I have a soft spot for Milan-San Remo since I rode the final portion of the course in 2010.
My picks this year, in order of probability of winning:
- Thomas: Sky's been preparing in Tenerife. Traditionally preparation has demanded that riders do either Paris-Nice or Tirreno Adriatico. The only question is which. But Sky's shown remarkable success in their training on Tenerife, doing specific training in an isolated controlled environment.
- Sagan: The guy's amazing. It's very tempting to put him first: do I go with the amazing team or the amazing rider? I went with the team.
- Haussler: He was a very close second in 2009 and claims he's feeling good.
- Bassen-Hagen: Sky's back-up man.
- Gilbert: Has been slow getting out of the blocks this year and last but he's a proven candidate for this race. He just needs to control his aggression.
- Cavendish: Cavendish came into last year's race as a favorite and Liquigas sacrificed themselves to drop him. Liquigas is no Cannondale and they have the race favorite so aren't as desperate this time. Cavendish is climbing well and sprinting well and unless there's a focused effort to drop him on Manie, he still has a chance.
- Cancellara: He's always been strong for the classics, but he's getting old. Perhaps no longer being the favorite here will help him avoid being marked. Bike racing is weird. Either you're so strong nobody can do anything, but just being the strongest can actually hurt if everyone knows it and can mark you. Perhaps it's better to be only very slightly strongest.
- Moreno Moser: He won Strade Bianche. He's only 22, but young riders have won here before.
Race begins soon enough!