The 5 best locations to watch the Milan-Sanremo 2023 race, the spring event for cycling fans
16 March 2023
Route, program and dates of the Milan-Sanremo 114th edition
This year the start line involves Milan and its surroundings. The Milan-Sanremo 2023 route, which has undergone slight variations over the years, surprises us with this first important novelty.
The name of the competition hasn’t changed, but the departure station has: from the Lombard capital it has moved to Abbiategrasso, a municipality in the metropolitan city about thirty kilometers from the city. Everything is ready: on March 18th at 9:50 it begins and, after a total of 294 kilometers of the route, the finish line will be crossed in Via Roma, the traditional arrival in the City of Flowers, aka Sanremo.
For all those enjoying the competition from the sofa at home, the channels to tune into for the live broadcast on TV are those of Rai and Eurosport 1. If, on the other hand, you want to watch the races live, let's see five places from which to enjoy the passing race.
But first, a quick reminder to not forget the dates and times of Milan-Sanremo 2023:
Departure: 18th of March 2023, 09:50 - Abbiategrasso (MI)
Arrival: 18th of March 2023 - Via Roma, Sanremo (IM)
Abbiategrasso, the new departure location
The town within Ticino Park, which preserves much splendor and many masterpieces of Lombard history and art such as the The Visconti Castle and the Basilica di Santa Maria Nuova is already a small paradise for cycling enthusiasts. Crossing cycle paths border waterways such as the Naviglio Grande and the Ticino.
For all the fans who love to combine their sporting spirit with exploring the territory, the starting point is set in the heart of this Lombard municipality.
Novi Ligure, the university of cycling in Italy
After about thirty kilometers of flat roads along Ticino, the race reaches Pavia and returns to its classic route. After passing Voghera and leaving Lombardy behind, entering Piedmont.
Passing through Tortona, the road begins to climb until it reaches Novi Ligure, defined by sports commentators as the "university of cycling", for being an initiation point of welcoming many champions, from Costante Girardengo to Fausto Coppi. The Museo dei Campionissimi museum is dedicated to them, and to the heroic years of cycling, which enthusiasts can visit before or after watching the race, which passes right in front of its entrance.
Passo del Turchino, higher and higher
From Ovada begins the strenuous ascent towards Turchino Pass, 25 kilometers at an average gradient of 1.5%, with peaks of 6. At 532 meters above sea level, it’s the highest point of the race, one of the most harsh and legendary. The temperament of the greatest champions has been tested on this Apennine pass marking the border between Piedmont and Liguria. Especially during the times of Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali when the road was still unpaved.
After the tunnel, the descent to the sea begins, offering breathtaking views. Here, it’s not easy to stand in wait to see the cyclists go by. However, once the race has finished, retracing their steps, by car, bike or motorbike, following in the footsteps of the champions, is an exciting adventure to try.
The main points: run-up with a sea view
Descending towards Genova Voltri, the road continues through Varazze, Savona, Albenga and Alassio. This is where one of the most spectacular stretches of the competition begins, the so-called Tripletta dei Capi: Capo Mele, Capo Cervo and Capo Berta, with their deadly hairpin bends overlooking the sea, the scene of many epic chases. Capo Berta was the destination, during the days of the Milan-Sanremo, of a dense pilgrimage to the Cippo dei Campioni. The scenic viewpoint pays homage to Fausto Coppi and Costante Girardengo, a selfie is a must.
From here, the cyclists prepare to face the most strenuous and decisive passage, the harsh Cipressa and the Poggio.
In these symbolic points, the Liguria Region has set up a series of signs that allow enthusiasts to retrace the paths of the professionals and provide information on technical details, such as the distance between one place and another, the height difference and slope.
Sanremo, the arrival and the final sprint
The last stretch is a very technical descent on a paved road, quite narrow in some parts, between twists and turns, that leads directly onto the Via Aurelia.
At this point, only two kilometers remain. A straight road running through the town of Sanremo with open-air stands for the fans, up to the last bend, 750 meters from the finish, leading to the final sprint along Via Roma and finally to the coveted finish line, the destination for awards and celebrations.
Inside Milan-Sanremo 2023: experiences and packages to enjoy
If you are looking for a truly immersive experience, the Milan-Sanremo race organization offers various packages. These include the possibility of accessing the Hospitality areas of the arrival or departure with a pass, or following the race in an official VIP car driven by a former racer, who will drive behind the breakaway or close to the group.
The option includes access to the Hospitality area for both departures and arrivals, packed lunch and viewing of the race live on plasma TV screens.