Lay-Oh!-pard-TREK and Classics beast Fabian Cancellara were feeling early season pressure to take a big win for their new team even as the season just got start at Milan-San Remo. The fancy new team with the stylish new kits went up against a flying Phillipe Gilbert who was already showing the form that would help him sweep the Ardennes Classics later on. Matthew Goss, HTC’s under-appreciated sprinter, made the final selection of favorites heading over the Poggio climb with the company of climbers like Michele Scarponi, Vincenzo Nibali and Fillipo Pozzatto. The only true sprinter in the group, Goss faced furious attacks from the likes of Nibali and Scarponi in the final kilometers and hit the limit as the final few hundred meters ticked off.

One of the stories of the day was the absence of any GARMIN riders in the finale, a team featuring top classic riders that all failed to make the Poggio climb due to crashes, mechanicals and just a lack of fitness. World Champ Thor Hushovd, then riding for Garmin, failed to make the selection on the Poggio, as did Tyler Farrar and Heinrich Hausler. For a team talking about who would sprint and who would work in the final kilometers, to have no riders represented was an embarrassing start to the Classics season.