Julian Alaphilippe has taken the victory at Milano-Sanremo as the Frenchman was the fastest from a group of ten riders, beating Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky).
Last year’s winner Vincenzo Nibali, Peter Sagan and reigning world champion Alejandro Valverde were also in the small lead group that broke clear off the Poggio, but when a game of cat and mouse developed on Via Roma it was Alaphilippe who made the decisive move.
Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) took it on initially but Alaphilippe was quickly locked onto his back wheel and surged past, punching the air as he crossed the line.
The Deceuninck-Quick-Step rider now has seven victories this season, having also won the Strade Bianche.
“It’s really difficult to realise what I did. My team protected me all day. Tim Declercq was pulling all day and then in the final we controlled it and made the race hard. I had to do no mistake, I was really focussed on controlling the attack. With 600 to go, when Mohoric wanted to attack, I say it’s now or never. It’s unbelievable, because I saw my teammates after the finish and everyone was crying,” Alaphilippe said.
“I made a big effort on the top of the Poggio to make the selection and to see what could happen. In the end, I was with some strong riders. I tried to work hard on the downhill in the last two kilometres I thought ‘I want to win, no second places anymore’.
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) March 23, 2019
Milano-Sanremo 2019 results:
|1||Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|2||Oliver Naesen (AG2R La Mondiale)|
|3||Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky)|
|4||Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|5||Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida)|
|6||Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma)|
|7||Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)|
|8||Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida)|
|9||Simon Clarke (EF Education First)|
|10||Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|11||Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb)|
|12||Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb)|
|13||Daniel Oss (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|14||Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates)|
|15||Magnus Cort (Astana)|
|16||Fernando Gaviria (UAE Team Emirates)|
|17||Marco Haller (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|18||Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma)|
|19||Davide Ballerini (Astana)|
|20||Giacomo Nizzolo (Dimension Data)|