Mathieu van der Poel attacks on the Poggio to win Milan San Remo
Mathieu van der Poel attacked a select group at the top of the Poggio to descend to Victory on Via Roma
The 2023 editon of Milan - San Remo came down to the final climb of the Poggio. After UAE Team Emirates shredded the field on the final climb, Pogacar attacked and only Filippo Ganna, Wout van Aert and Pogacar could follow.
At the top of the climb, van der Poel launched a scathing attack that his rivals couldn't match and opened up a growing gap as he hit the descent, never to be seen again by the chasing trio.
Van der Poel had time to look behind on Via Roma and thrust his hands in the air to take Victory. Behind, Ganna sprinted for second ahead of Wout van Aert and a dismayed Pogacar who had attacked on the Poggio to try and win the race.
Nine riders got in the breakaway, they were Alois Charrin (Tudor Pro Cycling Team), Aleksandr Riabushenko (Astana Qazaqstan Team), Samuele Rivi and Mirco Maestri (EOLO-Kometa), Haylu Abrega (Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team), Jan Maas and Alexandre Balmer (Team Jayco AlUla), Samuele Zoccarato and Alessandro Tonelli (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè). they built up a lead of over 3 minutes.
Jumbo-Visma, UAE Team Emirates, Trek-Segafredo and Alpecin-Deceuninck took turns controlling the race. Over the Tre Capi was sedate.
UAE Team Emirates upped the pace over the Cipressa with Mark Cavendish and Arnaud De Lie among those dropped.
The remainder of the breakaway were caught with 28 kilometers to go before the final climb of the Poggio.
Bahrain led up the Poggio and with 2 kilometers to go Tim Wellens attacked with Tadej Pogacar on his wheel. Pogacar then made his attack, which created a split behind with only a few riders able to follow including Filippo Ganna, Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel.
After Pogacar's brutual attack, Van der Poel countered at the summit so boldly that none of his rivals could follow him and opened up growing gap, as small groups chased down the descent behind.
The tailwind helped the Dutchman, with him extending his lead on the descent, with victory looking certain.
Behind Filippo Ganna sprinted second place, with Wout van Aert third and Pogacar just behind him.
VIDEO: Milano-Sanremo 2023 Highlights
2023 Milan - San Remo Top 10
01 NED VAN DER POEL Mathieu Alpecin-Deceuninck 06:25:23
02 ITA GANNA Filippo INEOS Grenadiers + 15
03 BEL VAN AERT Wout Jumbo-Visma + 15
04 SLO POGACAR Tadej UAE Team Emirates + 15
05 DEN ANDERSEN Søren Kragh Alpecin-Deceuninck + 26
06 DEN PEDERSEN Mads Trek-Segafredo + 26
07 USA POWLESS Neilson EF Education-EasyPost + 26
08 SLO MOHORIC Matej Bahrain Victorious + 26
09 FRA TURGIS Anthony TotalEnergies + 26
10 BEL STUYVEN Jasper Trek-Segafredo + 26