Jason Miller: Milano – San Remo (9th June 2019)

24th June 2019

 

Write up by Jason Miller:

 

On Sunday 9th June I took part in one of the 5 legendary monuments, Milan to San Remo, this had been on my bucket list for a while so was looking forward to ticking it off.

Organised by Ian and James from the Jersey Rouleurs their journey started on Tuesday 4th June, bikes and luggage packed in the van they boarded the ferry to St Malo and drove the long journey to Milan.

My journey started on Friday 7th June with only hand luggage travelling with British Airways & EasyJet via Gatwick to Milan. On arrival in Milan Ian & James where there to met and greet us with transport to the Hotel.

We had all been checked in, luggage in rooms and bikes built up and safely stored in a secure room.

Saturday 8th June after breakfast we all rode to sign on, approximately 10km from the hotel.

Weather was sunny and 28 degrees.

After sign on we rode a 60km activation ride.

Sunday 9th June 2019 – Race Day. Alarm went off at 04:30am, breakfast at 05:00am, departed hotel at 06:00am to ride to the start.

Approximately 1000 cyclists on the start line in 4 separate gates, The Jersey Rouleurs, as part of the package had organised for us all to be in gate 1, we would be the first 250 riders off first.

06:55 the announcement was made that the guest of honour cyclist would be Davide Formolo from Team Bora Hansgrohe.

07:00 whistle was blown and we where off on the 295km ride to the coastal resort of San Remo.

The Rouleurs support van, loaded with feed bags and drinks which we had packed the day before, had gone off to wait at the 120km mark.

From the start the pace was high, I weaved my way through to the front of the peloton to where the guest rider, David Formolo, was riding. This is where I remained until the 1st feed stop averaging 45kph

We where supported by 3 or 4 motorbikes which warned oncoming traffic to keep clear. The roads are not closed but the junctions are managed by Marshals.

There were 2 official feed stops along the route if you need to refuel.

The first 120km of the race is manly flat with some undulating parts.

We started having thundery showers at around 100km which made for slippery road surfaces.

Reaching 120km, I stopped for my feed bag and then had to ride hard through the official cars to catch up to the front peloton, it was still raining hard.

At 140km we started the first ascent of the day, Passo Del Turchino, 3.2km long and an average gradient of 3% spiking to 7%. Quite a few riders where dropped on this climb. The group is now down to 100 riders and we have reached the coast. The rain has stopped and the sun is out temperatures are almost 30 degrees.

The next 100km was undulating with a couple of small climbs, everybody stayed together.

At approx. 230km the Rouleurs van drove past heading to set up at the 240km mark for the second feed, I still had plenty of liquid and food onboard so wasn’t stopping again, as the van passed the driver passed me some gels.

At 245km we started climbing the Capo Mele, 2.5km long and an average gradient of 5.2% spiking to 8%.

The next climb came quickly after another 5km, Capo Cervo, 2.5km averaging 4.1% spiking up to 7%.

Capo Berta was next, 3km averaging 4.3% spiking to 9%. More riders dropping like flies with around k80 riders left in the front group.

After another 15km of undulating roads we reach the famous Cipressa, 5.6km in length averaging 4.5% spiking to 9%. You could see riders struggling due to the heat and with 2km to go to the summit my legs started to cramp and I couldn’t hold the front group any longer. Trying to recover on the descent before the 10km ride to the last climb of the day, the infamous Poggio, 3.7km in length averaging 3.7% spiking to 8%.  After several gels I gave it full beans up the climb passing many riders. Reaching the summit, it was now only an 8km descent into Sanremo where I caught a few more riders, I could see the finish in the distance and sprinted for the line.

My official finishing time was 8hr 28 mins 44 secs and overall placing 53rd.

That evening we had a celebratory meal and a few beers in Sanremo swapping stories of the days.

A coach transfer arrived the following morning to take us across to France for our British Airways flights from Nice via Gatwick to Jersey.

The bikes and luggage travelling in the van back up to St Malo for the ferry to Jersey.

This event is very challenging both physically and mentally but to complete the longest pro race distance is a great achievement. I can highly recommend this event

Big thanks to the support of my Club, Velo Sport Jersey and also to the Jersey Rouleurs who organised a very well thought out trip.