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Jasper Philipsen claims victory in a thrilling finish at the Milan-San Remo Classic, setting the record for the race's fastest time in a closely contested photo finish.
Cycling Sport

Jasper Philipsen claims victory in a thrilling finish at the Milan-San Remo Classic, setting the record for the race’s fastest time in a closely contested photo finish.

On Saturday, Jasper Philipsen from Alpecin-Deceuninck won the Milan-San Remo Classic, the fastest one in history, by crossing the finish line in a photo finish. This victory marks Philipsen’s first Monument of the season, after completing a 288km race from Pavia to San Remo.

The race was hyped as a showdown between defending champion Mathieu van der Poel and five-time Monuments winner Tadej Pogacar, but it was Philipsen who ultimately emerged victorious after a grueling six hours and 15 minutes, claiming the win in the final kilometer of the sprint.

The recorded average speed during the race was 46.11kph, surpassing the previous record set by Gianni Bugno 34 years prior when he maintained an average of 45.8kph. Philipsen expressed joy and pride in winning Milan-San Remo, with special appreciation for the assistance of Mathieu van der Poel in leading the pack.

Throughout the fast-paced race, I maintained a sense of confidence and felt strong. I had faith in my abilities, but I also knew that everything needed to be executed perfectly. Despite the challenges, I was able to make a successful comeback.

Pogacar made a move with 5.8km remaining, followed by Van der Poel as they descended from the top of the Poggio. Meanwhile, Matej Mohoric of Bahrain Victorious also attempted an attack. In the final kilometer, Matteo Sobrero of Bora-Hansgrohe and Thomas Pidcock of Ineos Grenadiers tried to take the lead. However, Belgian rider Philipsen managed to squeeze between Michael Matthews of Jayco-AlUla and the barrier to secure the victory. Pogacar finished third for UAE Team Emirates.

Tadej Pogacar, Milan-San Remo

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Philipsen’s front tyre barely edged out Matthews’s bike in the photo finish. Philipsen, who finished second at last year’s Paris-Roubaix, admitted that the 300km sprint was a new challenge for him and he could feel it. He was pleasantly surprised by Michael Matthews’s performance but ultimately happy to have come out on top.

Pogacar, who has not yet been able to claim victory in the Milan-San Remo Classic, made two attempts to attack in the final stretch but ultimately finished in third place. The Slovenian shared, “We had a strategy and we followed it. However, we may have missed the mark by about 10%.” Despite having strong legs, Pogacar acknowledged that the race this year was not challenging enough for a climber like himself. He believes he did his best to secure third place and reflected, “In this scenario, there wasn’t much else I could have done. It was a close call.”

The longest Monument race is Milan-San Remo. The remaining Monument races include the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, and Giro di Lombardia.

Source: theguardian.com