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Vincenzo Nibali leads more than 4,000 cyclists on virtual Milan-San Remo ride

Saturday's race may have been cancelled - but 2018 winner joined others in tackling iconic finale from home...

Vincenzo Nibali, whose 2018 Milan-San Remo victory was one of the more memorable finishes to the Italian Spring Monument in recent years, led more than 4,000 cyclists on a virtual ride taking in the final 57 kilometres of the race on Saturday, the day the 111th edition was due to have been held before the coronavirus pandemic forced its cancellation.

> Video - Cavendish in horror crash as Nibali wins Milan-Sanremo

The Trek-Segafredo rider was among 4,221 people who took part in the Milano-Sanremo Virtual Experience, organised by RCS Sport in partnership with Garmin Edge, and which took them from Alassio on the Ligurian coast to the finish line on via Roma.

On the way, they took on the climbs that help propel the race to an often thrilling climax – the Tre Capi [three headlands – Mele, Cervo and Berta] – followed by the Cipressa and the often decisive climb of the Poggio, which Nibali used a springboard for his victory two years ago.

Besides triple Grand Tour winner Nibali, other past and present pros who took part included reigning Tour of Flanders champion Alberto Bettiol, two time Giro d’Italia champion Ivan Basso, former world champion Alessandro Ballan, the current Italian national coach Davide Cassini and the 1993 Milan-San Remo winner, Maurizio Fondriest.

Nibali said afterwards: “Milano-Sanremo is a race that has a special place in my heart and one of my most beautiful victories.

“Today I had the opportunity to ride it in a new and very fun way. A nice initiative to pedal on the race route virtually while staying at home,” added Nibali, who ask you can see from the picture above rode with some of cycling’s most prestigious trophies as his backdrop.

“I was able to cycle, albeit virtually, with my fans. And I want to ask them to be patient in this difficult moment, keep on staying home and ride indoors – we'll see them again on the roads at races soon!"

RCS Sport said that all those who took part in the Milano-Sanremo Virtual Experience will receive a discount of €10 for registration to the Gran Fondo Il Lombardia 2020.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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PpPete | 4 years ago

He's not wearing a helmet....

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