Racing Round Up – 22/03/21

This week saw the end of Tirreno Adriatico, the second major stage race of the spring, as well as the first of this years 5 Monuments; Milan-San Remo! With the classics now in full swing and the cobbled and Ardennes classics around the corner, we are starting to see who is in great shape for a Spring to remember.

Tirreno Adriatico

With 2 stages to go in the Tirreno Adriatico, it looked all but won for Tadej Pogacar. Stage 6, was a flat and fast day but against the odds it went to the breakaway. With six men clear of the bunch with 3k to go, the game of cat and mouse began and it was Israel Start-Up Nation’s Danish star Mads Wurtz Schmidt who took the honours, out foxing Brent Van Moer and Simone Velasco.

Stage 7 was all about power as Tirreno Adriatico came down to an ITT. Red-hot favourite for this after being unbeaten for 12 months was the reigning world champion Filippo Ganna, but it was not to be for the Italian despite holding a hugely impressive 585 Watts for the final 2 min 29s, it was not enough to get him over the line. Both Stefan Kung, and more impressively Wout Van Aert, pipped the Italian to the line with the latter holding over 500 Watts for 2min 28s, to take his second stage of the race, as well as the blue sprinter jersey.


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Overall it was Pogacar who took the win, 63 seconds ahead of Wout Van Aert, with the Spaniard Mikel Landa following in third. With the Spring season now up and running, Wout Van Aert looks in great form but there have been questions over his priorities this year. Is he a true one-day racer, or is he transitioning across to become a GC contender? Only time will tell.

Milan San Remo

Winning a monument is never easy.

With only 5 Monuments each year this was a big weekend for bike racing. San Remo has always been regarded as the easiest classic to finish but maybe the hardest to win. At 299km long, it is a big day in the saddle. With a predominantly flat route there is very little chance of a breakaway making it, and it nearly always comes down to the late two climbs of the Cipressa and the Poggio in the last 30km. The latter is known as being the most important 6-minutes (more like nine for you and I!) in cycling, and is one of the most iconic climbs in the game.

With the bunch hitting the Cipressa late on into the race it was Jumbo-Visma who drove the pace, preventing anyone from going clear. In the valley below we saw huge efforts from Luke Rowe, and then Filippo Ganna, meaning that it was Ineos who lead into, and most of the way up the Poggio, before Ganna popped.

That’s when the fireworks began and it was world champion Julian Alaphilippe who went first. As expected the favourites all followed suit, but after a hectic descent there were a few missing from the pack, including one Peter Sagan. After the big effort into San Remo, the second group pushed hard for the next 5k and claw their way back with just 3k to go. There was still time for some drama, and with sprinter Caleb Ewen still in the pack, they knew that to win they would have to go long.

The first to go was Jasper Stuyven, and to everyone’s surprise he was given space and the gap grew. With 1.8k left he was joined by Soren Kragh Andersen and the peloton was in big trouble. As hard as they pushed, the gap remained despite their sustained efforts and after a sprint finish Stuyven stayed clear to become the first Monument winner of 2021, followed by Ewan and Wout Van Aert.

It just goes to show the power of a surprise attack and the damage that two power houses like Stuyven and Soren Kragh can do, with the former holding 515 Watts for 2 mins 47s after six hours of racing, with a peak power of of 1545w.

What a weekend of racing, proving just how hard it is to win a monument!


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After a busy few weeks the stage racing dies down and the true one day races begin. We start with E3, Gent-Wevelgem and Dwars Doors Vlaanderen coming next weekend. This is all in in the build up to the second monument (Tour of Flanders 4th April), and maybe the most famous of them all, Paris-Roubaix (11th April), the third monument of the season.