Given the shape of Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck) – Quick-Step), maybe you have the other competitor, the Milan -San Remo, sorry for settling for a podium at best. This trio had looked unbeatable for the past few weeks and it must have felt like wishful thinking to get the best out of all three

But one man who wasn’t satisfied with getting second best was Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) instead of waiting for the finish line to use his handy sprint, which should be enough to get a lofty goal reach, the Belgian decided to risk everything with a bold attack 3 km from the goal

He was rewarded in the richest way for his boldness – victory in a memorial For a driver who was always strong in the classics and won victories at both Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, but never in the biggest races, this was a career-defining result

Stuyven praised the supremacy of this trio in his post-race interview, but said that this “didn’t mean that we weren’t going to race for victory”

“I know I had to try all or nothing. If I walk in line [and wait for a sprint], I know I might end up in fifth through tenth place. I preferred to go all in to go ”

Despite being caught by the lone pursuer Søren Kragh Andersen (DSM) under the banner of a kilometer, Stuyven also showed his resilience and composure under the pressure not to fold. He held onto Andersen’s bike for a moment and then continued his sprint Free at just the right time to reach the line, just before the chase group didn’t swallow him

Exhausted, he stumbled to a fall as he crossed the finish line, his legs seemed utterly exhausted. However, these few minutes of intense effort ensured that his name as a Monument-Winner will forever be recorded in cycling history books

The leading group on the Poggio during Milan-San Remo 2021 (Photo by Tim de Waele / Getty Images)

With all the hype about when the Big Three would attack and stand out from the rest of the riders, none of them managed to land a fatal blow on any of the climbs of the race

Despite the expectation of early attacks, both the three Capi climbs and the Cipressa came and went without anyone moving

Finally Alaphilippe started an acceleration on the Poggio, as he does so often on this climb in this race. Van Aert quickly clung to his steering wheel and Van der Poel made his way to them At that point, it looked like the expected result was taking shape

However, Alaphilippe lacked the usual strength that he has on the Poggio, and he sat on Neither Van Aert nor Van der Poel took this opportunity to counterattack, and other riders were allowed to compete against each other, leaving eleven riders over the top of the Poggio stayed in the front group

>>> Waiting for the game doesn’t pay off for Mathieu van der Poel, who says he didn’t make any mistakes in Milan – San Remo

Since none of the three drivers had teammates with them, it was very difficult to control the race and indeed Stuyven managed to get them with his solo attack

Van Aert and Van der Poel still had Plan B to take advantage of their quick placements, but had to settle for third and fifth, while Alaphilippe finished a distant sixteenth after burning his pre-sprint matches

All three were clearly still very strong, but their failure shows that strength alone is not always enough to win a race as nuanced as Milan-San Remo

The big question mark about Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) in Milan-San Remo was whether he could survive the climbs in the peloton

We all know he’s one of the fastest sprinters in the peloton, but the excessive length of the race and the punchy climbs in the finals have been the waterloo of many top sprinters in the past

Despite all doubts, Ewan passed this test with flying colors. Not only did he manage to stay while the other pure sprinters were dropped, he drove second in line for most of the Poggio and, amazingly, was still second on the Summit of the climb

He even seemed to be preparing to attack the climb, but when that crossed his mind he better thought it over and waited for the sprint

As expected, the Australian was the fastest in the sprint and only Stuyven’s attack prevented him from winning

The result is reminiscent of 2018 in Milan-San Remo, when Ewan won the sprint second behind Vincenzo Nibali, the solo attacker who was victorious on that day, but the way he drove the Poggio this year, made this an even more impressive feat from Ewan, who appears to have climbing skills that we have never known before

It will be a hot favorite for next year’s edition – and maybe other races that we may not have thought were profitable before

For a sprinter like Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) to win Milan-San Remo, everything has to go its way on this day. In such a long, grueling race with so many potential pitfalls, even the smallest mishap can be the perfect preparation affect

When the Irishman just as the peloton reached the third and final capo ascent, his chances seemed to be gone. Although he had managed to rejoin the peloton shortly before the Cipressa and this ascent in the front group Still safe to finish, it was immediately dropped when the action began on the Poggio

We’ll never know if he would have been better off without that flat tire, but one thing is for sure that Deceuninck – Quick-Step missed him a lot in the final. Although Alaphilippe made the final selection, her replacement sprinter Davide Ballerini was also dropped , and without both sprinters in the group, Alaphilippe seemed unsure of what to do, leading Stuyven and Andersen’s chase on the final kilometer, but didn’t seem to be sprinting for anyone while sacrificing his own chances. ‘ / p>

He eventually finished sixteenth, while Bennett and Ballerini finished a 41 Minute next to each other in the 41 and 42 Minute rolled home you will be very disappointed in the face of everything that has been expected of such a strong squad

There can only be one bike race winner, which means that for that one person’s high spirits, many more will be disappointed

Ineos Grenadiers are perhaps the most disappointed of them all, as they did so much good work running the race on both the Cipressa and the Poggio just to show nothing that Tom Pidcock seemed to be the man who Filippo Ganna and Dylan van Baarles wanted to help in their long turns, but although the young Briton did well to climb the Poggio in seventh place, he couldn’t convert that into a high finish and had to be content for fifteenth

Michael Matthews (BikeExchange) and Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) might have had better placements than the sixth and sixth respectively fourteenth hoped after conquering the Poggio in the top flight, while Alexander Kristoff and Ferando Gaviria (both UAE team Emirates) will have expected it to have gone much better than being dropped at the Cipressa

>>> Jasper Stuyven: There were a lot of fast people on the Poggio, so I knew I had to go all or nothing

Still, winning is not everything and other drivers will be pleased with their high placements Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech) and Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Victorious) will count seventh and eighth as great results, especially given the fact that they had to catch up with the leaders on the descent on the Poggio

And although fourth place for Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) may have been frustrating in other seasons, this year it was a sign that he is returning to his best after his Covid positive and is ready to do the biggest Challenge names

Milan-San Remo 2021

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