How Did Julian Alaphilippe Win Milan Sanremo? | The Cycling Racing News Show

– This week on the GCN Racing News Show it’s the first Monument of the year, Milan-San Remo has yet
another thrilling finale, and we take a look at exactly how Julian Alaphilippe went about winning it. We’re also going to talk
about a very mixed week for Mathieu Van Der Poel. We’ve got the next round
of the Women’s World Tour, the Trofeo Alfredo Binda. And for something a little bit different, the magnificent seven in Sheffield. (beeping) We’re going to start with Milan-San Remo, the first Monument of the year, and also the longest at 291 kilometers. Despite its length, it
seems the Monument that is the easiest to finish but
the hardest to actually win. And for through Velon data we
can see exactly why that is. The early part of the race is in fact quite easy for pro riders. Greg Van Avermaet for example,
averaged just 175 watts for the first four hours of the race, which for somebody like him is little more than extended recovery ride. However, in the finale
it’s a different story. As the race hits three Capi, which serve as an orderve to
the Cipressa and the Poggio, the pace increases
significantly in intensity. And after six hours of racing, they unleash some serious power. Now it may not look as though
much happened on the Cipressa, but looking at Gilbert’s data, 430 watts for over eight
minutes, 6.14 watts per kilo, it shows it was far from
easy to be in that peloton. Making it look easy to
escape the peloton though was Niccolò Bonifazio, now
riding for Direct Energy. He lives locally and is one of the best bike handlers I have ever seen. The way he went down a Cipressa really was heart in your mouth stuff, and it’s been some time since I’ve seen such a crazy descent by a rider. And it wasn’t a surprise
to see him carving out quite a decent advantage
by the foot of the descent. Unfortunately though, one man solo against what was still a
reasonably sized peloton was always going to be a tough task, and he was caught on
the run into the Poggio. Fair play though, that was some entertainment
and value right there. And so it all came down
to the Poggio itself, Deceuninck-Quick-Step, who
had spent the whole day at the service of Julian Alaphilippe, continued to do that on the final climb. Philippe Gilbert and Zdenek Stybar started at warp speed to make
things as hard as possible, and it set up Alaphilippe
for an attack off the front. He caught and passed Alberto Bettiol and his power for that attack
was 685 watts for 47 seconds, and he only weighs about 63 kilograms. Despite that though, a much heavier Sagan
still managed to bridge, along with some of the
biggest hitters in cycling. Valverde, Trentin, Kwiatkowsi,
Naesen, and Wout van Aert. They worked together until the top, giving us the second quickest
time ever at the Poggio, according to Mihai Cazacu, that group averaging just
over 38 kilometers per hour for five minutes and
50 seconds on a climb. That status quo though did mean we had a slightly slower
descent off the Poggio. Trentin then attacked on the
run in but he was caught, then Matej Mohoric also
attacked and got caught. Then Sagan got caught on
the front of the group, and Julian Alaphilippe though
played things perfectly. His decision to go from the wheel of Sagan over to Mohoric, as he
made yet another attack, was partly what won him the race. The other part was an
incredible burst of power towards the finish line. A peak of 1180 watts, and
an average of 970 watts for the closing 20 seconds. That proved too much for Oliver Naesen, who took a fine second place, and Michal Kwiatkowski,
who finished in third. So, that is the first Monument
victory for Alaphilippe, and he becomes the 14th French
winner of Milan-San Remo. So how did he do it? With a team that fully
backed him from the start, with a display of tactical nous in the closing couple of hundred meters. And also, with a hell of a lot of power. It was an impressive display
and I now feel slightly better for proclaiming that he’s
gone up another level a couple of weeks ago on this show. Now before we finish with San Remo I wanted to make a couple
of honorable mentions. Firstly to Simon Clarke, who last year ended this very race in an ambulance with a broken back, and this year finished in one of the highest quality front
groups you will ever see. Nice work Mr Clarke. And secondly to Wout van Aert, coming out of a cycle season where his races are literally only an hour long, then keeping up with the
who’s who of classic rides on the final climb of a
six and a half hour race is no mean feat. And it makes me very excited
to see what he can do in the upcoming cobbled classics. Now it already feels like
it was some time ago, but Tirreno Adriatico also
finished less than a week ago. Alaphilippe taking a
surprise bunch sprint win on the penultimate day. But, the overall
classification came down to the final individual time trial, and it really couldn’t
have been any closer. Adam Yates went into it
with a 25 second advantage, and came out of it with a
one second disadvantage. Great viewing but he must
have been devastated. Fair play though to Primoz Roglic, already having taken his second world tour stage race of the year. You’ll see him next race
at the Tour Romandie, as he continues to build
towards the Giro d’Italia. Staying down in Italy for
just a few more moments, the Women’s World Tour continued with the Trofeo Alfredo Binda. Tackling 131 kilometers, starting in Taino and finishing in the town of Cittiglio, including four laps of a 17.8
kilometer finishing circuit. It did take a while for any breakaways to really become established. Mitchelton-Scott’s Grace
Brown was one rider to get away inside the
final 60 kilometers. Trek-Segafredo’s Jolanda
Neff also tried her luck, and she was chased by Amanda
Spratt and Hannah Barnes. Big attacks though came on the final climb from Katarzyna Niewiadoma, and multiple attacks from
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig. But, three time four winner Marianne Vos was marking the moves closely. Coming into the finish, Vos was, on paper, the rider to beat, and she
opened up her trademark sprint to hold of Amanda Spratt
of Mitchelton-Scott and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig of Bigla. That equaled Maria Canins’
record of four victories, of which she achieved in
the 80s and early 90s. For both Spratt and Uttrup Ludwig this bodes well for the season to come, and the Dane in particular was really happy with
the work of her team. Speaking of which, it
was also great to see Moolman Pasio and Vos
work so well together. I mean there has been
speculation that two champions might not be able to live
in harmony on one team, but they’ve clearly been
proven wrong yesterday. Now despite not taking
part in the Trofeo Binda, Women’s World Tour
leader Marta Bastianelli did retain her lead overall. But Marianne Vos has now
narrowed it to just 10 points. Next up in the Women’s World Tour is the Three Days of De Panne, which is a one day race on March the 28th. Heading a little further north now and at the Nokere Koerse on Wednesday we had the first pro win
for Cees Bol of team Sunweb. However the race was marred
by a couple of nasty crashes, and one particularly bad one with just a few hundred meters to go. And one of the worst of looked
to be Mathieu van der Poel. He remained on the ground for
a worrying amount of time. Many people speculating
that his classic season could be over before it even really begun. All the more impressive
then that he not only started the Grand Prix de
Denain a few days later, but also won the blooming
thing through a solo attack. Could we see him win the Tour of Flanders at his very first attempt? I certainly wouldn’t put it past him. Speaking of cobbles in fact we’ve now got our 2019 cobbled t-shirt
available to pre-order over at It’s a great design this year,
as I’m sure you’ll agree. Now before we finish with pro racing I also wanted to give you a quick update on the current UCI team rankings, which have handily been
put into a bar chart by The Inner Ring. Now you will remember from Ollie’s video on this very subject recently, that World Tour will go down
from 18 to 16 teams in 2020, with the two lowest ranked teams effectively relegated to Pro Conti status. So picking up points wherever you can is becoming more and more important. Currently in those two
positions are the CCC team, and at the very rear, Katusha-Alpecin. And they really have some work to do when you consider that they currently have three Pro Conti teams ahead
of them on the rankings. And finally this week it’s time for something a little bit different. Sunday saw 134 riders
competing at the fourth Magnificent Seven event up in Sheffield, a race that takes inspiration from the Pittsburgh Dirty Dozen. Over the course of 24
miles riders raced up seven closed rode climbs. The event neutralized at
the bottom of each one before the riders are let
loose and race to the top. Points won on each climb are accumulated to give us the overall winners. This year there was almost
1000 meters of total climbing and a final bonus climb,
the Cote de Bradfield, running a handicap format. The pairing of Kieran Savage and Joe Clark riding for Cycling Sheffield dominated the first three climbs, and despite the efforts of
Kenway and Kieran Smith, one of the youngest riders in the race, they wouldn’t be able
to get close to Savage, who would take the overall win. Last year’s women’s
champion Hannah Larbalestier of team Boompods returned
to defend her title and prove she was again in fine form by easily winning the first of the climbs. And despite her being
pushed hard by the likes of Hannah Farran and Abbie Taylor, Larbalestier would go on to take her second overall victory in a row. Right, that’s pretty
much all for this week. However if you do know
of a competitive event that deserves some attention
on the GCN Racing News Show, and they can send us some
video to tell the story, tell them to get into contact with us on [email protected] Plenty of racing coming up on
the channel this coming week. We’re going to have
daily highlights of the Volta a Catalunya and Settimana
Coppi e Bartali this week. As well as live or as-live coverage in certain territories too. Plus, highlights of
Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday, as the cobbled season
ramps up into full swing. Don’t forget our cobbled t-shirts are also available for pre-order. I’ll be back next week with all of that, but in the meantime you can also see Hank competing at the
last man standing event at the Rad Race in Berlin,
simply by clicking down here.