The 1956 Milan-San Remo
In a day of hell De Bruyne in Paradise
Date: Monday 19 March 1956
Starters: 203
Classified: 110
Distance: 281 km
Average speed: 40.415 km/hour
Weather conditions:
Terrible conditions with cold, wind and rain

The 47th edition of Milan-San Remo was won by the Belgian rider Alfred De Bruyne riding for the Mercier-BP team. San Remo was one of seven classic victories during De Bruyne's nine year professional career that lasted from 1953-1961. It included 1956 Liege-Bastogne-Liege, 1957 Paris-Roubaix and Tour of Flanders along with six stage wins in the Tour de France. Fred De Bruyne came to the 1956 Milan-San Remo in fine form having recently triumphed in Paris-Nice that had ended two days earlier.

The race got off to a lively start when a break of eleven men went away early. It included past San Remo winners Van Steenbergen and Petrucci along with Impanis, Barozzi, Trombin, Stablinski, Gambini, Rossello, Zucconelli, Cassano and Petrei. At Tortona the fugitives had a lead of over 4 minutes but going through Novi Ligure it had diminished to 2'15". 
The cause of this reduction was a counter attack by a group of seven riders - Derycke, Baffi, De Bruyne, Van Looy, Couvreur, Schils and Guerrini (pictured left in that order). The great morning escape was about to come to an end.

It was all over before Turchino with Pierino Baffi going over the top in first place followed by Vincenzo Rossello (below left). On the descent into Voltri
Strehler, Robinson and De Rossi (below right) went clear in a courageous break. Their pace was very high but the trio were caught at Finale Ligure.

In the closing stages Darrigade, Bertoglio and Minardi went away on the Capo Mele but were brought back. De Bruyne and the young Italian Boni escaped on the Capo Berta the final climb. The Belgian however was too strong. He attacked Boni and went on a 32 km solo ride to victory in record speed.
The Italian Magni made a brilliant effort to catch De Bruyne in the closing stages but his move came far too late leaving the tifosi to ponder on what might have been.

Pierino Baffi René Strehler, Brian Robinson and Mino De Rossi going through Varazze

De Bruyne (number 68) follows Guido Boni on the Capo Berta and prepares to make the winning move

De Bruyne during his solo ride and at the finish on the via Roma

Fiorenzo Magni finishes second 46 seconds in arrears