Bennati, Betancur, Barbero -the latter twice down- left out of main group at breakthtaking finish in ‘Classicissima’, won by Vincenzo Nibali (TBM).
Local hero Vincenzo Nibali (TBM) crowned at the 2018 Milano-Sanremo (294km) an action he had always dreamt of but never materialized, leaving behind his rivals on the climb to the Poggio and holding off the sprinters by very few meters at the sprint in the Via Roma.
The main group behind Nibali sadly didn’t include any of the Movistar Team‘s riders. The Blue squad, with no less than five members -Bennati, Betancur, Barbero, Dayer Quintana and Anacona- into the 70-strong group completing the Cipressa ascent and descent together, saw its chances ruined as a serious crash by Mark Cavendish (DDD), 9km from the end, left them out of contention before the Poggio.
The incident split the bunch into two and prevented the Telefónica-backed squad -Betancur and Bennati always near the front of the bunch before the incident- from chasing a good finish. Despite none of them being hit by that crash, Barbero did fell twice and wasn’t able to bridge back: once into the descent of the Cipressa and another one with 4km remaining, already near the streets of Sanremo, alongside André Greipel (LTS).
Con 296kms,más de 7horas en las piernas y con el Poggio superado en el pelotón,en la bajada se cayó Greipel delante de mí y todo al traste.😞
Esta carrera es así y quizás parte de su esencia radique ahí .
— Carlos Barbero (@BarberoCbc) March 17, 2018
“After 296km, more than 7 hours on the legs and having got over the Poggio into the bunch, at the descent Greipel crashed just before me and all work was ruined. This is how it is, and the essence of this race might lie on that. We’ll be back!”
Picture (c): BettiniPhoto.net