Weekend Round-Up – Week 12

Arnaud Démare takes the big one in Milan-San Remo

There was only one important thing last weekend, the official start of the spring with the start of La Primavera in Italy. The nearly 300 kilometre race of Milan-San Remo is one of the oldest classics and part of the Big Five together with the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Tour of Lombardy. Winning this big classic is definitely the career high so far for Démare, who is in great shape this season after already winning a stage in Paris-Nice.

En route pour Milan ! ?? Avec ma belle 308 sw Abcis Peugeot Beauvais tout roule! 😎

Een foto die is geplaatst door Demare (@arnaud.demare) op

Démare arriving at the airport before the start of Milan-San Remo. He has not a clue yet about winning one of the big monuments in cycling.

In a chaotic race with a big group attacking in the first 260 kilometres it were the last six riders of the early breakaway who were overtaken at the Cipressa, the first important climb of the final of Milan-San Remo. Just before the peloton reached the bottom of the Cipressa, the tension grew in the big group, which lead to various crashes. Among a few other big names, it was Démare who crashed on 10 kilometres from the Cipressa. “At that moment I thought it was over for me, but thanks to great work from my teammates I was able to return and from that moment on everything just fell into place”, according to the French sprinter.

#team #FDJ #cycling #photooftheday #picoftheday #instagood #sport #champion #demare #milanosanremo #msr #primavera #bigwin

A photo posted by Equipe Cycliste FDJ Inside (@equipefdj) on

Démare celebrating with teammates after the biggest victory of his career.

When the early breakaway was overtaken it was an attack of two riders on the Cipressa that marked the beginning of what would be a chaotic final. With three more riders joining the first two, a group of five tried to make it to the last climb of the day, the iconic Poggio. But even before they had the chance of reaching the start of the climb, the peloton already decided differently about the destiny of this breakaway. With a few small attacks on the Poggio it was Michal Kwiatkowski who made things interesting. He reached the summit of the Poggio solo and at the bottom of the decent his gap with the peloton remained five seconds. It would not be enough. With Cancellara closing the gap it were Edvald Boasson Hagen of the other World Tour sponsored BBB team and Greg van Avermaet who tried to break away from the big group, but their attack stranded with the finish line in sight. What followed was something Démare will be seeing over and over again the coming weeks. With a small crash on a deciding moment, chaos was complete, but Démare managed to keep his head cool and came from a long way to overtake Jurgen Roelandts and Ben Swift, finishing first in one of the biggest races of the season and definitely the biggest victory in his career. It is a big one for both FDJ, Démare and BBB. “It was a blessed day for me”, according to the winner afterwards. Indeed it was Arnaud!

“What a debut of the season”, tweeted Julien Pinot about Démare afterwards, who is responsible for all the product innovation of the cycling products FDJ is using.

Démare still can’t believe he won Milan-San Remo!