One year a sprinter is added to the roll of honour, the next year a climber and maybe the following year a classics rider. That’s the beauty of the Milano-Torino, every year it reinvents itself and changes guise, sometimes only slightly, other times quite radically. The position of the race in the European calendar has changed several times: sometimes scheduled at the beginning of the season, sometimes at the end of the season, it can be the launching pad for the Milano-Sanremo or the Lombardia.
In the new millennium, this competition has given anyone the opportunity to add it to their palmares. From 2001 to 2007, the race was perhaps more suitable for classics hunters with a good grip on climbs: the extremely steep Colle di Superga was included in the final stages of the race, but the arrival was placed in Turin after a fast picturesque descent into Turin, thus giving the dropped men a chance to catch up and re-shuffle the race which, at the time, almost always ended in a breath-taking sprint. Until 2004, however, the Milano-Torino was held in October, as some sort of rehearsal for the Giro di Lombardia, while in the following three years it was held in early March, shortly before the Tirreno-Adriatico, marking the start of the season for many riders.
The race was not run between the spring of 2007 and the autumn of 2012, but upon its return, it was once again scheduled between late September and early October, leading up to Il Lombardia. On the other hand, the finish was moved at the top of the Colle di Superga, thus attracting great climbers such as Alberto Contador, Miguel Angel Lopez, Rigoberto Uran and Thibaut Pinot, all winners on the famous climb.
2020 gave the Milano-Torino a fresh new look, turning it into a classic for sprinters and locating the arrival in Stupinigi. Due to the covid pandemic, that edition was held at the beginning of August, a few days after the re-opening of the calendar, with Arnaud Démare winning and Wout Van Aert finishing third, three days before claiming the Milano-Sanremo. In 2021 the race was held in the same period, with the arrival at Superga, and in that case it was Primoz Roglic who raised his arms in the sky. The mid-March edition of last year was a flat race for sprinters, with Mark Cavendish crossing the line first in Rivoli.
This year, the 192km Rho-Orbassano route will once again be stuff for sprinters. Over the years, the oldest race in the world has smiled on all kinds of riders. Everyone can dream of winning it.