The last minute news from Milano are mostly about riders dropping out sadly but there are some other tidbits as well.
- Moreno Moser will not be riding. Moser suffered knee issues in Tirreno which made him DNF in the hopes of getting ok by MSR but unfortunately for Cannondale that didn't work and now they are left without their perfect decoy. This was the guy that was going to work for and deflect attention from Sagan, now he will have to take on most challenges by himsel. Paolo Longo Borghini takes Moser's place but that should matter little.
Taylor Phinney is also out, struggling with fever apparently.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-partner="tweetdeck"><p>Heartbroken to miss <a href="https://twitter.com/Milano_Sanremo">@Milano_Sanremo</a> this year, of all years..!!! Have been in bed fighting a fever all day today. Trying to keep my head up.</p>— Taylor Phinney (@taylorphinney) <a href="https://twitter.com/taylorphinney/statuses/447073024802824192">March 21, 2014</a></blockquote>
Phinney was one of those under-the-radar kind of guys who most of us were curious to see. A loss for the race and certainly for Phinney, who clearly loves racing in Italy, but not necessarily a huge loss for BMC who have no shortage of firepower for this race anyway. Klaas Lodewyck replaces him.
- Weather promises to be a lot better than last year at least, no arctic conditions. Rain has looked to be in the cards but in the later updates it looks like it will be less and less of it. 12-15 degrees Celsius and a fairly hard westerly (head)wind for the finale into Sanremo is what it looks like right now. After last year I think the riders will take that without complaining.
- As for the man everyone is asking about, Matti Breschel, he is sitting out MSR hoping to heal up the ligaments of his hand in order to be fit to ride Ronde van Vlaanderen and Roubaix. I smell victory.
- In case you were worried about more course changes you can draw a sigh of relief. RCS has had to make a slight detour inland with about 100 km to the finish but it isn't anything that will affect the race. So as intende the finale will see the the three Capi, then Cipressa and Poggio before the descent into Sanremo and the finale on the beautifully named Lungomare Italo Calvino.
All in all we're set for a big day of racing on Sunday. Hopefully less drama around the race than last year and more drama in the actual racing.