... And that's how you make hot tea.
Oh hello. I didn't see you come in. Welcome to our live coverage from Milano-Torino 2020. We're here all day with live text coverage from one of Italy's most important races on the calendar. It's a mid-week race, one for the sprinters, and it's positioned between Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo. It's bit like Scheldeprijs and how that comes between major Belgian races but there's better food and wine available.
The race itself is just shy of 200km in length and it's similar to its previous route with the Superga climb removed from the finale and the race moving back to its old slot ahead of Milan-San Remo. It's a very different race to the one Michael Woods claimed in October of last year ahead of Alejandro Valverde.
That said we still have a world-class field on the start line today, with the official start coming in about 45 minutes from now. Riders are currently signing on but we've got Caleb Ewan, Nacer Bouhanni, Peter Sagan, Sam Bennett, Wout van Aert, Matteo Moschetti, Fernando Gaviria and Alexander Kristoff all on the startlist.
Here's the full start list.
Wood and EF are not here to defend their crown as they look ahead to Milan-San Remo at the weekend but the sprinters here are the finest in the world, and it's hard to think of too many that aren't here other than maybe Groenewegen and Viviani.
Scanning through the final start list, a few other major names here are Mathieu Van Der Poel, Jakub Mareczko, Arnaud Demare, Davide Cimolai and Vincenzo Nibali, with the latter firmly using this race as part of his Milan-San Remo preparation. We're about 30 minutes from the official roll out.
Ewan has just signed on alongside his Lotto Soudal teammates. This is the Australian's first race back since lockdown and he's here for the win - although as he told Cyclingnews yesterday, he also has one eye firmly on Milan-San Remo - a race he finished second in a couple of years ago.
"It's the only Monument that I can win, or the only Monument I have some chance of winning, because the rest are too hard. And it's a goal of mine for my career, really. I'd love to have that on my palmarès when I finish. That's probably the only thing really missing that I'd really like on there as a realistic goal," Ewan told Cyclingnews in a phone interview from Monaco.
The biggest news from this morning, however, comes from Israel Start-Up Nation, with the team announcing that Daryl Impey had signed for two years. The 35-year-old has been with Mitchelton-Scott since 2012 but is after a fresh challenge, and in this case that comes with the chance of working with Chris Froome for the next two seasons. Here's our story on Impey.
It's now Sam Bennett's turn on the podium and the Irish national champion is in relaxed spirits. He took a much-needed stage win in at the Vuelta a Burgos last week, and he arrives at this race with his A-Team leadout. He's up against it with Gaviria and Ewan both here but it's a challenge the QuickStep rider can rise to.
🇮🇹💨 Also today, we're tackling the oldest bike race in Europe, #MilanoTorino, with a completely sprinter-suited route before Saturday's MSR. There's a last-minute change to our lineup, with @johanjacbs coming in for @EduSepulvedaARG (Edu is fine 👍). pic.twitter.com/EtxTylpwJUAugust 5, 2020
Another change in rosters. This time over at Mitchelton Scott.
#MilanoTorino 🇮🇹Some late shuffling around has seen @stannardrj come into the squad in Milan.Here's our new-look line-up for today's Italian Classic 🏁 pic.twitter.com/u6gHs6AidJAugust 5, 2020
One rider who won't make the start today is Fabio Felline from Astana. He crashed in Strade Bianche last weekend and is still feeling the effects, according to his team. The Italian was a DNF at Gran Trittico Lombardo earlier this week.
It's been at least five minutes since we last mentioned Ineos. Well, they come here with a B-team, although it's a strong B-team, led by Ben Swift. The British road champ has finished second and third in Milan-San Remo over the years and started the season in decent form with 8th in Kuurne. If he's on form then another top-ten could be on the cards.
The route of the 101st edition of the race is basically flat except for the crossing of Monferrato, where a series of short climbs come in quick succession. After departing from Mesero the race crosses Magenta before continuing along the Po Valley on wide and straight roads. In addition to the usual city obstacles such as roundabouts, traffic islands and raised sections, there are four level crossings, all concentrated in the first 60km. After crossing the Po near Valenza, the route takes in the undulations of Monferrato, before passing through Asti. The final 70km are practically flat to the finish in Stupinigi.
You can find our complete race preview, right here.
We've also got the Tour of Poland, which starts today, but Grand Tour racing fans can also look out for the Tour de l'Ain. The French race will see Tour de France leaders from Ineos and Jumbo Visma go head-to-head, in what should be a fascinating battle. Patrick Fletcher's race preview is just a click away.
Want to know the differences between the Specialized Tarmac SL6 and the SL7, then click here.
You might think the answer is that one is red and the other is black but you're wrong! We've interviewed both bikes to find out the answers. I don't know why all manufacturers don't make all their bikes red. Everyone knows that that's the fastest colour out there.
We're about 30 minutes from the start and most riders have now signed on. You may remember that I said the start was 30 mins away, about an hour ago, but that's because I can't tell the time properly.
If you're interested in lives streaming the race, then you can venture to this page. We've got lots of handy tips on how to pick up the best stream - no matter your location.
Some big news on the transfer front and Alberto Bettiol, a favourite for Milan-San Remo, has re-signed with EF. They had previously told CN that the Italian had agreed on terms for a deal last year, after his Flanders win. Odd that they've now come out and said that he has signed a contract for 2021. Anyway, here's the news.
Bouhanni has just signed on. He's a favourite for me today. Class act when he can get it together and his record this season is impressive, with two wins already. He had a couple of okay placings in Paris-Nice in March but he'll be looking to get his campaign back on track today having been outside the top thirty in his comeback race earlier in the week. It's nice to see him rebuilding his career after a farcical few years at Cofidis and just look at that jersey below.
Gorka Izagirre who took an impressive win earlier in the week at Lombardo has been talking ahead of today's start: “I really enjoyed my victory at Gran Trittico Lombardo, but now it’s time to focus on new goals for the upcoming races, starting today."
🇮🇹 #MilanoTorinoThe bikes are ready and so are the guys! The race will start in about 5 minutes. Let’s go! 💪🏻 pic.twitter.com/itb2TKhF6WAugust 5, 2020
Almost ready for the roll out as several of the big hitters on show move to the front of the peloton. There's Sagan, and there's Ewan. The sun is out, the conditions look perfect - although there could be some wind a bit later on today - and we're about to start racing.
Bardet ruled out of Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge following Route d'Occitanie crash. The story is here.
And we're off. The flag has dropped and the 101st edition of Milan-Torino has begun.
It's a slightly downhill start to proceedings, so the speed is high. The bunch has already covered 5km of racing but we're all together for now.
Saying that, there's a small split but with a number of riders off the back. They should be able to return quite quickly though.
And we are indeed all back together with the pace slowing a fraction. Just under 10km raced so far, no breaks.
148 riders in the main field today with the only non starter being Denis Nekrasov (Gazprom - Rusvelo). 14km covered and we have a small break though, with the names to follow shortly.
Six riders in the break and their names are:
Andrea Garosio (Vini Zabù-KTM), Manuele Boaro (Astana), Davide Villella (Movistar), Gijs Van Hoecke (CCC), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) and Samuele Rivi (Italia). No gap yet but the leaders are working well together.
20km into the break and our six-rider break has a healthy 2:30 over the peloton. That's our break of the day. A reminder we have Andrea Garosio (Vini Zabù-KTM), Manuele Boaro (Astana), Davide Villella (Movistar), Gijs Van Hoecke (CCC), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) and Samuele Rivi (Italy) on the attack.
It was announced earlier this morning that CCC's Gijs Van Hoecke, who is in the break, will move to AG2R for next year. He's a respectable domestique for the Classics and finished second in the U23 version of Paris-Tours back in 2011. He'll work well with Naesen, for sure.
The most experienced rider in the break is Manuele Boaro. The 33-year-old rides for Astana but has been around the block with Bahrain, Tinkoff and Saxo during his long career. He's won a few races to be fair but finds himself out of contract at the end of the season.
34km into the race and the physical distance between the break and the peloton stands at just over 5km. The profile is completely flat at the moment and the peloton are allowing the break to push their advantage at the moment but it will be up to the sprinters' teams to mount a chase at some point.
Lotto Soudal blink first and begin to nudge a couple of their domestiques to the front of the peloton. The gap has moved out to seven minutes, so the bunch will want to try and contain it from reaching double figures.
Andreas Schillinger is near the front of the field. He's been with Bora for a long, long time. Since their Netapp days, in fact. Now 37 he's planning on racing into next year. He was once on the Milram continental team with fellow golden oldie, Robert Wagner, who only retired at the end of 2019.
40km into the race, so almost a quarter of race ticked off, and the break are holding roughly seven minutes on the peloton.
We catch a glimpse of Matteo Moschetti who is starting his second race since injury earlier in the year. He started the campaign with two wins in Mallorca and is likely to sign a new deal at Trek-Segafredo. Just 23, he's got a bright future ahead of him, and today's a good chance for him to test his mettle against some of the most experienced sprinters in the pro peloton.
Another outsider for today is Davide Cimolai, from ISN. He was in contention for a couple of wins in Burgos last week but probably needs a perfect sprint to really challenge for the win here. He's had victories in the WorldTour, so the speed is there.
50km into the race and the break have seven minutes on the peloton. A reminder of the riders on the attack: Andrea Garosio (Vini Zabù-KTM), Manuele Boaro (Astana), Davide Villella (Movistar), Gijs Van Hoecke (CCC), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) and Samuele Rivi (Italy).
The break have just seen about a minute shaved off their advantage. It's still very early in the race given the ground that still needs to be covered but the peloton are keen to keep the six leaders in check. 5'43 is the gap.
120km to go and the gap is down to five minutes as we start to climb for the first time in today's race.
We've updated our startlist for you as there were a few small tweaks that were made overnight and this morning. You're welcome.
Wout van Aert is near the front of the field. The Strade Bianche winner is a huge favourite for Milan-San Remo at the weekend but he could also feature in the sprint today. There are faster finishers but the Belgian is absolutely flying at the moment and doesn't need to race himself into form. Since he re-started racing he's had one day in the saddle and taken a win. 100 per cent record.
75km into the race and the gap is now at 5:30.
The bunch up their tempo and the break immediately feel the pressure with the gap down to 3'30. The six leaders aren't cooked but this is a clear indication of how this race is going to develop over the next 110km or so. It's got bunch sprint nailed on.
This was taken a few minutes ago...
..and keep the ✌️ up if you’re still in the breakaway!😉@BoaroManuele and the five other escapees still have an advantage of 4’33” on the peloton at @MiTo1876.#MilanoTorino #AstanaProTeam 📸@GettySport pic.twitter.com/mltDsIndJSAugust 5, 2020
Gabriel Cullaigh is near the back of the field but could he feature late on in the race? He's neo but a good little sprinter who came through the ranks at SEG and Wiggins. This is his first race back but Movistar obviously trust him and have thrown him into the deep end with a number of WorldTour races already under his belt.
100km to go and the gap is at 3:30.
A few more sprint teams are starting to take the initiative on the front of the peloton with QuickStep joined by reps from Lotto and UAE. They have Kristoff and Gaviria in their team today and the pair combined perfectly last year to win Gent-Wevelgem. Can they put in similar performance today? The squad are riding well at the moment and they're here with a very capable contingent.
201 Fernando Gaviria Rendon (Col)
202 Tom Bohli (Swi)
204 Alexander Kristoff (Nor)
205 Marco Marcato (Ita)
206 Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg)
207 Oliviero Troia (Ita)
The six leaders have clambered up a number of short climbs but the terrain switches back to a more rolling profile for now before the road flattens out again ahead of the finish. The gap keep bobbing around between three and four minutes.
We're into the final 80km of racing and the bunch have eased just a tad as they allow the break to just sit at 3:30.
The gap between the six leaders and the peloton drops to the lowest it has been since the initial attack. It's at 3'15.
We've not really mentioned FDJ much today but they're here with a former Milan-San Remo winner in Demare and a very deep team when it comes to the leadout. The French outfit currently have three riders on the front of the peloton helping to control the tempo.
101 Arnaud Demare (Fra)
102 Davy Clement (Fra)
103 Kévin Geniets (Lux)
104 Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita)
105 Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu)
106 Miles Scotson (Aus)
107 Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned)
Over in France, Joab Schneiter has taken stage 1 and the lead in the Tour de Savoie Mont Blanc. The French race has seen some huge names win in the past, from Egan Bernal and Dan Martin to Enric Mas and last year's winner Chris Harper. You can find our results, right here.
Back to this race and we're over the rolling roads and back onto the flats. The gap is steadily falling and it's at 2'45 with 58km to go. The bunch are upping the tempo as they start to line out and Arkea and QuickStep tap out the pace.
Bennett is well placed in the peloton, just at the back of his blue and white train. Lotto Soudal, Bora and FDJ are all helping with the pursuit with 54km to go.
A reminder of those in the break: Andrea Garosio (Vini Zabù-KTM), Manuele Boaro (Astana), Davide Villella (Movistar), Gijs Van Hoecke (CCC), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) and Samuele Rivi (Italy).
The conditions remain perfect out on the road with bright blues skies and little in the way of wind. Nibali is being brought closer to the front by Trek-Segafredo but that's just to keep the Italian out of trouble. 51km to go.
The leaders on the road take on some well earned food as Boara takes a turn on the front for the six leaders. They're losing time but they know the score: the bunch are in control but there's some vital TV time and the chance to let your teammates relax in the peloton.
Bennett gets on the radio and is talking to either his teammates or the occupants of the team car. They'll catch the leaders before the final 20km if they keep this up, so maybe he wants them to ease back. 48km to go and the gap is at 2'01.
The six leaders are holding their own though - working together and sharing the pace. That Bardiani kit is something else, isn't it?
We're hurtling through the kilometers now with 44km to go with almost all of QuickStep in the first 15 riders at the front of the peloton.
Inside two minutes as we see a few more Bora helmets make their way to the front. Sagan clearly wants to have a crack today.
UAE Team Emirates haven't pitched in with the collective effort on the front of the main peloton. They're saving their powder for the final, clearly, but they have pre-race favourite, Fernando Gaviria in their ranks.
34km to go and Andrea Garosio has been dropped by the break, leaving us with just five riders holding an advantage of 1'29 over the main peloton.
Leonardo Basso drops back and picks up some fresh bottles for his teammates. The Ineos team have Ben Swift for the sprint. 30km to go and the gap is at 1'08.
There you are UAE. They've posted a single rider on the front as the gap to the break drops to just over a minute.
Alex Dowsett is close to the head of the peloton as he looks to try and keep Cimolai out of trouble as we move closer to the final 25km of racing.
The road thins for just a moment, which causes a short problem for the bunch as they have to give up space. The road then opens up again and we see a number of leadouts fan out across the road.
24km to go
24km to go and the gap is at 1'06.
A tricky roundabout and a Lotto rider almost losses it when right at the front of the peloton. He just about holds it together and safely makes it through. That was a tad scary.
Another bit of road furniture and then another as we see Bora budge up and take control at the front of the peloton.
20km to go and the gap is down to just 57 seconds. It's flat all the way to the finish with a slight downhill section before the line.
Bora have put the hammer down and lifted the pace and immediately the peloton stretches out over the road. So many teams are trying to move into the fray as Trek, Lotto Soudal and UAE move up. QuickStep are just watching from a few places back.
Boaro and Rivi have gone clear of the break with 15km to go. They have just 32 seconds though on the main field.
The peloton can see the two leaders up ahead as the rest of the break is reeled in. 12.7km to go.
Nibali takes a turn for the Trek leadout as we see FDJ group together on the right. Next to them we have UAE, Trek, Bora and Movistar. Arkea are in the fight too.
Boaro now attacks and goes alone with 11.6km to go. Rivi has no answer when the Astana man jumps on the pedals. The gap is at 27 seconds.
Van der Poel and Van Aert are close together but it's Trek, Bora and FDJ on the front with 10km to go.
Israel try and move up on the far side as we see Boaro tear himself apart and try and hold on. 9km to go and the gap is at 25 seconds.
Nibali again on the front for Trek Segafredo with a huge turn. 9km to go.
FDJ then lift the pace for Demare as QuickStep lead Bennett towards the front.
Boaro is slowing, he's really struggling but the gap is still at 15 seconds.
7.8km and a huge crash. Edmondson is down and several more.
Road furniture, one goes down and then about a dozen more fall. Bennett has lost a chunk of his leadout train.
6.7km to go. Lampaert is sitting up but it looks like a busted collar bone.
Hayter on the floor too. His race over.
Luckily everyone looked to at least be sitting up but the crash has lead to a huge split. Ewan and Sagan have made the split but where are the others? 5.4km to go.
Demare is there but we've got less than 50 riders. Sagan, Ewan both there. Ewan has just two men.
Bennett is there but quite far back. Gaviria is there.
Lotto on the front with 4.1km to go.
Bora now helping Lotto set the pace.
3.7km to go and we can see Kristoff with Gaviria.
Bouhanni is there. 3km to go.
Van Aert is there as well. Bennett has now moved up. 2.7km to go as Bora hit the front for Sagan.
Just one man left for Bennett. 2.3km to go.
2.1km to go and it's lined out. Sagan is fifth wheel. Gaviria looks too far back.
Oss hits the front 1.2.km to go.
Demare is moving up with a long leadout.
1.km to go!
FDJ lead us out with 800m.
Last corner and they make it through.
Sagan is going to go early. He hits the front but here come Demare and Ewan. It's going to be close but Demare is coming back.
Sagan is fading. Ewan can't come back!