Matej Mohorič snuck away from a reduced peloton to win Milano Sanremo on the decent of the Poggio, holding off about two dozen elite chasers for the signature victory of his career. Mohorič waited out the attacks on the Poggio climb as his countryman, defending Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar, launched a series of attacks, all reeled in by Wout Van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel. The Bahrain rider then accelerated once the race was over the top, gaining perhaps 7 seconds in a hair-raising descent down to Sanremo.
Mohorič saving it down the Poggio. Says he used a mountain bike dropper post pic.twitter.com/yKFnVfCBt7— the Inner Ring (@inrng) March 19, 2022
From there, the magic of misaligned ambitions went to work on the elite chasers, as Van Aert and van der Poel tried to chase down Mohorič, who briefly seemed to drop his chain on a corner as he thundered to the line, only to recover and carry on. Anthony Turgis of Total Energies eventually escaped the chase group entirely but could not catch Mohorič, who sat up and celebrated his win in style two seconds ahead of the rest. Van der Poel, in his first race of the year, miraculously led the peloton in for third place.
Pogačar had his UAE team in high gear for the finale, as Davide Formolo led them up and over the Cipressa in high gear, chomping the lead of the breakaway group from 2:30 to 17 seconds in seemingly no time. The remains of the break were bypassed in the first few meters of the Poggio, and the lead group — usually much larger — had seen several key protagonists left behind before the final action unfolded. There were a handful of true sprinters still hanging around, like Michael Mathews, Arnaud Demare, Vincenzo Albanese, Biniam Girmay and Alex Aranburu to name a few, so the threat of coming in together did not suit several of the top riders — particularly Pogačar.
Trying to become only the second Tour de France winner since 1990 to take the victory here, Pogs gave all he could to get away, and had both Formolo and Diego Ulissi helping to set him up, but the climb was simply not hard enough for him to distance anyone. His other famous countryman, Primož Roglič, gave an attempt at it as well, though he may have only been trying to take the pressure off Van Aert, his Jumbo teammate, who did most of the chasing when Pogačar accelerated. Van der Poel reeled in Roglič, setting up Mohorič, in the Slovenian champion’s jersey, to launch his epic counter.
1. MOHORIC Matej TBV 6h27’49” 280 2. TURGIS Anthony TEN 02” 170 3. VAN DER POEL Mathieu AFC 02” 145 4. MATTHEWS Michael BEX 02” 125 5. POGACAR Tadej UAD 02” 112 6. PEDERSEN Mads TFS 02” 100 7. ANDERSEN Søren Kragh DSM 02” 90 8. VAN AERT Wout TJV 02” 80 9. TRATNIK Jan TBV 05” 70 10. DEMARE Arnaud GFC 11” 62 11. ALBANESE Vincenzo EOK 11” 54 12. GIRMAY HAILU Biniam IWG 11” 46 13. ARANBURU DEBA Alexander MOV 11” 42 14. SENECHAL Florian QST 11” 38 15. CARUSO Damiano TBV 11” 34 16. KWIATKOWSKI Michal IGD 11” 32 17. ROGLIC Primoz TJV 11” 30 18. NIZZOLO Giacomo IPT 21” 28 19. ROTA Lorenzo IWG 21” 26 20. PACHER Quentin GFC 21” 24 21. NEILANDS Krists IPT 26” 22 22. LAPORTE Christophe TJV 59” 20 23. GARCIA CORTINA Ivan MOV 01’05” 18 24. ULISSI Diego UAD 01’09” 16 25. VALGREN HUNDAHL (ANDERSEN) Michael EFE 01’13” 14
Milano - Sanremo 294 km
It’s been a weird and wacky runup to our first monument of the year. First we decided Tadej had already won, then half of all the favorites got sick and then we got some whole new favorites we didn’t think we’d get to see. All of this doesn’t change anything of course, this is still a race with a million possible winners where no one can predict the craziness of the final 10 km.
Herald of Spring : Wout van Aert
All eyes on UAE but it still looks like a good bet to go with the guy who has the skillset that gives him the most possible options for winning this race.