Saturday, March 22, 2008

Cancellara Wins Milan-San Remo Classic

CSC's Fabian Cancellara won Saturday's Milan-San Remo classic with a brilliant solo attack just 3km from the finish.

On a day when Slipstream-Chipotle's Will Frischkorn was off the front with three, then two, companions for more than 200 kilometers, Cancellara, the world time trial champion, broke from a splintered peloton to win by about 5 seconds.

Frischkorn took off with Filippo Savini (CSF Group Navigare), Nicola D'Andrea (Miche-Silver Cross) and Raivis Belohvosciks (Saunier Duval-Scott) at about the 56km mark.

D'Andrea later fell back, while the other three built up a maximum lead of more than 15 minutes, which the pack brought back to a steady 2 1/2 minutes by around the 200km mark.

Their time in the sun came to an end as the race reached the crucial final climbs. On the Cipressa, High Road's Thomas Lövkvis joined Quick Step's World Champion Paulo Bettini in bridging to trio and riding straight past it.

Bettini and Lövkvist were soon joined by Niklas Axelsson (Serramenti PVC), Paris-Nice winner Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) and Jose Ivan Gutierrez of Caisse d'Epergne.

Ace descender Paolo Savoldelli (LPR Brakes) joined the group on the Cipressa descent and the five built up a 30-second gap, but the five were reeled in before the pack hit the bottom of the final climb, the Poggio, with most of the favorites in the front group of about 50 riders.

As the peloton splintered on the Poggio descent, Cancellara took off with just 3km to go, holding off the chase to finish just 5 seconds ahead of Liquigas's Filippo Pozzato, with Phillipe Gilbert third.

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