope we can play an important role."
Riccardo Riccò, - a wild card – Courtesy daily peloton
The Unibet.com ProTour Team is preparing for Milano-SanRemo in Nice. Jacques Hanegraaf assembled his riders in the South of France for a team training and is already looking forward to the Primavera next Saturday.
"Our team is preparing perfectly. The weather is fine and our riders are very motivated", said Hanegraaf.
Marco Zanotti, Matteo Carrara, Matthew Wilson, Jeremy Hunt, Gustav Larsson, Michal Golas, Victor Hugo Pena, Sergey Kolesnikov, Gorik Gardeyn, Laurens ten Dam and Arnaud Coyot are the Unibet.com ProTour riders in Nice. Baden Cooke and Jimmy Casper are joining the team training later this week.
Bad news for the team .
Jean-Patrick Nazon was injured whilst out training Nicolas Roche. On a descent, Nazon skidded on an oil patch and collided with a car.
The stage winner of this years Paris Nice, has not broken anything but is badly bruised. He will not start Milano Sanremo and will be replaced by Alexandre Usov.
Daily Peloton says , nous souhaitons à J-P, un prompt rétablissement.
Milano-Sanremo – 1907 – race report , photos, reactions…
Botticelli winner of the 1487 Primavera – Courtesy Wikimedia
Milano-Sanremo, is a race underestimated outside its Italian base. Indeed, even the subtitle for the race “Classicissima di Primavera”, is variously translated by English speaking commentators. For some it means the first classic, for others it is named after a flower of the region, it should be translated as the Spring Classic, since it is always held on the weekend closest to the first day of Spring.
The “Classicissima di Primavera”, is hard to define because of its sheer beauty.
With a catholic regard to human suffering it is the only classic race to actually increase in length and severity over the years.
It took last years winner Pozzato 6 hours 29 minutes and 40 seconds to win over the 294 kilometre course.
However it took the first winner of the race , 100 years ago, Lucien Georges Mazan, (who is better known by his pseudonym: Lucien Petit-Breton) 11 hours 4 minutes and 15 seconds to take the first victory over 288 kilometres.
The first edition
With the Italian economy booming the Unione Sportiva Sanremese, who were disappointed with the returns on an automobile race approached Eugenio Costamagna of the Gazzetta dello Sport with the idea that a cycle race should finish in their city of Sanremo.
Eugenio Costamagna, saw things on a grand scale and decided that a race between the hub of the Italian Cycling Industry, Milano, and the jewel of the Italian Tourist industry SanRemo would catch the publics imagination. .
Having decided on a route, which was to include the climb of the Passo di Turchino, which would not be easy to cross in the early spring weather, Costamagna invited several top professional riders to test his new race; a tactic he had used successfully a couple of years before for the Giro di Lombardia. The riders approved of the course. Even these giants of the road may have become daunted when they read the race rules, no changing of bicycles, no supplies or accessories and no team support from cars or the roadside. It was to be a race for the hardest of men.
Venus and Mars – Courtesy Wikimedia
The first Race
62 riders formally subscribed to ride the first edition, and Eugenio Costamagna ensured that his race had an International flavour. Italian stars (Giovanni Gerbi, Cuniolo, Ganna, Galetti, Rossignoli) would compete against top French riders ; the current world hour record holder Lucien Petit Breton would ride for the Bianchi team; young sensation, Gustave Garrigou (who later that year would take two stage wins in the Tour de France and win the Giro di Lombardia ) and top ten finisher in the 1905 Tour de France, Philippe Pautrat made the trip to Milano.
However when the riders assembled at the Tavern Conca Fallata in Milano on the 14 April 1907 in the very early hours of the morning the conditions were not good. It was cold wet and windy, enough to discourage nearly half of the field and when the race started at 4.00am only 33 riders set off into the darkness to ride the 288 kilometres that will take them via Cavallotti, to Sanremo.
The conditions were such that the top riders sooned formed a leading group, but as the race reached Pozzolo, after about 90 kilometres, the “diavolo rosso” (the red devil) , Giovanni Gerbi attacked through driving sleet as the race started the ascent of the Turchino.
By the top of the climb Gerbi had three minutes advantage over the chasers, but two men from the decimated peloton were pressing on. At Savona, Garrigou finally bridged the gap, but then Gerbi played the tactical card and allowed chasing Bianchi team mate Petit Breton to catch the leading duo on the Capo Berta.
These three men had formed the break of the day and the two Bianchi riders (Gerbi and Petit Breton) clearly had a numerical advantage over Garrigou.
As the three arrived at the outskirts of San Remo, Gerbi impeded Garrigou as his team mate Petit Breton attacked.
Lucien Petit Breton soloed to glory a minute ahead of his two rivals. Gerbi finished second making it a Bianchi one two. Garrigou complained to the jury about the actions of Gerbi and was awarded second place.
So a worthy victor, controversy and passion.
We will no doubt see the same in the 2007 edition of the race.
What happened next
Lucien Petit Breton – Courtesy Wikimedia
Lucien Petit Breton sadly became one of the lost generation. He joined the French Army in the Great war of 1914/18 and was killed at the front near Troyes. Legend says he was hit by a car while delivering a message on his bicycle.
Bianchi at war – Courtesy Bianchi
In 1915, Bianchi produced a bike for the Army, equipped with wide-section tyres, folding frame and suspensions on both wheels. This original bicycle was consigned to the Royal Light Infantry Corp, the “Bersaglieri”, who used it as an off-road vehicle from the Alps to the African deserts: it was the first mountain bike, the ancestor of all the modern versions.
They have continued as a successful bike manufacturer to the present day, although their famed Celeste frames will not grace the 2007 edition of the race.
Giovanni Gerbi– Courtesy Wikimedia
Giovanni Gerbi The red devil of Ast continued cycling until 1933, he then ran a bicycle shop in his home town of Ast. He died in 1955.
Luigi Ganna would go on to win the Giro d'Italia in 1909.
Nicknamed “ El Luisin” he did win Milano-Sanremo in 1909 and retired from racing in 1915 to start building bicycles. Fiorenzo Magni would later ride a Ganna bicycle.
man with a medal – Courtesy Wikimedia