Sylvain Chavanel «This San Remo was even harder than last year’s»

24 March 2014

IAM Cycling

Alexander Kristof (Katusha) beat the cold, rain and his opponents in a bunch sprint on the San Remo seafront.

Milano Sanremo 2014

The first cycling monument of the season was held once again in abhorrent weather conditions.  Even though there was no snow on the level seen in the 2013 edition, which actually caused the race to be neutralized, torrential rain and cold temperatures impacted how the race unfolded.  IAM Cycling paid a heavy price in the face of this unpredictable weather.


Stefan Denifl, paralyzed by the cold despite wearing three layers of rain gear, dropped out even before the peloton crested the Turchino climb, while the thermometer showed the temperature to be barely hovering at 5 degrees.  Thomas Löfkvist and Martin Elmiger as well climbed off their bikes before they had to climb the Poggio.

Milano Sanremo 2014

Having arrived in 21st place in the race-leading group, Sylvain Chavanel, the best finisher of the Swiss Pro Continental team, could only confess to having suffered in the hellish conditions that the riders faced from the outset in Milan.

“It didn’t only rain today.  We were pelted by hail.  It stung.  This San Remo was even harder than the one we experienced in 2013.  When I signaled I needed a rain coat to protect me from the cold, our team car was placed all the way back in 23rd position and took 20 minutes to reach me.  As for the rest of the race, I considered going with Nibali on the Cipressa, but changed my mind when I thought about just how much flat there is before we reach to foot of the Poggio.  And then by the time we got to the final sprint, I no longer had the strength to play for the win.”

IAM Cycling directeur sportif Kjell Carlström reiterated his team leader’s version of events.

“I take my hat off to the guys.  Under such conditions, they still managed to do a good race.  They fought against the elements with a lot of courage and determination.  But when you get that cold, it is impossible to find the necessary heat to influence the race.  Hinault and Kluge did a ton of work for Chavanel, but then he was all alone on the Poggio which hampered any hope of playing in a sprint finish against strong opponents.”

Milano Sanremo 2014