Promenading Peloton leads to a Tremendous Finish
Monday, March 19, 1973 the 64th edition of “La Primavera” left the center of Milan and headed onto the plains of Lombardia. After only 5 kms two Englishmen Dave Lloyd and Phil Bayton from the TIRaleigh team created the breakaway on the day. Their lead built to 3’10” while the uninterested peloton cruised behind.
The breakaway teammates took the preme sprint at Novi Ligure and began to struggle with the pace. Over the summit of the famed Passo di Turchino their lead started to fall. After a plunge off the summit their lead was 3’05” as the breakaway hit the Ligurian coast with 130 kms to go.
*Race profile courtesy of Internet site: www.econ-outlook.com.au/tom/cycling/palmares.html
The Capo Berta climb was the last stand of a gallant breakaway as several punctures and an increased pace in the peloton spelled doom for the breakaway. The duo was caught near the Cipressa with only 20 kms to go.
The lethargic race became animated as the peloton started the climb of the Poggio with 9 kms to go. Over the summit GBC-Sony's Wilmo Francioni launched an attack. Roger De Vlaeminck was quick to answer the move as the leaders started “hair-raising” descent into San Remo.
SPECIAL NOTE: The race was at such high speed that a TV motorcycle slowed the 2 leaders and kept the chasers close.
Felice Gimondi lead the chase as the race began to come back together in the final kilometer. The chasing Gimondi quickly started the final move and jumped away in a huge gear but could not catch the leaders. Onto the "Via Roma" De Vlaeminck led Francioni with Gimondi closing quickly. Team Brooklyn's Roger De Vlaeminck powered away from the tiring Italian to claim the prestigious Milan-San Remo victory.
M-SR March 19, 1973
Roger DE VLAEMINCK (Bel) 6h53'34"
Wilmo Francioni (Ita) +2"
Felice Gimondi (Ita) +4"
Average Speed: 41.780 km/h
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