March 17, 2006
Milan-San Remo previews
Milram's Alessandro Petacchi says he's (duh!) the team's leader for Milan-San Remo tomorrow, and that he's glad to have Quick Step's Tom Boonen as the favorite in the season's first classic.
"It's no secret that Boonen wants to start the classics season with a win at Sanremo. This time, he is obligated to step up to the plate. Him and his [Quick Step] team, of course."
Boonen has said that though he does not like the race, his intention is to win the first, and longest, classic of the season.
"Last year, nobody talked about [Boonen] before the race and all the pressure was on me," Petacchi said. "This year the roles are reversed, and that doesn't bother me."
PezCycling News details the tactical considerations throughout the course, and notes that Boonen and Petacchi are even with oddsmakers at 4-1, with Thor Hushovd 9-1.
VeloNews reminds us that this race isn't always a sprinters' showdown. This year, I think it is, but I suppose we could see a repeat of 2003, with all those sprinter teams waiting for each other to put in an effort to chase down a quality break. I don't think we will, John Wilcockson doesn't think we will, and I'm sure neither Petacchi nor Boonen thinks we will. Wilcockson mentions again that organizers intend to add the Pompeiana to the route (PezCycling offers a report on the climb), between the Cipressa and Poggio, in an effort to eliminate an annual sprint finish.