Alaphilippe wins Milan-San Remo for 7th victory of season

The Associated Press

SAN REMO, Italy (AP) -- French rider Julian Alaphilippe confirmed his status as the top cyclist so far this season by winning the Milan-San Remo classic on Saturday.

Alaphilippe, who rides for the Quick-Step team, edged Oliver Naesen of AG2R and Michal Kwiatkowski of Team Sky in a 10-man sprint at the end of the 291-kilometer (181-mile) route along the Italian Riviera.

Three-time world champion Peter Sagan finished fourth.

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It was Alaphilippe's seventh win this season, adding to his Strade Bianche title this month and stage wins in the Vuelta a San Juan (2), Tour of Colombia, and Tirreno-Adriatico (2).

Alaphilippe attacked on the final climb up the Poggio and was followed by a small group of other elite riders to set up the sprint. He finished with a time of nearly seven hours.

''I will need some time to realize what I have achieved today,'' Alaphilippe said. ''We made the race hard and I stayed focused. ... I made no mistake. It's unbelievable.''

Fausto Masnada, the last remaining rider from an early 10-man breakaway, was caught with 25 kilometers to go.

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