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

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              French rider Julian Alaphilippe, right, celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win, as Oliver Naesen, at his left, of AG2R, comes in second, and Michal Kwiatkowski of Team Sky, left, third, after a 10-man sprint at the end of the 291-kilometer (181-mile) route along the Italian Riviera for the 110th edition of the Milano-Sanremo cycling classic, in Sanremo, Italy, Saturday, March 23, 2019. (Dario Belinghieri/ANSA via AP)
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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.

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.