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68th Milan-San Remo 1977 (Italy)

 
   
 
By Barry Boyce, CyclingRevealed Historian
 

Dutch Newcomer Upstages Merckx and Moser

The experts predicted a Merckx/Moser showdown for the 1977 Milan-San Remo Classic.  The tifosi wanted an Italian to sprint down the Via Roma for the victory.  But a Dutch newcomer named Jan Raas surprised them all. 


*Race profile courtesy of Internet site: www.econ-outlook.com.au/tom/cycling/palmares.html

Jan Raas’s powerful Frisol team pegged the Dutchman as their main hope for victory, but all did not go well on the climb of the Turchino Pass.  A crash slowed the Dutchman as the 200+ peloton speed away in pursuit of the breakaway.  Teammate Wilfried Waesemael gave him a wheel and it took a 32 kms chase to regain the group.

A four-man group was still clear on the second of three “Capi” (short steep climbs), Frisol teammate Cees Priem, Marcello Osler, Guiseppe Perletto, and Roland Salm. And held a slim 20 second lead at the base of the final Capi the famous Poggio

19 year old Italian Giuseppe Sarroni was the first to attack.  Raas followed and the two chasers caught the leader.  As the junction was made to the breakaway Priem had an untimely punctur.  Raas attacked immediately and opened a 20 meter gap over the top of the climb.  Only Guiseppe Perletto could muster the strength to go after the Dutchman, but could not catch the inspired Raas. 

Holland’s Jan Raas rode his brilliant attack on the Poggio and solid sprint to hold off the chasing peloton for the prestigious Milan-San Remo victory.  Pre-race favorites Francesco Moser finished 35th with Eddy Merckx in a distant 96th place.

M-SR March 19, 1977
288 Km

1. Jan RAAS (Hol) 6h41'59"

2. Roger De Vlaeminck (Bel) +3"

3. Wilfried Wesemael (Bel) +5"

Starters: 230
Finishers: 148

Average Speed: 42.986 km/h

 

 

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"I would do it all over again, only better this time.
Eddy Merckx (Bel)