Waiting for Sanremo
17 Mar 2014
Tirreno-Adriatico 1990, stage four arriving in Maori: 30 km from the finish, on the the first ramps of the Chiunzi pass, Toni Rominger, one of the favorites to win the GC, launched a lone attack. Behind him, the group explodes and seven riders tried the chase: Kelly, Fondriest, Delion, Roosen, Nulens, Jaskula and Muller, all among the best riders of those years.
Rominger, also a skilled descender, inexorably gained ground: at the finish line the group of pursuers had a gap of 1'50 " and Toni won his second Tirreno-Adriatico.
24 years later and yesterday we saw Alberto Contador echo a similar performance: 33km in the lead, almost one hour all-out effort, demolishing all his GC rivals, most notably Quintana.
Even though he had hastily been given for finished by the usual "experts-pundits-lovers of rancid" after the last season, Alberto pulled off a number of pure class, courage and athletic power, putting him directly among the favorites for the podium at the next TdF.
New training regimes in Tenerife, avoidance of adventurous food strategies, desire for revenge: these were all keys for his renewed success.
Milan-San Remo, a prime fighting ground for endurance sprinters, but also for those finisseurs with dynamite in the legs, is usually reserved for those coming out with good form from Tirreno-Adriatico and Paris-Nice, but I remind you a couple of notable exceptions: Moser in '84 won alone without any previous racing and if I remember correctly even Gianni Bugno, the lone winner of the 1990's edition, had not raced in either the T-A or the P-N that year...