Saturday, March 22, 2014

The 2014 Milan San Remo - 100 years on.

In one weeks time: Sunday 23rd March 2014 to Sunday 5th April 1914, marks 100 years of Australian involvement in the Milano - San Remo road race in Italy. The three Australians that were there were Don Kirkham, Charles Piercey and Ivor "Snowy" Munro. All Australians finished their first attempt - Tough Men!
Don Kirkham was a firm friend of Sir Hubert Opperman and had ridden in the 1914 Tour de France. Not long after riding Milan - San Remo, he was riding his cycle home after a race and was knocked off his bicycle by a drunken motorist and badly injured. The occupants of the car took an inordinately long time to find a Doctor. The delay caused pneumonia, which resulted in tuberculosis and ended his cycling, and indeed his life in 1929.
Charles Piercey

Charles A. Piercey - 1914 was a life changing year for Charles, he was part of a team of Australian Cyclists to head off to Europe for the racing, with a view to riding in the Tour de France. The team rode in a few pre-Tour events, including MSR, however only Snowy Munro and Don Kirkham gained entry into the Tour de France.

Ivor "Snowy" Munro - Munro, with his compatriot Don Kirkham were the first Australians in the Tour de France (3360miles), which started on the first day of World War I. Munro finished 20th in the overall standings, about nine hours behind the winner Philippe Thys (200hrs 28mins 48secs for 26.835kmh average) , Kirkham 17th. Also an interesting article about the day Snowy beat the train to Melbourne here...
2013 produced unbelievable racing conditions
Despite a century of participation, only 2 Australians have ever won the Milan Sanremo.

Matthew Harley Goss in 2011 and, Simon Gerrans in 2012.
The startlist for this year, has been officially announced are 10 Australians that will start. The official startlist is available via the Milano Sanremo website.
Adam Hansen Heinrich Haussler Michael Matthews
Zak Dempster Mathew Hayman Luke Durbridge
Simon Clarke Mark Renshaw Nathan Haas
Watch it live on SBS, follow on Facebook or Twitter, or ride the 296km yourself at the Granfondo...and be part of cycling history.