Date: Saturday March 18, 2023
Total distance: 294km
Defending champion: Matej Mohorič (Bahrain-Victorious)
Milan-Sanremo is the first Monument of the cycling season and this year will see the 114th edition of the race start in Abbiategrasso, not Milan, before travelling 294km to Sanremo in north west Italy.
The race is commonly known as ‘La Classicissima’ or ‘La Primavera’ and is the longest one-day race in the professional racing calendar. It’s long, but mainly flat parcours breeds an intense build-up for six hours, before a massive crescendo in the final few kilometres.
Cycling’s Monuments are five prestigious and historic one-day races with Milan-Sanremo being the first, followed by the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Il Lombardia.
The defending champion Matej Mohorič won last year's edition with a solo attack on the descent of the famous Poggio climb. All eyes will be on the Slovenian this year and he will have to get past a stacked start list of riders if he is to claim San Remo in back-to-back years – a feat no rider has achieved since Erik Zabel in 2001.
The all-time leader for wins at La Primavera is Eddy Merckx (1966, 1967, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1975 and 1976). Despite the Belgian's obvious dominance, San Remo has often been described as the easiest Monument to finish, but the hardest to win. The last six wins have all gone to different riders in either solo attacks or small group sprints.
Teams list for Milan-Sanremo:
- AG2R Citroën Team
- Astana Qazaqstan
- EF Education-EasyPost
- Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè
- Groupama - FDJ
- Ineos Grenadiers
- Isreal Premier-Tech
- Lotto dstny
- Q36.5 Pro Cycling team
- Soudal Quick-Step
- Team Arkéa Samsic
- Team DSM
- Team Jayco AlUla
- Tudor Pro Cycling Team
- UAE Team Emirates
Milan-Sanremo route 2023:
This year’s Milan-Sanremo is different to previous editions as the riders will start the 294km route in Abbiategrasso, 22km southwest of Milan. Organisers were forced to move the historic start point away from Milan due to reasons including limited traffic police being available.
The riders will complete 30km on the edge of Ticino before returning to the classic route through Pavia and embarking on the mainly flat run towards the highest point of the race at the Passo del Turchino. This comes too far from the finish to make any difference but the descent off the climb takes them towards the Mediterranean sea and along the Ligurian coast to Sanremo.
From there, the next uphill test is a trio of climbs: the Capo Mele, Capo Cervo and Capo Berta, the last of which crests with just under 40km left to race.
The Cipressa is the penultimate climb and is 5.6km in length with a 4.1% average gradient. This is the first point where riders will be put into real trouble with the sprinters often spat out the back of the peloton on the harshest inclines.
After the tension has built, the riders reach the foot of the Poggio – a climb described as ‘the most important six minutes in cycling’. The Poggio has been the arena for decisive moves in the previous six editions with the strongest riders able to pull away on the steepest sections which max out at 8% in gradient.
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) lit up the Poggio last year but couldn’t drop Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) or Søren Kragh Andersen (Alpecin-Deceuninck) before the quartet were all passed by Mohorič on the technical descent into Sanremo. The Slovenian nearly flew off the road on occasion as he took risks no chaser was willing to.
The final few flat kilometres in Via Roma is chaotic with riders fully on their limit after completing 290km of racing, and the wide roads give an opportunity for those without a great sprint to make their launch for glory, as Jasper Stuyven did in 2021.
Where to watch Milan-Sanremo 2023
Coverage of Milan-Sanremo will be streamed live on GCN+ for those watching from the UK and Europe. If you do not have the time to tune in live, GCN+ also offers a full race replay.
Eurosport and Discovery+ will also be covering the race live. If you have a SkyQ, Sky Stream and Sky Glass subscription, you are now able to sign up to Discovery+ for free as part of your package.