After several strong performances in the recent weeks, Israel Start-Up Nation is eager to take on the season’s first big Monument this Saturday.

Milano-Sanremo is often referred to as the easiest race to ride but the hardest one to win. Its 299 km long course is predominantly flat, while the final 50 km include five hills, the last of which being the infamous Poggio ascent. This climb serves as the last chance for the punchy riders to attack in order avoid a mass sprint.

It usually takes around seven hours for the riders to complete the race, meaning that it’s paramount to save as much energy as possible for the final accelerations on Poggio. Avoiding crashes, mechanical problems, and other energy-zapping incidents is crucial in order to feature in the final of Milano-Sanremo.

Racing on home soil in Italy, Davide Cimolai and Alessandro De Marchi will both line up after recently showing great shape in Tirreno-Adriatico. Hugo Hofstetter also proved to be in good shape with multiple top-10s in the race and he’ll be another option for a possible sprint on Saturday. The team also brings the two Israeli riders, Guy Niv and Guy Sagiv to the race. Sagiv has been part of the early breakaway on two previous occasions, spending over 600 km on the attack, showing off the team colors in the race. James Piccoli and Matthias Brändle complete the team for Saturday.

Sports director, Claudio Cozzi: “This year’s Milano-Sanremo will be a very fast edition as there will be a strong tailwind along the coastline. We will have to be attentive at all times as everything could change in 30 seconds. It also means an early breakaway of strong riders might be able to make it all the way. We need to race smartly as a team and be ready for whenever an opportunity presents itself.”

Guy Niv: “I feel privileged to line up for Milano-Sanremo. I have never raced this kind of distance before but I promised myself that I need to do this legendary race at least once in my lifetime. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. We were supposed to come here with Krists Neilands but unfortunately, he got the flu. However, in Tirreno-Adriatico, we proved that we can do beyond what people may expect. Yalla.”