Milan San Remo Title



The Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport organised the first Milan-San Remo in 1907. Eugenio Costamagna, manager at that time, planned it without knowing for sure that the race was physically possible. The photograph on the right, taken in Genova in the spring of 1910, shows Costamagna posing with other officials of the Giro d'Italia.

Giovanni Gerbi the 1905 Tour of Lombardy winner along with his training partners were sent to test the course. This was judged a success and the race was officially announced. Draconian rules at that time forbade any feeding services or wheel and bicycle changes. Lucien Petit Breton (below) who had recently won Paris-Tours, was invited to ride for Bianchi, for which Gerbi also rode.

Left to right - Costamagna, Sghirla, Colombo and Cougnet.

Left to right - Costamagna, Sghirla, Colombo and Cougnet.
 Photo © La Gazzetta dello Sport

Petit Breton April 14 1907. The race started in the early hours under wet conditions. After a quiet start the race ignited when Giovanni Gerbi, the most popular rider in Italy at the time, attacked at Pozzolo Formigaro. Gerbi (below) exploited his local knowledge, picking his way through the muddy conditions, whilst others fell or were forced to get off and push. The Tour de France hard man Gustave Garrigou (bottom left) was the only rider to catch Gerbi who had gone over the Turchino Pass in first place. As they approached Savona it looked like a battle between these two. Gerbi however did not persist and chose to wait for his Bianchi team-mate Petit Breton.
As all three reached San Remo the Italian grabbed Garrigou. This allowed Petit Breton, to sprint away and win the first ever Milan-San Remo after a distance of 288km. Gerbi finished 15 seconds behind Petit Breton but following a complaint by Garrigou to the jury he was placed third for irregularities. The fourth placed rider, Ganna, would not arrive in San Remo for over thirty minutes. Out of 33 to start only 14 finished the race. Gerbi
Garrigou Click here for the 1907 race result

Since 1946 the race distance has gradually increased, and now approaches 300km making it the longest classic.

Today the race is organised by RCS Organisazzioni Sportivi - Rizzoli-Corriere della Sera (RCS) group own La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Petit-Breton wins first Sanremo in 1907
Lucien-Petit Breton wins the first Milano Sanremo in 1907

News Paper article from the time which mentions the complaint to the race jury
L'Armonia Logo
L'Armonia extract 1907