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Milan, the prince of sprints

15/05/2024

Just like Mario Cipollini! Just like the best sprinter ever! Well, that might be a little too much, but Jonathan Milan is laying the foundations for a great career as a sprinter and, on top of that, now shares a rather interesting record with the Lion King. With three stage victories at the Giro before turning 24, the giant from Buja has in fact equalled what Cipollini did in 1989-1990. Obviously, this does not mean that he will win almost 200 races in his career like Mario, Jonathan has now reached his 10th, but this definitely shows that we are dealing with a young man with talent to spare and numbers to back it up.

On the Abruzzo finish line of Francavilla Al Mare, just a few metres from the Adriatic shore, Jonny Milan tried to change his sprinting style. Today, he stayed safe throughout the hectic finale, let Kaden Groves‘ men launch the sprint, and then letched onto Tim Merlier’s train in the last few hundred metres. Of course, the risk of being closed in was higher, but Milan found his space and, as predicted, his progression proved lethal, so much so that he was able to outsprint Merlier, possibly the best sprinter in the world, by almost a bike-length.

Milan was thus finally able to raise his long arms to the sky with the Maglia Ciclamino on his back, and today’s victory might well have been a knockout blow for anybody else’s ambitions to snatch this leadership symbol from him. The day after tomorrow, in the likely bunch sprint in Cento, we will know even more, but one thing is certain, the sprinter prince of the Giro d’Italia 2024 is Jonathan Milan.

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