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Milano-Sanremo. Magnus Cort and Davide Ballerini have top 20 finish in season’s first Monument

In the first Monument of the season, Milano-Sanremo, Magnus Cort finished fifteenth and Davide Ballerini nineteenth. They both missed the select group that took off on the traditional Poggio climb in the final kilometers of the race. This group of 10 riders made it to the finish, with Julian Alaphilippe as the best man in today’s race, as he took the win in front of Oliver Naesen and Michael Kwiatkowski.

- Before the Poggio, I felt good, until that point it was the easiest Sanremo I did so far, with good weather and a pace that was not too high. But on the final climb, I was too far behind and I couldn’t follow the first group, so we ended up with nobody there to fight for a win. This is a disappointment for me, as this race was one of my main goals for this season. But I felt good during the day and even on the final climbs I didn’t feel too bad so that feeling I will take with me to the classics in Belgium, - said Magnus Cort.

- On the Poggio, I was in a good position, but I was following a rider who left a small gap at the final wheel of the group that attacked. Atop of the Poggio, this gap was just a few hundred meters, but the leading group was so strong that we were not able anymore to get back to the front and do a sprint for the podium. The team did a very good job today to help me and Magnus Cort to go for a maximum result, too bad it didn’t work out at the end, but that’s cycling, - said Davide Ballerini.

The longest race of the season and the first Monument in 2019: Milano-Sanremo. Right from the start, with still 290 kilometers to go before the finish in Sanremo, a group of 10 riders took off for the day’s breakaway. After many hours, only one rider was remaining of this group and he got caught in the final 25 kilometers of the race. It was Laurens de Vreese and Dario Cataldo who took the lead in the bunch to get Magnus Cort and Davide Ballerini in a good position for the decisive final climbs.

On the start of the final climb, a big bunch was still together, but on the Poggio climb, the race exploded. A group of 10 riders with most of the favorites got clear, with no Astana rider included. It was Julian Alaphilippe who won the sprint of the select group, in front of Oliver Naesen and Michael Kwiatkowski. Magnus Cort was the first finisher of Astana Pro Team, taking the fifteenth place with Davide Ballerini close behind finishing nineteenth.

 
Photo: ©Getty Images

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