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Comment: Why Change SanRemo?
Why is it that every year, just before and just after Milan San Remo, we hear from lots of people (never sprinters) that Milan-San Remo needs changing? MSR isn’t too easy. MSR doesn’t need more Cote’s or Bergs or a new “Muur de San Remo”. Instead, the guys calling for a harder race just need sprinters’ legs.

Every year in this race, some of the best in the business get crapped out the back. Petacchi has shown us what happens to even the hottest sprinters when the legs get gassed on the climbs. Paolo Bettini showed us recently that you can beat the bunch if you are special enough and use the hills before the end for an epic win. Pipo showed his lord of the sprint Quickstep mate Tom Boonen what a late break can do…

There's only room for the toughest sprinters on via Roma.

And Zabel, well he’s shown us how to win it so many times that it makes sense that he also give a lesson in how to lose it…

There’s Roubaix for the psychotic cobble monsters. Liege for the power to weight climber monsters. Flanders for, well, both cobbles and bergs with mud.

Not only are these races tailor made for a specific kind of rider (more or less…), but for the most part you won’t see a Bettini winning Roubaix and you won’t see a Museeuw winning Liege.

And I’ve had it up to here (holding hand above my head…) with “Tour Prep” races where the focus doesnt seem to be on the race at hand…

Only someone very special gets to toss their arms in the air when they don’t fit the given classics “stereotypical” winner. And only the best and fittest of the riders that do fit the mold ever get to win.

So why is it that people get upset when there is a race that is turning out to be more suited for the fittest of the sprinters? And where better to show off the best of the flash and dash guys than Italy? Or should all the Classics be for cold, gray, sad places of suffering…

How would you sadistic wankers like it if we sprint fans clamored on about how every mountain stage in the Tour should end in a fast drop followed by 40k of flat land and two circuits around the finish village?

We are not lacking in climbs at San Remo any more than we are lacking in Cobbles for Roubaix. And rain and mud show up on their own enough that a guy like me wants no part of Belgium in spring. Personally I don’t want to look ANYTHING like the pictures of our “Belgian classics heros” after an epic ride over crap not fit for a mountain bike and fat tires!

I've turned down trips to Belgium for spring rides a dozen times. I have not and will NEVER turn down a trip to Italy though and especially one that takes me to cycling's heartland (and cycling's manufacturing soul) in the North or near any coast. That has everything to do with not finding as much enjoyment in my own personal suffering as I do in things that most normal people find enjoyable. But then I also get how incredible the passion is for the darker races and I genuinely tip my cap at the warriors that win them. But I don't think their races are the only races worth winning or watching.

No, we don’t need to change a thing with San Remo. If any of the sprinters teams are not perfect in the run in and attentive over the climbs, working perfectly together, this race gets won with a Monster break…

You may think San Remo lacks another climb or two but you're very simply wrong. What we are lacking in are more Merckx’s and Kelly’s and Bettini’s. And if they came along more often than they do now they wouldn’t be special, would they?

Leave San Remo alone, it doesn’t need fixing, ‘cuz it an’t broke.

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