In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Arnaud Demare wins a chaotic Milan-San Remo; Lizzie Armitstead wins race three in the Women’s WorldTour, the Trofeo Alfredo Binda; Demare’s monumental San Remo victory – One for the outsiders; Demare denies holding onto team car in Milan-San Remo finale; Matthews left devastated after Milan-San Remo crash; Alejandro Valverde to skip the Tour of Flanders after all; Brian Cookson hints at the possibility of a shortened Vuelta a Espana; Nine cyclists hit by a car near Shepparton, Victoria; Team Brevet breaks world 24-hour team time trial record; Incredible bike-handling skills from Peter Sagan and Fabian Cancellara; Orica-GreenEdge Backstage Pass from Milan-San Remo; A journey of discovery at the 200-mile Dirty Kanza.
Daily News Digest
Frenchman Arnaud Démare (FDJ) has won the first of the season’s five Monuments, Milan-San Remo, in a bunch sprint ahead of Ben Swift (Sky) and Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Soudal).
The 2011 under-23 world champion, Démare, 24, emerged as the winner of a race marred by crashes, including one that took down several pre-race favourites, including Démare and Michael Matthews (Orica-Greenedge), at the bottom of the Cipressa climb with 30km to go.
The biggest win of Démare’s career, it marked the first Milan-San Remo victory by a Frenchman since Laurent Jalabert in 1995, and the first by a Frenchman in any Monument since Jalabert at Lombardia in 1997.
“This is incredible,” Démare said. “There are days like this one in which everything works despite the occasional hiccup, like crashing at the bottom of the Cipressa. I made it across at the bottom of the Poggio and the entire way I felt fantastic. I became the under-23 world champion in similar conditions after crashing. I’m delighted to win Milan-San Remo. This is a big one and has been running for over a century. It’s extraordinary. I’m extremely happy.”
An 11-man breakaway made the early running in the 295km race, leading proceedings until 25km to go when the last of the leaders were caught on the Cipressa. Several riders attempted to break free in those closing kilometres, including former world champion Michal Kwiatowski (Sky) who launched a dangerous late move, but ultimately the race came back together for a crash-marred final sprint.
Click through to read more at CyclingTips.
Today’s feature image comes from Kristof Ramon and shows a dejected Michael Matthews after a crash ruined his chances of winning Milan-San Remo.