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Matej Mohorič deploys dropper post to win stunning Milan–San Remo victory

The Slovenian also had to bunnyhop back onto the road after losing his line at high speeds while being chased down, before breaking away to take a huge victory on his dropper post-equipped bike

It was the turn of a different Slovenian - and his dropper post - to take centre stage at Milan–San Remo today, as Matej Mohorič of Bahrain Victorious held on for the win over a stellar line-up including Tadej Pogačar, Wout van Aert and Mathieu van der Poel... despite momentarily losing his line at speed on a descent at 4km to go, and appearing to suffer a rear mechanical just before the finishing straight. 

The 298km race started with a break almost as soon as it began, with eight riders mostly from minor teams aiming to get themselves some promo in exchange for the extra effort. Those riders were Filippo Conca (Lotto Soudal), Samuele Rivi and Diego Pablo Sevilla (EOLO-Kometa), Filippo Tagliano and Ricardo Alejandro Zurita (both of Drone Hopper – Androni Giocattoli), Yevgeniy Gidich and Artyom Zakharov (both Astana Qazaqstan Team) and Alessandro Tonellli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè).

The next fast 200km (average speeds were over 44km/h) were fairly predictable, with Jumbo-Visma and UAE Team Emirates controlling the peloton and the breakaway never getting more than around 7mins clear. Tagliano and Zurita were dropped from the breakaway at 41km to go, closely followed by Zakharov.

Back in the peloton at 36km to go, any British hopes of a win turned to dust as Tom Pidcock was dropped on the 3km Capo Berta climb. Peter Sagan suffered a mechanical and was forced to changed wheels as the front group approached the Cipressa with just under 30km to go, and the 2:20 gap began to shorten as the incline increased.

This gradient broke the peloton and meant that the win would not be going to a sprinter, with Fabio Jakobsen dropped as UAE and Jumbo-Visma dictated the pace, with Pogacar marking Wout Van Aert up much of the climb.

The gap was finally closed with just over 9km to go, with Pogacar trying to attack constantly but unable to shake the group including Søren Kragh Andersen, Tadej Pogačar, Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert...

...and then as the Poggio descent approached, out of nowhere so did Mohorič, equipped with his dropper post that was presumably specced to help him lower his centre of gravity while barrelling down as quickly as possible.

The furiousness of Mohorič's descent was not without risk, as twice he nearly crashed out but managed to save himself. With star names including Pogacar, Van Der Poel and Van Aert chasing hard, it was a case of gritting teeth and holding on for Mohorič, who succeeded with time to spare to hold his arms aloft, despite also appearing to suffer a rear mechanical right before the line.

How much difference did the dropper post make? 

Post-race, Mohorič admitted that he'd been targeting a MSR victory and also planning to use a dropper post on the final descent for "the whole winter". 

"I tried it in training and the first time I tried I was like, amazing," Mohorič told Eurosport. 

“It gives you way more control of the bike and if you go full gas... then you can go a bit faster. 

“It’s easier to avoid mistakes or correct them when they happen.”

While Mohorič or his team have yet to confirm the brand and model of the dropper post, road.cc tech team sleuths strongly speculate that it was operated with a wireless remote. That pretty much narrows it down* to offerings from RockShox or Magura, the latter whose Vyron wireless dropper weighs just 595g. 

What will the UCI make of Mohorič's secret weapon? Even if he claims it meant he could descend more confidently, the sport's governing body has form when it comes to banning potentially advantageous new pieces of equipment and positions on the bike without giving too much justification, so it remains to be seen if we'll witness another dropper post-assisted victory in a road cycling race this year... 

* Or maybe not ... see our latest update on the model of dropper post, plus the UCI stance on its usage on a road bike, here.

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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