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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, 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 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 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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peted76 | 1 year ago

Most probably the most exciting 15 mins of racing we'll see for a few years, what a stunning finale!! 

Matej Mohoric went all in on that decent, the gutter was something, but did you see his back wheel come out on another corner, how he held that.. then his chain dropped near the finish line! 

I suppose we 'might' see dropper posts being again used is Il Lombardia, although it might be too much climbing... can anyone think any other races?

Jack Sexty | 1 year ago

Well this article aged well... 

Ad Hynkel | 1 year ago

That was quite something to watch. Scary as... but great viewing. Mohorič said in the interview after the race he would never do that again. Reckon he lost one or two of his cat lives on that descent.

risoto | 1 year ago

If you can't beat them, cheat them. He joins the Lemond club in winning with the knowledge that the victory was due to hardware.

I was quite angry for three reasons. I don't really like him after his 'keep silent' gesture when crossing the line winning af stage in TDF. He took risks descending that nobody should take. It was life threathening at times. Third, the dropper seat feels like cheating to me.  (Fourth - he brags about the dropper seat and feels he has invented the future)


Rendel Harris replied to risoto | 1 year ago
risoto wrote:

I was quite angry for three reasons. I don't really like him after his 'keep silent' gesture when crossing the line winning af stage in TDF. He took risks descending that nobody should take. It was life threathening at times. Third, the dropper seat feels like cheating to me.  

The keep silent gesture was to people continually saying that Slovenian success is down to drugs. Perhaps unecessary but to be honest if (a big if of course) I was racing clean and people kept saying I must be on drugs I'd want to tell them to can it too. I've seen riders take bigger risks on descents in the rain, of course he was pushing it to the limit but that's what they do, descending at close to 100 kp/h is an inherently life-threatening endeavour and it's a pro's job to go as fast as s/he can. As for the dropper seat it's been legal since 2014, as an article on here points out: if Mohric and his team are the first to exploit its potential that's racing clever, not cheating. Technological innovation is always part of pro racing and it's not cheating to build the best, fastest rules-compliant bike.

TLDR: he won through clever thinking, descending brilliantly and riding superbly, what's to be angry about?

Velophaart_95 replied to risoto | 1 year ago

Oh dear.....a pure roadie 'technophobe'. 

HoarseMann | 1 year ago
1 like

They can't ban the dropper post, it improves safety and handling. Not to mention the comfort aspect of being able to slighly tweak your position during a long ride.

Proper commitment in that turn when it got a bit ragged, didn't glance at the large concrete blocks once, eyes fixed on the line.

don simon fbpe | 1 year ago

Great to see D.P. Sevilla out in the break and that descent by Mohoric and the bunny hop out of the gutter was something else.

Miller | 1 year ago

Watched the last 40k or so, it was fantastic. Pog attacked and attacked on the pog-gio but couldn't drop the remaining group. Mohoric's descent was frightening and as the commentator remarked, pog would be thinking he had a Tour to win this summer. Then, as is often the case, a group of stars wouldn't quite bury themselves to catch a committed escapee.

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