Julian Alaphilippe Claims First Monument At Milan-San Remo

France's Julian Alaphilippe won a sprint finish to the Milan-San Remo on Saturday, claiming his first victory in one of cycling's 'Monument' classic races.

The Deceuninck Quick-Step rider finished ahead of a small group of riders, who had broken away near the end of the 291km race under the sunshine through north-western Italy, for his seventh win of the season.

Join Pro to watch Milan-San Remo live and on-demand

The 26-year-old Alaphilippe went for the line with 600m remaining, before raising his arms in triumph after a narrow victory on the Via Roma in the Italian Riviera resort, with Belgian Oliver Naesen (AG2R) second and Poland's Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) in third.

Three-time world champion Peter Sagan of Slovakia finished fourth with last year's winner Vincenzo Nibali of Italy crossing in eighth place, after over seven hours in the saddle.

Alaphilippe has been the in-form rider at the start of the season, winning the Strade Bianche in Tuscany, and two stages of the Tirreno-Adriatico in recent weeks.

The rider from the mountainous Auvergne region in central France had missed out in the 2017 race in San Remo behind Kwiatkowski and Sagan.

But since he has powered to two stage wins in last year's Tour de France, where he claimed the top climber's jersey, and won the Fleche Wallonne and Clasica San Sebastian.

All that was missing was a win in one of cycling's five 'Monument' one-day classics, and he lived up to his status as pre-race favourite in a race which his Deceuninck team perfectly controlled.


null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In



"I was protected, the team had total confidence in me," said the French rider. "In the sprint all I was thinking about was not to make a mistake."

In the sprint, Alaphilippe emerged from behind Slovenian Matej Mohoric, before the last 200 metres.

"I will need some time to realise what I have achieved today," he continued.

"We made the race hard and I stayed focused. I followed Mohoric at 600 metres. I made no mistake. It's unbelievable."

A breakaway group of ten riders, representing second-division teams invited by the organisers, had opened the road right out of Milan.

They held firm until after the area of the "Capi" -- small hills going into the final hour of racing.

Italian Fausto Masnada had led for almost 260km, before being caught on the Cipressa, the penultimate obstacle heading down towards the coast.

On the Poggio, the last climb, Alaphilippe's teammates Zdenek Stybar and Philippe Gilbert dictated the pace before the Frenchman provoked a breakaway with Sagan, Alejandro Valverde, Kwiatkowski, Naesen, Wout Van Aert and Matteo Trentin.

The group crested the summit a handful of seconds ahead, but were joined by other riders in the descent and on towards the flat.

But no one could break out alone on the streets of San Remo, despite an attempt by the Italian Trentin neutralised by Belgian Van Aert.

"In the group, there were very strong riders, Trentin was to watch but finally everything is back in order," said Alaphilippe, after his 25th victory, and the most important of his career.

Roubaix Winner Gilbert To Return To Lotto-Soudal

Philippe Gilbert, the 2012 road-race world champion, will return to Lotto Soudal next season at the age of 38 on a three-year contract, the team announced on Monday.

Tom Dumoulin To Join Jumbo-Visma In 2020

Former world champion Tom Dumoulin, second to Geraint Thomas in the 2018 Tour de France, joined Team Jumbo Visma on Monday, quitting Sunweb after eight years.

De Plus Wins Binck Bank Tour As Naesen Grabs Stage 7

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Belgian rider Laurens De Plus clinched overall victory in the BinckBank Tour on Sunday when he was part of a small breakaway late in the seventh and final stage.

Ganna Takes Binck Bank Time Trial As Wellens Eyes Victory

null

Unlock this video, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Italy's Filippo Ganna of Team Ineos won the stage six time trial on the BinckBank Tour on Saturday as Belgium's Tim Wellens remained well set for overall victory.

Dan Martin Signs With Israel Cycling Academy

Two-time Tour de France stage winner Dan Martin will join the Israel Cycling Academy as their team leader on a two-year deal at the end of the season, the team announced on Friday.

Romain Bardet Ends Season, Citing Fatigue

Romain Bardet, who took the king of the mountains title in this year's Tour de France, said Friday he was ending the season early to "recuperate physically and mentally."

Wellens Leads Binck Bank As Hodeg Takes Stage 5

Colombian Alvaro Hodeg, riding for Deceuninck Quick-Step, won stage five of the BinckBank Tour in a sprint finish on Friday after a 191.4km ride from Riemst, Belgium to the Dutch town of Venray.

How To Watch The 2019 Vuelta a España In Canada

null

The 2019 Vuelta a España is streaming live on FloBikes in Canada.

Ireland's Bennett Claims Third Straight Win On BinckBank Tour

null

Irishman Sam Bennett edged out Dylan Groenewegen to make it three victories from three stages on the BinckBank Tour in Belgium on Wednesday.

Wellens Wins Binck Bank Tour Stage 4 In Photo Finish

Belgium's Tim Wellens, riding for Lotto-Soudal, won the fourth stage of the BinckBank Tour on Thursday, a 96.2 km ride around Houffalize in his homeland, to take the overall lead.