Italy is the second cycling nation after France. The Tour de France is rated higher than the Giro d'Italia. If to speak about the most difficult cycle races of the world, some people can think it is Paris - Roubaix. But it is not right at all. However, the enthusiasm at the Italian race is not less than at the Tour de France. And even if the Italian cycling race is not the most difficult in the world, at least it is the longest one. And a good example of this is the classical Milan - San Remo cycle race. The Ligurian race consists of 290 kilometers and is almost 100 years old. This is one of the oldest cycling races in the world. The fact that the races were not held for three times during the World War I (1916) and during World War II (1944 and 1945) influenced their 100th anniversary. It was delayed for some years and will be celebrated only in 2010.
Among the most frequent winners there are such cycling legends as Eddy Merckx, the seven times race winner, and Erik Zabel famous for his four victories. The name of Erik Zabel was once again mentioned in the chronicles of the race in 2004, when he let the Spaniard Oscar Freire win the race in last meters after the stubborn opposition. Unlike Paris – Roubaix, the route of the Milan - San Remo race is only minimally changed every year and runs along the Riviera for quite a long time, so many tourists coming on holidays here have a good chance to see the Milan - San Remo race with their own eyes.
Another tourist attraction takes place some weeks after the classic La Primavera, as the Milan - San Remo race is also called. Many cycling lovers travel to Milan in order to participate in the amateur race on the same route as the professionals do.
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