Nibali’s masterpiece, Niewiadoma wins in Cittiglio: Daily News Digest

by Matt de Neef

March 19, 2018

In today’s edition of the CT Daily News Digest: Vincenzo Nibali solos to thrilling Milan-San Remo win; Kasia Niewiadoma wins solo at Trofeo Alfredo Binda; Andrea Guardini back to his winning ways at Tour de Langkawi; Mark Cavendish escapes major injury in Milan-San Remo crash; Rivals react to Nibali’s Milan-San Remo attack; FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope bikes stolen the night before Trofeo Alfredo Binda; Andre Greipel suffers probable collarbone fractured in Milan-San Remo crash; Oscar Sevilla beaten and robbed in training; Matt Lawton on a ‘staggering report’ and the future of Sky; Highlights from the Cape Epic prologue; Fremantle to Sydney riders set off; Nibali hits phone-wielding spectator on way to Milan-San Remo win; Behind the scenes of Caleb Ewan’s Milan-San Remo podium.

Vincenzo Nibali solos to thrilling Milan-San Remo win

by Neal Rogers

With a perfectly timed attack on the Poggio climb, followed by a daredevil descent, Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) soloed to victory to win Saturday’s 109th edition of Milan-San Remo, the first Monument of the 2018 season.

Nibali became the first Italian to win since Filippo Pozzato, in 2006. It was the third Monument victory for Nibali — a winner of all three of cycling’s Grand Tours — following two victories at Il Lombardia. His win was the first time a Grand Tour winner won Milan-San Remo since Sean Kelly, in 1992, and the first solo victory in San Remo since Fabian Cancellara in 2008.

“I have to thank the team, who rode perfectly,” said Nibali, who was in tears at the finish line. “I was able to hide in the group with [Sonny] Colbrelli, keeping an eye out and staying out of the wind. I attacked, but when my DS told me I had a 20-second lead, I was surprised and I knew I just had to ride. When I looked over my shoulder and saw the sprinters could not catch me, it was a good moment for me, but it is too early to say if it is the best win of my career.”

Nibali crossed the line arms aloft, just seconds ahead of a hard-charging group of pre-race favorites. Australian Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) finished second, with 2016 winner Arnaud Démare (Groupama–FDJ) in third.

The race was not without incident, however; sprint star Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) crashed heavily at the base of the Cipressa climb, somersaulting over his handlebar and landing heavily on his back. German sprinter Andre Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) crashed a short while later, on the Poggio, breaking his collarbone.