Caleb Ewan has mentioned that energy in numbers would be the key to Milan-San Remo success for him and his Lotto-Dstny group on Saturday.
The Australian has twice completed second at La Primavera, two years in the past main house the chasing pack simply metres behind Jasper Stuyven, and he’ll be joined as co-leader of the Belgian squad by rising star Arnaud De Lie.
In an period the place late assaults and riders shedding the sprinters on the Poggio are the order of the day, bringing two sprinters to steer a group at Milan-San Remo nearly appears anachronistic.
However Lotto’s pairing are a flexible duo, each in a position to deal with the hills and powerful sufficient to dwell with the strongest over the decisive closing climb.
“Numbers are key,” Ewan instructed the media on the group presentation in Abbiategrasso on Friday. “It is usually a lottery should you survive the Poggio. Individuals can soar away at any second on the descent or on the backside.
“In that state of affairs, I am unable to carry everybody again and likewise be ok to win the dash. Hopefully, Arnaud De Lie and I can survive, and now we have another teammate. That approach, we will cut back the danger of a late break. However that is simpler mentioned than executed.”
Ewan has a win on the non-UCI Schwalbe Traditional criterium this season, and controversially missed out on the victory in a photograph end on the current GP Monseré. De Lie, in the meantime, has began his sophomore professional season with three wins plus a second place at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Each males are among the many main contenders for the 294km race, even when the likes of Tadej Pogačar, Wout van Aert, and Mathieu van der Poel get pleasure from shorter betting odds. For Ewan and De Misinform succeed, they’re going to need to work collectively in the event that they discover themselves among the many leaders heading down into San Remo.
“I feel we’re the 2 sprinters who’ve the largest probability of surviving the Poggio,” Ewan mentioned. “Crucial factor is that we will talk overtly with one another. We now have the benefit of getting two. However I do not need to reveal an excessive amount of about our ways.”
Workforce directeur sportif Allan Davis agreed that having the 2 sprinters within the line-up is a boon for the Belgian squad.
“Caleb has the expertise with 5 participations and two podium spots. In two editions he was the quickest of the bunch, so hopefully, we will dash for victory this yr,” he mentioned. “For Arnaud De Lie, it will likely be a primary and it’ll all be about gathering as a lot expertise as potential. However it’s true that his presence offers us extra alternatives.
“Inside the group now we have gone over plenty of potential race eventualities, however we have to see how the race unfolds and select the precise tactic from there. In any case, now we have a strong group at first which is ready to defend Caleb and Arnaud very well. We go for the absolute best consequence.”
As soon as generally known as ‘the sprinter’s Traditional’ Milan-San Remo has seen fewer and fewer pure sprinters and smaller and smaller teams battle it out for wins on the finish of the standard seven hours of racing.
Arnaud Démare’s win seven years in the past was the final time a gaggle of over 30 riders contested the end. That does not look more likely to change on Saturday, with the likes of Pogačar and his UAE Workforce Emirates squad hoping to make issues laborious for the fastmen, as they did final yr with an acceleration on the Cipressa.
Ewan, nonetheless, mentioned that the transfer was a mistake, leaving fewer riders on the Poggio to make it more durable for the sprinters. He mentioned he’d do it in a different way if he had been in Pogačar’s sneakers.
“For me, he used the improper ways there,” Ewan mentioned. “They neutralised the race by going full throttle on the Cipressa. That is why the run-in to the Poggio was a lot calmer.
“Everybody who was nonetheless there on the backside additionally acquired excessive. In the event you do not assault on the Cipressa, you go to the Poggio with an even bigger group at a a lot larger depth, and you may make the choice there. If I used to be in his sneakers, I would wait till the Poggio earlier than attacking.”
And as for potential assaults on the technical descent into San Remo, which Matej Mohorič used to nice impact final yr? Nicely, Ewan is assured that he’d be capable of observe the Slovenian – or anybody else – who decides to take off excessive.
“In that case, I should attempt to observe him and take these corners with no worry,” Ewan mentioned. “I am an excellent descender, I feel. Adequate to observe, however to not make the distinction myself.