Superb Milan-Sanremo podiums

A hugely entertaining 110th edition of Milan-Sanremo – the first Monument of the season – resulted in a thrilling sprint finish, with AG2R La Mondiale’s Oliver Naesen taking second place, fractionally ahead of Team Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski, who was in search of a second win to match his 2017 victory.

La Primavera”, the longest race on the WorldTour calendar, saw breakaways and attacks as each team pitted their wits and watts against each other, and against the classic Italian course. Its climbs, culminating in the Poggio just 5k before the finish split the field, but left a tight group of world-class riders – including World Champion Alejandro Valverde of Movistar Team – to battle for the podium places.

A late sprint to the line on the Via Roma saw the 28-year-old former Belgian national champion Naesen, and the former World Champion and current Polish champion Kwiatkowski take second and third, having covered the 291km in 6h40’14”, at an average speed of 43.625kph.

“It’s something unbelievable for me. It’s my first podium at a Monument so it’s something that I will cherish. I was hoping for a podium, but I didn’t expect it. This is not a race that suits me well, but now I’m ready for the cobbled Classics in my home country of Belgium,” said Naesen.

“Of course it’s a good result to be on the podium but when you’re so close to the victory of course you’re thinking if you could have done anything better to win it. It would have been a dream to win today… I’m very happy that Team Sky gave me the opportunity to go for another one,” said Kwiatkowski.

Congratulations to both riders for a superb result after an exciting – and very long – day in the saddle.