Video: Two lads put their bikes in (very) bad spot at Milan Sanremo
The roadside walls offer no room for mistake on the Poggio, Sean Kelly famously shaved them flying down the climb towards victory in 1992. That didn’t stop two spectators putting their bikes in the worst place possible during Saturday’s race, as these photos and video reveal.
Milan-Sanremo 2017 was a really special edition in the race’s long and storied history. But one story that thankfully didn’t come to pass was that of two precariously placed bikes intervening to help shape the outcome.
The bikes were left leaning on the wall in the last few hundred metres of the Poggio.
The wall to the left of the riders leaves no room for error. You can’t run off the road here, you’ll simply hit the bricks.
A large group of riders scaled the climb together last year when the race ended in a sprint.
If for no other reason, one would have thought that outcome would have dissuaded spectators from leaving their bikes anywhere where they posed a hazard for a large group of riders.
But two did just that. They left their mounts on a bend where under-pressure and exhausted riders would inevitably be hugging the wall for the shortest line possible near the top of the Poggio.
In the video and screen grabs below, Peter Sagan is leading and the takes the bend quite wide, untroubled by the bikes.
But just behind, Julian Alaphilippe is under extreme pressure and is hugging the bend as he scrambles to catch Sagan.
He comes much closer to the stationery bikes than Sagan; Alaphilippe’s handlebars passing one of the bikes very closely indeed.
And in a bunch, where jockeying for position would be intense and the view of the road ahead very limited, these bikes are lethal.
Anybody who has taken the time and effort to ride to the top of the Poggio to see the race really should have known better.
The first bike the riders met, just around the sweeping bend at the top of the climb when the riders are flat out.
And the second bike right next to it. The bikes leaned against the wall, one facing up the hill and one facing down, right at the same spot.
Sagan on the front with Alaphilippe battling to catch him. The Frenchman hugged the bend for the shortest route and came much close to the roadside bike’s handlebar sticking out.
Spot the bikes about 10 secs into this clip
Winner Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) embraced by a loved one after over 7 hours racing in Milan-Sanremo.