Tom Boonen of Team Quick Step and Philippe Gilbert of Team Omega Pharma-Lotto will be leading their respective teams in the upcoming Milan-San Remo classic this Saturday, March 20.
Boonen is considered as one of the top favorites in the race, with 4 wins under his belt going into the “sprinter’s classic”, as the event has unofficially come to be known. His latest victory was at the Tirreno-Adriatico event, where he grabbed 1st place in the 2nd stage. The win was also his first in an Italian event.
Boonen hasn’t yet won the Milan-San Remo, with his best finish at 3rd in 2007. That year saw Oscar Freire (Team Rabobank) get the title. Last year saw Boonen becoming an onlooker as his 4th place finish wasn’t enough to get him on the podium. Team Quick Step managed to salvage some pride, though, as rider Filippo Pozzato finished ahead of Team Milram’s Petacchi and Team Liquigas’ Luca Paolini.
Boonen’s win in Tirreno-Adriatico — his first in Italy — has him hoping for another victory this Saturday. Team Quick Step’s 8-man lineup for this race includes Carlos Barredo, Dries Devenyns, Matteo Tosatto, and Sylvain Chavanel. The Directeur Sportif for the team will be Davide Bramati.
Meanwhile, Team Omega Pharma-Lotto has confirmed its lineup for Milan-San Remo, with Philippe Gilbert leading the roster. Gilbert got a podium finish at 3rd in the 2008 Milan-San Remo event, but dropped to 23rd last year. His teammate Van Avermaet was the highest finisher for Team Omega Pharma-Lotto that year, with 13th place overall.
Last season saw Gilbert grabbing some considerable wins at Coppa Sabatini, Paris-Tours, Giro del Piemonte, and Giro de Lombardia. He got 7th overall at this year’s Tour of Qatar. Team Omega Pharma-Lotto will be fielding a lineup composed of Jurgen Roelandts, Sebastian Lang, Michiel Elijzen, and Greg Van Avermaet, among others.