Michal Kwiatkowski beats Peter Sagan to win Milan-San Remo
Last Updated: 18/03/17 9:48pm
Team Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski stunned world champion Peter Sagan in a thrilling three-way sprint to win the 108th edition of Italian cycling classic Milan-San Remo.
Kwiatkowski of Poland, a former world champion, claimed his first triumph in 'La Classicissima' after launching his sprint just before the finish line in San Remo.
Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step) finished close behind in third, after 291 km of racing from Milan.
Kwiatkowski came around favourite Sagan in the final metres as Team Sky secured a Monument victory for only
the second time in team history, following Wout Poels' win at Liege-Bastogne-Liege last year.
Sky had finished on the podium in San Remo twice in the past three years and got on to the top step thanks to the 2014 world champion.
Bora-Hansgrohe's Sagan had attacked on the final climb, the Poggio, with under six kilometres remaining, and was followed by Kwiatkowski and Quick-Step Floors' Julian Alaphilippe.
Sagan, the most accomplished sprinter of the trio, seemed set to become the first current world champion to win the race since 1983 but, after having been forced to do most of the work, he was overhauled just before the line.
Great Britain's Ben Swift - who earned Sky their previous two podiums at the event - finished 17th for Team UAE Emirates.
Mark Cavendish, the winner in 2009, lost contact with just over 20km remaining, when the bunch split on the climb of the Cipressa.
Kwiatkowski said: "Winning Milan-San Remo is an incredible feeling.
"I'm really thankful for my team-mates, they did an incredible job today. I didn't expect Sagan would go on the Poggio, it looked like it was leading to a bunch sprint.
"I felt pretty strong and it was amazing to be there with Sagan and Alaphilippe. I tried to focus to do my best sprint. It's unbelievable."