Britain aiming for win at the first Spring Classic of the season following second and third places at the same race in previous years
16 March 2017, United Arab Emirates: UAE Team Emirates will line-up at the first Spring Classic of the year, Milan-San Remo, this Saturday with in-form British rider, Ben Swift, looking to better his previous results at the famous race. Swift previously finished in second and third places when riding for Team Sky in 2016 and 2014 respectively.
One of the most exciting and prestigious one day races of the season, Milan-San Remo is the first ‘Monument’ race of the year, also known by its Italian name La Classica di Primavera ('The Spring Classic') or 'La Classicissima'. Despite being known as the ‘sprinters’ classic’, the race is not a straightforward build-up to a group sprint, instead it is characterised by its long, winding route, exciting finish, and the delicate balancing act it requires riders to strike between sprinting and attacking.
Swift is looking forward to returning to the race in which last year he finished second behind Arnaud Demare (FDJ).
“I’m in good form and this year’s Milan-San Remo features similar spirits and looks like it should match the excitement of last year,” said the 29 year old.
“I feel generally quite fit and obviously hope that I’ll do well in the climb. At this point, having done all the training, you have to just stick to your plan and hope for the best as it is hard to say which way the race will go and how it will unfold on the road. For the past three or four years the breakaway has been a sprint, however that could change this year. A lot of riders may not want to wait for the sprint, so as a team we need to be prepared for a myriad of scenarios. Also this year I am coming back to Milan-San Remo under a new team banner, with great team mates. I think we are all ready, and I believe I have a strong team supporting me.”
Riding alongside Swift is a strong-seven man UAE Team Emirates line-up: Vegard Stake Laengen, Marco Marcato, Sacha Modolo, Matej Mohoric, Manuele Mori, Diego Ulissi and Federico Zurlo.
Commenting General Manager Giuseppe Saronni, who in 1983 was the last UCI Road Race World Champion to win in San Remo wearing the rainbow jersey, said:
'Milan-San Remo is the dream of every young Italian kid when they start cycling. My advice to Ben is that if you want to win Milan-San Remo, everything must be perfect: from your training the day before, to your dinner choice. You need to be on your best game and be focused to avoid common mistakes that can throw you off. The nature of the Milan-San Remo route means that a lot of riders can tackle it which makes for such an exciting race as all riders need to put their best performance forward.'
“I hit the target of the Classicissima after a series of unlucky attempts, but I did it in the best moment, when I was wearing the rainbow jersey as World Champion. It was 1983, I still remember the moment vividly, and crossing that iconic finish line in Via Roma in Alassio was a highlight for me and an achievement. Milan-San Remo is charming because it is a pure cycling challenge to a distance of 300 km, it is an unpredictable race with a long plot and an epilogue that is often a sprint, but everyone wants to change this epilogue and tries hard to obtain a place on the podium,” he added.
Milan-San Remo 2017: Teams
- Ag2r-La Mondiale (France)
- UAE Team Emirates (UAE)
- Astana (Kazakhstan)
- BMC Racing (USA)
- Bahrain-Merida (Bahrain)
- Bora-Hansgrohe (Germany)
- Cannondale-Drapac (USA)
- Dimension Data (South Africa)
- FDJ (France)
- Katusha-Alpecin (Switzerland)
- Lotto-Soudal (Belgium)
- LottoNL-Jumbo (Netherlands)
- Orica-Scott (Australia)
- Quick Step Floors (Belgium)
- Sunweb (Germany)
- Team Sky (Great Britain)
- Trek-Segafredo (USA)