Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck - Quick Step) has won his first Monument, taking Milan-Sanremo with a sprint from a small front group.
The route was almost identical to 2018, covering the Turchino, the Capi, the Cipressa and the Poggio, for a total distance of 291km.
There were plenty of riders in the bunch as the race hit the Poggio, the final climb of the day, but a high pace stretched the race and a series of moves off the front finally caused some splits.
Alaphilippe was already to the fore at this point, dragging a group of big names clear that included former winner Michal Kwiatkowski, world champion Alejandro Valverde and Peter Sagan.
By the finish, they’d been joined by Vincenzo Nibali, Tom Dumoulin and Michael Matthews among others.
The sprint was the usual jerky, disorganised affair with no-one especially willing to lead things out. However, fresh from having won a bunch sprint in Tirreno-Adriatico last week, Alaphilippe hit the front surprisingly early and was strong enough to hold everyone off.
— Eurosport IT (@Eurosport_IT) March 23, 2019
Former Belgian champion Oliver Naesen (AG2R) finished second with Kwiatkowski third.
The win was Deceuninck – Quick Step’s 19th of the season
— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) March 23, 2019
Julian Alaphilippe: In the last 2km, I said "I want to win... not get second place"
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) March 23, 2019