For just the second time in the last 15 years, the oldest race in the race – created in 1872, more than three decades before the Tour of France – takes place in March and will serve as an excellent preparation for those targeting Milano-Sanremo just a couple of days later.
Mark Cavendish wins Milano-Torino
Mark Cavendish became the first British rider to win Milano-Torino, whose first edition took place in 1876, just 15 years after Italy’s unification. Present at the start of the Italian Classic (Magenta-Rivoli, 199km) for the first time in his illustrious career, Mark benefited from the excellent work of a well-drilled train, who worked tirelessly to keep everything together and produce a perfect lead-out in a tense finale.
Back with the Wolfpack in a competition for the first time since last September, French Champion Rémi Cavagna showed there is a reason why he is nicknamed the “TGV of Clermont-Ferrand”, putting in some brutal turns of pace-making that easily reeled in a late attack in the closing kilometers before making way to Michael Mørkøv, who once again showed his class, fantastic experience and tactical acumen.
For the umpteenth time since joining Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, the Dane provided a flawless lead-out, leaving Cavendish in an ideal position with 150 meters to go. The 36-year-old swung around his teammate and dived to the line at ferocious speed, outpowering all his opponents en route to a third victory this season, after the ones he picked up at the Tour of Oman and the UAE Tour last month.
“I like winning races, it doesn’t matter. For a one-day race you have to be dialled – there’s only one opportunity. I had a solid and motivated team around me and this made the difference. They rode incredibly today, controlled the race and allowed me to remain calm. This is the Wolfpack I know and I’m proud to be part of it.”
“It’s the first time I’ve raced Milano-Torino and it makes me happy to have it in my palmares now, alongside another big Classic, Milano-Sanremo. Not many sprinters have done that. I knew I had an opportunity to win it today and I am delighted with how things panned out. To see my name on the winners’ list is quite special”, said Cavendish – now the oldest rider to triumph at Milano-Torino – after his first victory in eight years on Italian soil.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images