Still suffering the after-effects of oral surgery, and mourning the loss of my missing tooth, I took solace in watching a pirate feed of the Eurosport coverage of 99.7 of the final 100 km of Milan-San Remo. Unfortunately I lost the feed during the final 300 meters...
So why don't I pay for cycling.tv? Because I keep telling myself I'm not going to watch these races any more. Except for this one. Special circumstances. That's it...
The result: my man Cavendish didn't win Milan San Remo after all, his sprint tempered by the freezing rain, and once again I sold the remarkable Fabian Cancellara short as he finished an amazing second in a medium-group sprint. Katuscha's Alexander Kristoff took advantage of the work of his teammate, Luca Paolini, to win the sprint. Both of them pack some beef on their frames, something which likely worked to their benefits in staving off hypothermia.
Cancellara's 2nd place has continued an amazing streak of podium finishes for him. Here's his results in the last ten monuments he's finished, as he retweeted: 1, 1, 2, 3, 2, 2, 3, 1, 1, 2.
Last 10 Monuments that Fabian Cancellara finished: 1/1/2/3/2/2/3/1/1/2.— CafeRoubaix (@CafeRoubaix) March 23, 2014
CyclingTips posted this excellent montage of Cancellara podiums to Facebook:
Back to Milan-San Remo:
steephill.tv sprint photo
US riders had a relatively quiet race this year, with candidate-for-the-win Taylor Phinney missing out due to illness. United Health Care had two US riders make it to San Remo: Kiel Reijnen in 77th, and Christopher Jones in 109th. I simply cannot imagine riding 294 km in under 7:15, let alone in those conditions, as these riders did. It's truly mind-boggling. The lead group finished in 6:55, an average speed of 42.4 kph, which is a typical fast criterium by NCNCA cat 3 standards.
The following data were impressively compiled by jaylew on the cyclingnews forums, showing the record in cycling "monuments" by current riders as of Milan San Remo 2014. Cancellara's record is absolutely amazing. Even one monument podium is enough to make a career a success.
Here's a correlation matrix for the above podium statistics. A positive correlation implies a rider podiums in one race is likely to do podium in the other. A negative implies a podium in one race is less likely to podium in another. Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders (RVV) have a strong correlation, while Giro di Lombardia, held at the end of the season and on a very different sort of course, is negatively correlated with these races, but positively correlated with Liege-Bastogne-Liege, which is a similar course.