Sam Bennett insists on the difficulty for the sprinters before Milan-Sanremo: “We climb the Poggio as if it were flat”
Arnaud Démare, for his part, called for an alliance of challengers, to give the sprinters a chance.
ATrnaud Démare, the last winner of a Classicissima concluded in a massive sprint, called for an “alliance of challengers, to allow the sprinters to return to the dance after the telephone booth which sits behind it, immovable despite the technological evolution which makes it gently obsolete, at the top of Poggio. Obsolete like the idea of a massive new sprint on Via Roma? The first monument on the calendar has indeed not been decided in this way since the victory of the aforementioned Frenchman in 2016. “But it is not impossible to come back if there is a little bit of hesitation” , assures the tricolor champion.
Sam Bennett, impressive on the roads of Paris-Nice where he slammed two stages, knows this problem well. The Irishman, who lives in Monaco and has de facto control of the corner like his pocket, hopes that the wind will be able to discourage the offensive tendencies of the dynamiters, otherwise he does not really see how a sprinter could emerge. “I know that people still consider this race to be the classic for sprinters, but I don’t see it from that angle,” exhibits the green jersey from the last Tour de France to the specialist website Cyclingnews. “Every year the guys ride the Poggio so fast. We climb it as if it were flat, ”explains the sprinter, who has already competed in the transalpine race five times but has never been able to offer his peak speed. “Condition level, in any case, I know I’m on the right track but everything will depend on how the race goes on Saturday,” he smiles. “The advantage is that we have several cards in the team. If Julian (Alaphilippe) finds himself in front, he can always play on the fact that I am just behind, ”concludes the sprinter, aware that it remains, all the same, more complicated for finishers of his caliber to triumph in the heart of the “City of Flowers”. It is up to the Irishman, as for Caleb Ewan and Alexander Kristoff to name a few, to abuse the certainties.