Cycling Weekly casts an eye over the past 14 editions of the race to see how it panned out

Cycling Weekly takes a look back at past 14 editions of Milan-San Remo see how the final outcome was achieved.

Although it is known as the ‘sprinters’ classic’, the fastmen don’t always have it their own way – five editions in the past decade have produced a winner from a late escape or attack on the flashpoint of the Poggio climb, which this year peaks at just 5.5km from the finish.

For an in-depth preview of this year’s race, including a detailed look at the race route, see Cycling Weekly’s Milan-San Remo 2015 Preview article.


How it was won: SPRINT
Norwegian Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) propelled himself into the limelight by taking the bunch sprint win in 2014 on a long, cold day. The race was surprisingly free of attacks, allowing the peloton to reach San Remo intact to contest the win.


How it was won: POGGIO ATTACK
Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) surprised many by winning the 2013 edition, which was heavily affected by snowfall and with two climbs removed at the last minute. Ciolek was part of a six-rider move on the descent of the Poggio, and out-paced Peter Sagan to take the victory.


How it was won: POGGIO ATTACK
Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) became the second Australian to win Milan-San Remo after Goss the previous year. Gerrans took the win from a three-man escape that had formed on the Poggio, beating Fabian Cancellara and Vincenzo Nibali to take the honours.


How it was won: POGGIO ATTACK
Matt Goss (HTC-Highroad) won the 2011 edition out of an eight-man escape group that had formed after the Poggio climb, beating Fabian Cancellara and Philippe Gilbert in the sprint.


How it was won: SPRINT
Spaniard Oscar Freire timed his sprint to perfection having hidden in the peloton for the entire day. A group instigated by Filippo Pozzato broke clear on the descent of the Poggio, but were caught with 1.2km to go. The Rabobank rider showed the acceleration he’s famed for, and duly took his third victory in la Primavera.


How it was won: SPRINT
When Heinrich Haussler launched a long sprint and opened up a significant gap on the bunch, it looked like he had the race sewn up. But Mark Cavendish stunned Haussler by quickly making up the distance to catch and pass him on the line by a matter of centimetres.


How it was won: LATE ATTACK
Fabian Cancellara launches a strong late attack, and none of the sprinters or their teams can match the time trial champion’s turn of speed in the closing kilometres. As late attacks go, its timing was perfect.


How it was won: SPRINT
Philippe Gilbert and Riccardo Ricco attack on the Poggio but are caught. Oscar Freire takes the bunch sprint


How it was won: POGGIO ATTACK
Samuel Sanchez, Frank Schleck and Rinaldo Nocentini, Filippo Pozzato and Alessandro Ballan get away on the Poggio and stay away. Nocentini attacks with 600 metres to go but fades quickly. Pozzato of Quick Step counters with 300 metres to go just as the bunch is about to close him down.


How it was won: SPRINT
Laurent Brochard tries a late attack inside the last 1.5 kilometres but it ends in a sprint, won by Alessandro Petacchi.


How it was won: SPRINT
Igor Astaraloa and Samuel Sanchez are among those who try to get away on the descent of the Poggio but Petacchi’s Fassa Bortolo squad keep a lid on things to set up the sprint. Erik Zabel thought he had it, but is pipped on the line by Freire.


How it was won: POGGIO ATTACK
Luca Paolini of Quick Step attacks behind Danilo Di Luca of Saeco. Another Saeco rider, Mirko Celestino, and Paolini’s team-mate Paolo Bettini go with it. Paolini, Celestino and Bettini stay clear, with Bettini attacking late to clinch the win.


How it was won: SPRINT
Paolo Bettini and Giuliano Figueras attack on the Poggio but Acqua & Sapone bring it back to set up Mario Cipollini for the sprint.


How it was won: SPRINT
Erik Dekker of Rabobank attacks with two kilometres to go but the sprinters prevail, with Erik Zabel pipping Mario Cipollini.