African pride team MTN-Qhubeka won last year’s edition of the Milan-Sanremo race to the surprise of the cycling world as it was an illusion a short time ago to have African guys in a World Tour let alone to a victory. In today’s race, Daniel Teklehaimanot and Merhawi Kudus will support the defending champion with all they have.
By Alula Abraha,
The famous annual one-day classic world tour cycling race from Milano-Sanremo is expected to start anytime soon. At a whooping 294km, it’s by far the longest race course ever. Even the last world championship race course was a 273km stretch. That itself was so hard that a third of the 200+ riders that included world elite ones couldn’t finish the race. Today’s Milano-Sanremo is over 20km longer than that and there won’t be surprise if half of them end up DNFs (Do Not Finish).
All the elite riders are in it today. Team MTN Qhubeka’s young Eritrean prodigy, Merhawi Kudus and the record four times Continental African ITT champion, Daniel Teklehaymanot, will be racing in it today along with nearly 200 world elite riders such as tour de France and Olympic Champion Bradley Wiggans, World Road race Champion Mark Cavendish, world ITT champion Tony Martin, six times record grand WT champion Alberto Contador, best sprinters ever and many many more.
In the face of such a tough race on a fast moving peloton, there won’t be a chance in hell for any early ambitious break-away groups. Daniel will be fine as he had proven his salt last year by winning a 1st-category one-day classic of a UCI EuroTour race in Spain. Despite never been tested with such elite’s Peloton and on such a longest even race course, everyone knows what the young and explosive Merhawi Kudus can do on any day.
After last week’s seven day Tirreno-Adriatico race course in Italy, today’s Milano-Sanremo is the last warm up race in the run up to the famous Grand world tour of the Giro d’Italy coming up, where another Eritrean, Natnael Berhane, is expected to race in it for his France-based team Europcar.
The Milano-Sanremo is expected to take no less than seven hours today and can be watched LIVE on Eurosport.
After the Milano-Sanremo classic, another classic is on the menu just across the border to the south of Italy, where Real Madrid and Barcelona will slog it out in another “El-Classico” later tonight.
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