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Arvid De Kleijn is the winner of the Milano-Torino 2023


You never forget your first

Milano-Torino means cycling history, plain and simple, and it couldn’t be otherwise since we are dealing with the oldest race in the world, whose roots go back to the velocipedists of 1876. Today, 104 editions later, it is great to see that this race continues to write important pages of this sport. And just a few hours ago, along the 192 km separating Rho from Orbassano, a rather special one has been added, that of Tudor Pro Cycling Team and Arvid De Kleijn.

Useless to deny it, we were definitely expecting Dylan Groenewegen or Fernando Gaviria to cross the finish line first, or perhaps the reigning champion Mark Cavendish, or the young African talent Biniam Girmay, but instead, we had this 28-year-old Dutchman coming out of nowhere and delivering the sprint of a lifetime. While pretty much all the big sprinters were overwhelmed by the technical difficulties of the Orbassano finish, De Kleijn kept quiet, chose Casper Van Uden as a reference, overtook him, and then resisted Gaviria’s comeback without too many problems. Not the first win in his career (he had previosuly claimed a stage at the Tour of Turkey and a stage at the 4 Days of Dunkerque), but he had never won in such a prestigious context as the Milano-Torino.

However, more than anything else, the 2023 edition of the Milano-Torino will be remembered for the first, historic success in the world of professional cycling of the Tudor Pro Cycling Team. The highly recognisable all-black jerseys of the Swiss squad had in fact made their debut in May last year and, despite several good results, had never managed to raise their arms to the sky (if you exclude Robin Froidevaux’s Swiss national championship in June 2022). Today’s is therefore the first spark of a project that, no doubt, has a bright future ahead of it.

The General Manager of Tudor, for those who may not know, is none other than Fabian Cancellara, who last year decided that Switzerland had to return to having its own team in the peloton. “I’m a realist, I’m aware that we need time to reach the big races and the big victories,” said Cancellara just under a year ago, at the presentation of his new team. “Obviously, we are more than ready to be invited to races of a certain prestige, but we want to take our time to build and develop the project, because companies don’t become millionaires overnight, you always need time and patience”.

Well, at the end of the day, he didn’t even have to wait that long to bring home a first, big, success. And appetite, you know, comes with eating. 

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