The first Monument of the year, Milano-Sanremo is such a journey. A 300km point to point race with 270km of ever-building tension for what seems like 30km of real racing, it has a character all of its own: a strong, slightly mad, identity. It feels like winter when congregating at the start line among the early morning shadows of the grey, cold and often damp capital city of Lombardy. This all changes when cresting the Turchino Pass at the halfway point, the summit is passed via a tunnel whose entrance is painted with black and white chevrons, signifying to those in the know, the end of the beginning. The exit of the tunnel and descent to the coast becomes an explosion of life and colour. It feels like a different world, a different race begins, and with it a new season, winter is finally over and for this reason, we call it La Classicissima di Primavera.