Saturday, March 21, 2009

100th Milan-Sanremo to Mark Cavendish

Today's edition of French newspaper L'Equipe did not list a 5-star favorite for today but gave 4 stars to Bennati and Pozzato, 3 stars to Petacchi, Boonen, Rebellin, and 2 stars to Chavanel, Hushovd, and Haussler. It was Haussler that in the closing hundred meters launched a solo sprint only to be caught at the line by 23 year-old Isle of Man super-sprinter Mark Cavendish who had not been expected to do so well over the final climbs of the 298 Km race.

Cavendish became only the second English rider to win Milan-Sanremo after Tom Simpson in 1964. In tears after the finish of his first Milan-San Remo Cavendish said, as reported by the RAI reporter, "È incredibile, sono felicissimo: è il più bel giorno della mia vita - Non mi aspettavo assolutamente di vincere, è il massimo. Hincapie e tutta la squadra mi hanno aiutato in salita, ho avuto un pò di paura quando ho visto partire Haussler, poi però sono riuscito a passarlo".

Video: from Belgian TV (?)

Lance Armstrong was in the race for the 8th time, "What a race! Fast, crazy, but great. My legs felt good. [I had a] bad position at start of the Cipressa, so my day was done." Armstrong's Sanremo results:
22nd in 1993
99th in 1994 as World Champion
73rd in 1995
11th in 1996
118th in 1999
108th in 2000
44th in 2002
125th in 2008

Photos (by Sirotti): the strain of the charge to the finish line; soooo cloose after racing 186 miles and 6h42'31"!!; Cavindish with his sprint coach, four time winner of Milan-Sanremo, Erik Zabel

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