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Classic Italian cycle race, now the longest event in the World Cup series. It was traditionally held on St Joseph's day, 19 March, but is now on the nearest Saturday.

The race is difficult mainly because of its length (not far short of 300 km) and its timing early in the season. The course is flat via Pavia, Alessandria and Novi Ligure before crossing the Apennines via the fairly easy Turchino pass (sometimes replaced by the fractionally harder Bric Berton) and arriving close to Savona on the Via Aurelia coast road which it follows, passing through Albenga, Alassio and Imperia, to the finish, except for three brief diversions inland added in the 1960s and 1970s to toughen the course up after a lot of bunch sprint finishes; these are the climbs of Capo Berta, the Cipressa and the Poggio di San Remo; the rather hairy descent - all hairpin bends and stone walls - from the latter ends only a kilometre from the finish on the Via Roma and is therefore often decisive. Despite this the race is once again increasingly one for the sprinters, with large groups sprinting for victory in five of the last seven events (to 2003).

Journalistically nicknamed La Primavera or la classicissima, and notorious for having the worst TV coverage (generally provided by RAI television) of any race of its stature; at its nadir in 1990, coverage was not started until 30km to go, the camera helicopter ran out of fuel and had to return to base, one of the motorcycle cameras' brakes failed and the other cameraman was not skilled enough to stay with the riders on the descents. The UCI have mooted the possibility that it may lose its World Cup/ProTour status if things do not improve. In the last few seasons an abbreviated women's version, running from Savona to San Remo (the 'Primavera Rosa') has been run on the same day; it too is a World Cup counting race.

Like most of the major bike races in Italy, the Sanremo is promoted by RCS Sport, the publishers of the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.


Winners

1907 Lucien Petit-Breton (FRA)
1908 Cyrille Van Hauwaert (BEL)
1909 Luigi Ganna (ITA)
1910 Eugene Christophe (FRA)
1911 Gustave Garrigou (FRA)
1912 Henri Pellessier (FRA)
1913 Odiel Defraeye (BEL)
1914 Ugo Agostoni (ITA)
1915 Ezio Gorlaita (ITA)
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1917 Gaetano Belloni (ITA)
1918 Costante Girardengo (ITA)
1919 Angelo Cremo (ITA)
1920 Gaetano Belloni (ITA)
1921 Costante Girardengo (ITA)
1922 Giovanni Brunero (ITA)
1923 Costante Girardengo (ITA)
1924 Pietro Linari (ITA)
1925 Costante Girardengo (ITA)
1926 Costante Girardengo (ITA)
1927 Pietro Chesi (ITA)
1928 Costante Girardengo (ITA)
1929 Alfredo Binda (ITA)
1930 Michele Mara (ITA)
1931 Alfredo Binda (ITA)
1932 Alfredo Bovet (ITA)
1933 Learco Guerra (ITA)
1934 Joseph Demysere (BEL)
1935 Giuseppe Olmo (ITA)
1936 Angelo Varetto (ITA)
1937 Cesarde Del Cancia (ITA)
1938 Giuseppe Olmo (ITA)
1939 Gino Bartali (ITA)
1940 Gino Bartali (ITA)
1941 Pierino Favalli (ITA)
1942 Adolfo Leoni (ITA)
1943 Cino Cinelli (ITA)
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1946 Fausto Coppi (ITA)
1947 Gino Bartali (ITA)
1948 Fausto Coppi (ITA)
1949 Fausto Coppi (ITA)
1950 Gino Bartali (ITA)
1951 Louison Bobet (FRA)
1952 Loretto Petrucci (ITA)
1953 Loretto Petrucci (ITA)
1954 Rik Van Steenbergen (BEL)
1955 Germain Derijcke (BEL)
1956 Fred DeBruyne (BEL)
1957 Miguel Poblet (ESP)
1958 Rik Van Looy (BEL)
1959 Miguel Poblet (ESP)
1960 René Privat (FRA)
1961 Raymond Poulidor (FRA)
1962 Emil Daems (BEL)
1963 Joseph Groussard (FRA)
1964 Tom Simpson (GBR)
1965 Arie den Hartog (NED)
1966 Eddy Merckx (BEL)
1967 Eddy Merckx (BEL)
1968 Rudi Altig (GER)
1969 Eddy Merckx (BEL)
1970 Michele Dancelli (ITA)
1971 Eddy Merckx (BEL)
1972 Eddy Merckx (BEL)
1973 Roger De Vlaeminck (BEL)
1974 Felice Gimondi (ITA)
1975 Eddy Merckx (BEL)
1976 Eddy Merckx (BEL)
1977 Jan Raas (NED) Frisol-Gazelle
1978 Roger De Vlaeminck (BEL) Sanson
1979 Roger De Vlaeminck (BEL) Gis
1980 Pierino Gavazzi (ITA) Magniflex Olmo
1981 Alfons DeWolf (BEL) Vermeer-Thijs-Gios
1982 Marc Gomez (FRA) Wolber Spidel
1983 Giuseppe Saronni (ITA) Del Tongo
1984 Francesco Moser (ITA) GiS Gelati-LucTuc
1985 Hennie Kuiper (NED)
1986 Sean Kelly (IRE) KAS Mavic
1987 Erich Mutschler (SWI) Carrera
1988 Laurent Fignon (FRA) Système U
1989 Laurent Fignon (FRA) Système U
1990 Gianni Bugno (ITA) Chateau d'Ax
1991 Claudio Chiappucci (ITA) Carrera
1992 Sean Kelly (IRE) Festina
1993 Maurizio Fondriest (ITA) Lampre
1994 Giorgio Furlan (ITA) Gewiss Ballan
1995 Laurent Jalabert (FRA) ONCE
1996 Gabriele Colombo (ITA) Gewiss Playbus
1997 Erik Zabel (GER) Telekom
1998 Erik Zabel (GER) Telekom-ADR 294 km in 7.10.14 (41.00 km/h)
1999 Andrei Tchmil (BEL) Lotto-Mobistar 294 km in 6.52.37 (42.752 km/h)
2000 Erik Zabel (GER) Telekom 294 km in 7.11.29 (40.882 km/h)
2001 Erik Zabel (GER) Telekom 287 km in 7.23.13 (38.852 km/h)
2002 Mario Cipollini (ITA] Acqua e Sapone 287 km in 6.39.29 (43.105 km/h)
2003 Paolo Bettini (ITA) Quick Step
2004 Oscar Freire (SPA) Rabobank
2005 Alessandro Petacchi (ITA) Fassa Bortolo
2006 Filippo Pozzato (ITA) Quick Step
2007 Oscar Freire (SPA) Rabobank
2008 Fabian Cancellara (SWI) CSC
2009 Mark Cavendish (GBR) Columbia-High Road
2010 Oscar Freire (SPA) Rabobank

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