Elia Viviani warmed up for the Vuelta a Espana by defending his Cyclassics title, a race watched by an estimated 250,000 people on the streets of Hamburg on Sunday.
The 29-year-old Italian crossed the line first after a blanket finish at the end of the 216.4 kilometres-long course. The Quick-Step Floors rider finished just ahead of Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ), who was also second behind Viviani in 2017.
Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) claimed third with John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) fourth.
Viviani gained a confidence boosting victory ahead of the Vuelta, which starts on Saturday, as he bounced back from finishing 20th last Sunday in the road race at the European Championships in Glasgow.
World champion Peter Sagan came 10th, while his teammate Pascal Ackermann, Germany’s national champion, crashed two kilometres from the finish and injured his shoulder.
Hamburg police estimate 250,000 spectators lined the course to see the race which also included 18,000 cycling enthusiasts who rode along with the elite field.
The race kicked off a big week for cycling in the country as Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas has star billing for the Tour of Germany, which starts in Koblenz on Thursday.
EuroEyes Cyclassics Hamburg 2018 results:
|1||Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors)|
|2||Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ)|
|3||Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates)|
|4||John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo)|
|5||Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|6||Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo)|
|7||Sacha Modolo (EF Education First-Drapac)|
|8||Nikias Arndt (Team Sunweb)|
|9||Niccolo Bonifazio (Bahrain-Merida)|
|10||Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|11||Jurgen Roelandts (BMC)|
|12||Simone Consonni (UAE Team Emirates)|
|13||Ruslan Tleubayev (Astana)|
|14||Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal)|
|15||Jose Rojas (Movistar)|
|16||Jonas Koch (CCC Sprandi Polkowice)|
|17||Michal Golas (Team Sky)|
|18||Mathias De Witte (Veranda’s Willems Crelan)|
|19||Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal)|
|20||Jacopo Guarnieri (Groupama-FDJ)|