2nd Milan-San Remo 1908 (Italy)


By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian




Milan and the Lion of Flanders

Belgian riders have always been known for their strength and toughness. Cyrille Van Hauwaert (Bel) after riding his bicycle from Belgium to the start in Milan rode through miserable weather with gusty winds, snow and freezing rain from start to finish.

The horrible state of the roads also contributed to the harshness of this year’s race.  Multiple punctures and mechanical failures happened as the peloton was drastically reduced.

An elite group contenders broke away on the Passo del Turchino. Belgian Cyrille Van Hauwaert, led Italians Giovanni Rossignoli and Carlo Galetti, and Frenchman André Pottier and Henri Lignon.

Riding along the Mediterranean coast Van Hauwaert dropped his last companion Lignon in Finale Ligure 85 kms. from the finish in San Remo.

The inspired Belgian rode solo to the finish. From the chase group Italian Luigi Ganna, André Trousselier and Augustin Ringeval set a hard chase. Late in the race Ganna began to close on the leader quickly, but Van Hauwaert held strong to his lead and rode into the finish in San Remo for a 3 min. 30 sec. victory.

SPECIAL NOTE: Cyrille Van Hauwaert raced from Paris to Milan on his way to the start! Van Hauwaert known as the Lion of Flanders asserted himself under snowy conditions and arrived in San Remo with more than three minutes advantage.

M-SR April 5, 1908
283.4 Km

1. Cyrille VAN HAUWAERT (Bel) 11h33'00"

2. Luigi Ganna (Ita) +3'30"
3. Andre Pottier (Fra) +6'25"
Starters: 48
Finishers: 14
Average Speed: 24.547 km/h

M-SR 1907

M-SR 1909

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