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by Shane Stokes
March 15, 2018
Jakobsen takes first pro victory in Nokere Koerse; Bayly wins stage 4 of the Tour de Taiwan; Bardet to eschew other targets and focus 100% on Tour de France; Deignan announces pregnancy, will miss 2018 season; Cavendish, Renshaw confirmed for Milan-San Remo; QuickStep Floors takes three-pronged approach to leadership at Milan-San Remo; Van Avermaet: Milan-San Remo is a lottery; French amateur previously banned for five years given 60 hours of community service; Costa Rican duo given four year bans for CERA use; Strava overhauls map that revealed military positions; Video: 360 degree camera from inside the peloton; Video: high speed river crossing leads to dangerous crash
Having been hit by the enforced withdrawal of Fernando Gaviria due to a hand fracture sustained this week, the QuickStep Floors team has named three leaders for this Saturday’s event. Julian Alaphilippe, Philippe Gilbert and Elia Viviani will head the team in the prestigious Classic, with Viviani its bet for a big sprint and the other two to have an attacking role.
“It’s always difficult to understand this race and predict what will happen, because a win depends on a number of factors and can come after a multitude of scenarios,” said Gilbert, who has a stated career aim of winning all five monuments. “But one thing that’s certain is we are going there with a strong team and several cards to play.
“I was a bit sick in Tirreno-Adriatico, but I’m happy for finishing the race and adding some valuable kilometres under the belt before Sanremo. It’s one of the biggest Classics of the year and we are ready for it, despite not having Fernando in the team. The confidence is there, the squad, as I said, is a solid one and doesn’t lack options, and we’ll just see what the race will bring.”
Alaphilippe finished third last year after going in a three-man breakaway group, along with Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) and race winner Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky). He, Viviani and Gilbert will be supported by Tim Declercq, Iljo Keisse, Maximiliano Richeze and Fabio Sabatini.