Fresh from finishing second overall to Australian Richie Porte (Sky) at Paris-Nice, Etixx-QuickStep's Michal Kwiatkowski travelled straight to Italy to check out 70km of the nearly 300km Milan-San Remo course.
7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:35 PM

Also known as "La Primavera", the Sunday 22nd of March Milano-San Remo is the fourth UCI WorldTour race of the season, and the first of the major Spring monuments along with the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

With team-mate Michal Golas as his wingman, Kwiatkowski rode several of the key later climbs of the race, including the Capo Mele, Capo Cervo, Capo Berta, and the Cipressa. He also traversed the Poggio twice and checked out the Via Roma finish, which has returned for 2015.

"It was a really nice experience," Kwiatkowski said. "I participated twice in Milano-Sanremo, but due to different circumstances I was unable to finish the race, including extreme weather conditions in the last couple years.

"I am happy I was able to take profit of the fact I was already in the area after my second place overall finish at Paris-Nice.

"This kind of recon is important not only to memorize the parcours (course), but to also understand the atmosphere of the race to be fully motivated.

.@michalkwiatek & Michal Golas performed recon of #MSR today! Visit www.etixx-quickstep.com for the full story.

A photo posted by Etixx - Quick-Step (@etixx_quick_step) on



"I like to be completely involved emotionally in these kinds of races, and breathe the history of the race. This is a race with big tradition for more than 100 years and it is so important to be prepared with all the details, and check everything.

The 2014 UCI Road World Champion said he loved the 70 kilometers of roads he explored with Golas, but stressed that his first priority was not victory but to cross the Via Roma finish line for the first time.

"The final of this race will be really emotional, so I know the Poggio will be a little bit harder," he said.

"I also know that after 280 kilometers of racing this climb will become an obstacle to pass, a key part of the race. But that is the charm of Milano-San Remo and the part I actually loved most was the downhill of the Poggio. I did it twice and I love it. Technically it's super nice.

"As for the arrival in Via Roma, I cannot compare it with past experience as I never finished the race. But I will be sure to talk about it in detail with my teammates.

"I do know that from the top of the Poggio until the finish, everything can be decided in a fraction of a second. Every rider has to stay focused, and that makes this race the most unique in the world.

"Our team is strong," he continued. "(Mark) Cavendish is a guy who won this race in his very first participation. He is a guy who has a great feeling for this race and the experience that is useful for all of us.

"On a personal level I want to discover this finale, considering I didn't finish my first two attempts. I want to honour the race by finishing it, first and foremost."

SBS will broadcast and livestream Milan-San Remo LIVE on SBS ONE and online here at Cycling Central from 11:45pm AEDT on Sunday 22 March.