The WorldTour peloton will tackle the first – and longest – Monument of the year on Sunday (March 23) as Milan-San Remo returns for its 105th edition.
The 2014 La Primavera was set to change from a ‘Sprinter’s Classic’ to one better suiting the climbers and puncheurs of the peloton, but the forced removal of a planned new climb – the Pompeiana – means the fast men are right back in contention.
In the absence of the Pompeiana, which was ruled unsafe, the race instead returns to a route last used for the 2007 edition.
Oscar Freire was victorious then and the likes of Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) and John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano) will be bidding for glory this time out.
But with Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) seeking to repeat his victory in last season’s snow-hit race, and Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and Peter Sagan (Cannondale) desperate to make amends for their defeat in 2013, the race remains wide open.
We’ll analyse the route and some of the leading riders in contention for victory over the following pages – and to find out where you can watch this year’s race, check out the television schedule.