best of the rest

Strong field set for season's first Monument race

Orica-GreenEDGE are among the teams set to start with a strong line-up, with 2012 Milan-San Remo winner Simon Gerrans having abandoned Paris-Nice to concentrate on overcoming illness for the race, while Michael Matthews showed he can handle undulating terrain with some strong rides in France.

Simon Gerrans, Tour Down Under 2014, stage six, ticker tape, pic: ©Stefano Sirotti
Former winner Simon Gerrans is another rider in contention for La Primavera pic: ©Sirotti

Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) was rarely in contention at Tirreno-Adriatico but as defending champion he will keen to put in a strong showing at Milan-San Remo too, while Daniele Bennati and his Tinkoff-Saxo team-mates have been in strong form so far this season.

World champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing), meanwhile, is targeting the Ardennes Classics rather than La Primavera but he tried several solo attacks at Tirreno-Adriatico, which could indicate his intent for Sunday, too.

Whoever triumphs in the opening Monument of the season, however, will be a deserving winner and will be crowned champion having overcome a suitably strong field.

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Mark Cavendish, sprint, Omega Pharma-Quickstep, Tirreno-Adriatico, stage six, 2014, pic: Sirotti

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Milan-San Remo 2014: television schedule