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Three Milan-San Remo titlists miss Saturday’s first 2022 Monument through illness

Mathieu van der Poel to make his season debut

Photo by: Sirotti

Illness continues to wrack the pro peloton, with three Milan-San Remo champions including reigning titlist Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) announcing over the last couple of days that they will miss Saturday’s La Classicissima di Primavera, the first Monument of the year, through sickness.

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl), 2019 winner and 2020 runner up, is out with bronchitis, while 2015 champion John Degenkolb (Team DSM) misses out as well.

Two-time runner up Caleb Ewan will also miss out because of sickness, as will Paris-Roubaix champion Sonny Colbrelli.

Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), the 2020 victor, is back, as are Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux’s Alexander Kristoff (2014), Groupama-FDJ’s Arnaud Démare (2016) and Ineos’ Michal Kwiatkowski (2017).

Wout Van Aert hopes to repeat as champion on Saturday. Photo: Sirotti

Both Slovenian superstars are in the race and Tadej Pogačar, winner of three of the first five rounds on the WorldTour, has slightly higher odds that Wout Van Aert. Van Aert took Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in late February and his teammate Primož Roglič recently wrapped up his first Paris-Nice title.

Mathieu van der Poel will make his season debut at Milan-San Remo after three months away from racing to rehab a bad back.

Alex Cataford will make his Milan-San Remo for Israel-Premier Tech; he’ll be the lone Canadian entrant.