(Reuters) – French all-rounder Julian Alaphilippe justified his tag as race favourite as he timed his sprint to perfection to win Milan-San Remo on Saturday.
With the field whittled down to a lead group of 11 riders after the Cipressa and Poggio ascents, Alaphilippe burst to the front with 100 metres to go and held on for victory in the Spring classic.
Last year’s winner Vincenzo Nibali and three-time world road race champion Peter Sagan were also in the mix but they could do nothing to stop Alaphilippe backing up his recent Strade Bianche win and claiming his seventh victory of the season.
Belgium’s Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) was second with Team Sky’s Polish rider Michal Kwiatkowski third.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ian Chadband)