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Jasper Philipsen Triumphs in Record-Breaking Milan-San Remo

2024 Milan San Remo Finish Philipsen

Belgian cyclist Jasper Philipsen emerged victorious in the fastest-ever edition of Milan-San Remo, edging out Michael Matthews in a thrilling sprint finish among the lead group. The race, covering 288 kilometres, saw Philipsen’s Alpecin-Deceuninck team execute a tactically astute plan, with last year’s winner Mathieu van der Poel sacrificing his own chances to support Philipsen in the final sprint.

Philipsen’s victory came after a fiercely contested battle among the favourites, with the likes of Tadej Pogačar and Mads Pedersen vying for position in the lead group. Despite the blistering pace and numerous attacks, the race ultimately culminated in a tightly contested sprint on the Via Roma.

“It’s incredible. I cannot believe it. A Monument is something you dream of,” Philipsen expressed after his narrow victory. “Milan-San Remo is maybe one of the only Monuments I can win and I’m really proud.”

Van der Poel’s selfless teamwork was instrumental in Philipsen’s success, as the Dutch champion worked tirelessly to neutralise attacks and position his teammate for the sprint. “Mathieu is the last guy to think about himself, he likes to help his teammates,” Philipsen acknowledged, highlighting the camaraderie within the team.

“It’s an incredible feeling to win Milano-Sanremo. It makes me really proud and happy, especially after the lead out I got from Mathieu van der Poel. It was a fast race all day but I was feeling very good all the time. I believed in myself but everything had to go to perfection. I managed to come back. I wasn’t used to sprint after 300km and I could feel the difference. I didn’t expect Michael Matthews to be that good but I’m glad I managed to beat him”.

Jasper Philipsen

Matthews, who narrowly missed out on the top spot, reflected on the intensity of the race and the mixed emotions of coming so close to victory. “To be close to the win means I’m feeling mixed vibes at the moment,” he remarked. Despite his disappointment, Matthews acknowledged Philipsen’s strength in the sprint and the unpredictability of the race.

Tom Pidcock, another contender in the lead group, lamented his missed opportunity after launching a late attack in the final kilometres. “In this scenario, it didn’t really work out what I did. But maybe in another year, then I could win,” Pidcock remarked, emphasising the unpredictable nature of the race.

For Pogačar, who secured third place on the podium, the race represented a test of tactics and teamwork. “I think actually that today was one of the easiest races ever,” Pogačar observed, despite the relentless pace and challenging course. He praised his team’s efforts but acknowledged the need for perfection in executing their strategy.

As the dust settled on Milan-San Remo, riders celebrated both their individual achievements and the camaraderie shared among competitors. “A friend wins, a friend is second, a friend is fourth, a friend is fifth. It’s a good group in the final,” Pogačar remarked, highlighting the sense of respect and friendship within the cycling community.

In a race defined by its speed, drama, and strategic manoeuvres, Jasper Philipsen emerged as the worthy victor, etching his name into the annals of cycling history with a memorable triumph in La Primavera.

2024 Milan San Remo result

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Main photo credit: La Presse