The Milan-San Remo race, the Classicissima, is the most famous of all the Italian cycling events, and one of the 5 great classics.
Every year the Milan-San Remo Spring Classic takes place on the Sunday closest to 19 March and marks the traditional opening of the international cycling season, thanks to the favorable climatic conditions of the Italian Riviera.
The first edition took place in 1906 and it has been run ever since, with the exception of two editions which corresponded with the world wars. Amongst those on the honor list of the Milan-San Remo are the legendary greats of world cycling: from Costante Girardengo to Fausto Coppi, from Gino Bartali to Eddie Merckx, from Felice Gimondi to Francesco Moser, from Giuseppe Saronni to Laurent Fignon, from Eric Zabel to Oscar Freire.
The Milan-San Remo was founded in 1906 based on an idea proposed by the San Remo Sporting Union, and from the following year was organized by the Gazzetta dello Sport, the major daily Italian sporting newspaper. The San Remo 1904 cycling organization collaborates with the organization of the arrival.
The route of the Milan-San Remo has remained the most unchanged in history, with the departure from the piazza of the Duomo in Milan and the inclusion of several significant variations along the course of the race to make it more exciting. The Turchino is the first difficult climb, and this is followed by the Manie, the three peaks of Capo Mele, Capo Cervo and Capo Berta, la Cipressa and finally the legendary Poggio di Sanremo, where the decisive getaways towards the finish at San Remo often occur. Only the finish line has undergone several changes, arriving at first in corso Cavallotti, then changed to via Roma and finally to the Italo Calvino seafront.
The Granfondo Milano-San Remo cicloturistica was begun in 1970, under the initiative of the Unione Cicloturistica Sanremo to offer enthusiasts the possibility of following the roads tread by the great champions every year.
For some years the event has taken place on the second Sunday of June. The main motivation for the choice of this date is to allow the large numbers of amateur cyclists from North Europe to train during the Spring, in order to be able to face the 296 km of the route, which is the longest cicloturistica amateur event in the world. The Granfondo Milano-San Remo cicloturistica is alsothe longest running cicloturistica event organized in Italy.
The route of the Granfondo Milano-San Remo cicloturistica corresponds almost completely faithfully to the Spring Classic of the century (2006), i.e. before the introduction of the Manie climb.
The departure is in the municipality of Assago, in the port of Milan, with the entrance on the SS35 Pavese which leads to Pavia and from where it follows the Lombard and Piedmontese Plain through Voghera, Tortona and Novi Ligure up to the foothills of the Ligurian Apennines, which is crossed by climbing to the pass of the Turchino. It then follows the Italian Riviera and borders the sea facing the peaks and the two final sections of the Cipressa and the Poggio di Sanremo, to arrive at the finish on corso Garibaldi.