Milan-San Remo Predictions: Van der Poel to outlast Pogacar

 | March 15 | 

3 mins read

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We’re still waiting for our first sight of Jonas Vingegaard and Tadej Pogacar going wheel-to-wheel in 2024, but the Slovenian will take centre stage on Saturday as the 115th edition of the Milan-San Remo ‘Spring Classic’ takes place.

Two-time Tour de France champ Pogacar and reigning World Road Race king Mathieu van der Poel are the big names in the startlist, but our Milan-San Remo predictions will also need to consider characters like Mads Pedersen and Jasper Philipsen in what could be one of the highlights of the cycling calendar.

Milan-San Remo Tips

  • Mathieu van der Poel to win @ 3/1
  • Mads Pederson each-way @ 10/1

Back-to-back Tour de France winner Vingegaard, former world champion Remco Evenepoel and UAE Team Emirates phenom Juan Ayuso are among the superstars missing Saturday’s action, but that should not take away from a very strong field for the Spring Classic.

Pogacar’s recent win on the Strade Bianche was an early sign of what he will want to achieve in 2024, delivering a stunning solo break more than 81 kilometres from the finish line and maintaining an incredible pace in horrific conditions to finish almost three minutes ahead of the rest of the field. He arrived at the iconic Piazza del Campo in Siena surrounded only by cheering crowds and produced an epic moment when crossing the line and immediately jumping off his bike and lifting it to the skies.

The Team Emirates leader will face more durable opponents when looking across the front of the pack at the start line in Pavia on Saturday though, with Van der Poel clearly the biggest threat to his desire to turn in another statement performance.

Mathieu van der Poel to win @ 3/1

The Dutchman got the better of Pogacar in this same race 12 months ago, tagging on to an eight-rider breakaway 7km from home and then going solo for the final 5.5km to outdo Pogacar, Wout van Aert and Filippo Ganna. He also got the better of Pogacar and Van Aert at the World Championships in August, dropping the pair – and Mads Pedersen – 22.4km from home and quickly reeling in Alberto Bettiol before putting distance between himself and the rest, eventually winning by 1:37.

While that world-conquering effort was achieved largely on the street circuits of Glasgow, his victory in San Remo last March speaks volumes as to what the Alpecin-Deceuninck star can achieve on this kind of stage. And while Pogacar has the ability to win in many different conditions, the profile of the course here suits Van der Poel in my mind.

The last 150km are largely pancake-flat, with the climbs in the final 28km up to Cipresa and Poggio being perfect spots to strike, as proven in the latter’s case last year.

Mathieu van der Poel to win Milan-San Remo @ 3/1

Mads Pedersen each-way (1,2,3) @ 10/1

On the face of it, Pedersen could even be a good shout for the win, but given the sheer quality on offer between Van der Poel and Pogacar the each-way bet might be the safer route with the Dane.

He finished fourth in the World Championship road race in Glasgow, and has two General Classification successes to his name already in 2024 at the Tour du Gard and the Tour de la Provence.

Add in two stage wins each at Paris-Nice and the Tour de France in 2022 and 2023, plus a trio of first-place finishes in La Vuelta two years ago which led him to triumph in the points competition, and the Lidl-Trek rider has form for performing in one-day bursts.

The 10/1 odds imply a 9.1% probability of Pedersen taking home the crown, and while there may be the chance of that happening, I like the look of the podium finish at a quarter of the price.

Mads Pedersen each-way for Milan-San Remo @ 10/1

You can read all our latest Cycling Betting Tips here.

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