Milan San Remo: Kwiatkowski Victory

Former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski edged out current world champion Peter Sagan from the win in Milan San Remo

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Milan San Remo: Kwiatkowski Victory report

Former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski edged out current world champion Peter Sagan from the win in Milan San Remo

Michal Kwiatkowski claimed a stunning victory at Milan-San Remo after winning an epic three-up sprint on the Via Roma.
The Pole was able to counter a stinging attack by Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) on the Poggio and descended into San Remo alongside the world champion and Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors).

The trio went toe-to-toe on the finishing straight, and while Sagan opened out the sprint it was Kwiatkowski who had the strength to edge out the victory in a thrilling finish – taking Team Sky’s second Monument victory.

Elia Viviani backed up that amazing result taking ninth place in the bunch sprint behind.

After the race a thrilled 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.”

As usual the fireworks began on the Cipressa and the race was stretched to breaking point on the penultimate climb. Luke Rowe covered off a multi-ride move, with Kwiatkowski and Salvatore Puccio also well positioned.

The peloton then came back together on the approach to the Poggio, with the team able to shepherd Viviani into a superb position. With seven Team Sky jerseys in the mix heading into the closing stages, it was Rowe who hit the famed final climb first. Lukas Wisniowski put in a superb turn on the front to set the tempo, with Kwiatkowski, Gianni Moscon and Viviani in tow.

But with 6.3km to go Sagan lit it up, with only two riders able to follow, making the famous left-hand turn with a good advantage. The trio held off the chasing pack by five seconds at the finish, with Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) winning the sprint for fourth.

Peter Sagan (Bora – Hansgrohe): “I gave my all today. My team did a great job getting me to the Poggio safely. Luckily we didn’t crash – that was really important, as it was very close at the finish line after I finished my sprint. I think it’s important for the fans to have a spectacle – everyone’s happy. It was instinct to attack on the Poggio – I tried and after I attacked I saw I was alone, and then Kwiatkowski and Alaphilippe came with me. We descended to the finale and made it something really special.”

Julien Alaphilippe (Quickstep): “Today, my role was to cover the attacks on the Poggio, because Fernando was our road captain and we were hoping to bring him to the finish in the best possible position. So, when Sagan went, I followed. I went full gas on the Poggio and had hoped to recover a bit on the descent, but we rode really hard also there. My legs were empty at the finish and I sprinted against two very strong riders, but I don’t have any regret, despite coming close to winning this beautiful race. I am happy with this top 3 and I hope one day I will be victorious in Milano-Sanremo”, said Julian, first debutant in three years to podium at “La Classicissima”.

Alaphilippe, who made a big jump in the World Tour individual classification following this race, had words of praise for his teammates at the finish: “I am very grateful to them, they all did a wonderful job. Julien stayed at the front of the peloton for more than 200 kilometers, Philippe covered some of my rivals’ moves, Tom pulled hard before the Poggio, all of them were fantastic and deserve a big thank you. Today you could see again why this team is so great!”

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha Alpecin): “Yeah, I was best of the rest today. There were 3 guys who attacked and got away but we just couldn’t catch them. Fourth was the best I could be today. As the type of rider I am, there was no chance I could follow them when they attacked. I had more than enough energy to stay in the group I was with. I was full gas and almost over my limit on the Cipressa and again on the Poggio I was at my limit the entire climb, so I never could have followed those guys.

For me to win again I knew everything had to come together perfectly so I could put up a good sprint, but I can’t control what happens in the race and we did not sprint for the win this time. I want to thank Simon (Špilak) for his big help on the Poggio and also Maxim (Belkov) for being on the front of the peloton so much today,” said team captain Alexander Kristoff, winner of the 2014 Milano-Sanremo.

John Degenkolb (Trek Segafredo): “We did a very good job,” explained Degenkolb. “It did not work out 100% as we wanted it, but still we were up front when it mattered. When it was really, really fast on the Cipressa, Jasper did a phenomenal job to make sure we had a good position, and also for the descent. It was perfect.

“On the Poggio, Fabio (Felline) did the same for me, and when Sagan went, I was up there. The problem was (Sonny) Colbrelli was in between, and he blew up, and I could not close the gap anymore. That was unfortunate. I always have a little bit left for the sprint, that’s the way I am. I felt good actually and I saw the speed was really high, one of the fastest over Cipressa and Poggio in the times I have raced here, so the feeling was good for me. I will go to Belgium now with good confidence. The climbs there are shorter and they will suit me better,” said finally Alexander Kristoff.

Sonny Colbrelli said: “Too bad, because I was really close to join the three leaders when Sagan attacked. Maybe I did not really believe that I could. I was almost afraid to spend too much energy and not to be competitive at the end. I would like to look on the bright sight and I must say that I like this race. I’m conscious that sooner or later I will be able to be there with the first. I’m confident for next year and I would like to say thank you to my teammates for their great job today”.


1. Michal Kwiatkowski, Team Sky 8:39
2. Peter Sagan, Bora – Hansgrohe
3. Julian Alaphilippe, Quick-Step Floors
4. Alexander Kristoff, Team Katusha – Alpecin 0:05
5. Fernando Gaviria, Quick-Step Floors
6. Arnaud Démare, FDJ
7. John Degenkolb, Trek – Segafredo
8. Nacer Bouhanni, Cofidis, Solutions Crédits
9. Elia Viviani, Team Sky
10. Caleb Ewan, ORICA-Scott
11. Magnus Cort Nielsen ORICA-Scott
12. Michael Matthews, Team Sunweb
13. Sonny Colbrelli, Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team
14. Daniele Bennati, Movistar Team
15. Francesco Gavazzi, Androni Giocattoli
16. Luka Mezgec, ORICA-Scott
17. Ben Swift, UAE Team Emirates
18. Tim Wellens, Lotto Soudal
19. Edvald Boasson HagenDimension Data
20. Marco Canola, Nippo – Vini Fantini

21. Greg Van Avermaet, BMC Racing Team
29. Philippe Gilbert, Quick-Step Floors
38. Stephen Cummings, Dimension Data
44. Alex Dowsett, Movistar Team
92. Ian Stannard, Team Sky
98. Luke Rowe, Team Sky
101. Mark Cavendish Dimension Data 55:24
170. Scott Thwaites, Dimension Data



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