Belgian cyclist Tom Boonen, center, prepares to compete in the 108th edition of the Milano-Sanremo cycling race from Milan to Sanremo, in Milan, Italy, Saturday, March 18, 2017. (Dario Belingheri/ANSA via AP)
AP Photo
March 18, 2017

SAN REMO, Italy (AP) Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland edged out Peter Sagan in a photo finish to win the Milan-San Remo classic on Saturday.

It looked as if Sagan was going to become the first world champion to win the race since 1983 but Kwiatkowski snatched victory for Team Sky in the last meters.

''After 2013 and 2014 when I've been unlucky, winning Milano-San Remo is an incredible feeling,'' Kwiatkowski said.

''I didn't expect Sagan to attack on the Poggio. After he did, I expected a bunch sprint but he maintained a high speed at the front. I focused only on my own sprint. I can't believe I've beaten Sagan.''

Julian Alaphilippe was third at the end of the 291-kilometer (181-mile) route from Milan to San Remo.

Alexander Kristoff won the bunch sprint for fourth place, five seconds behind the front three.

Sagan attacked near the top of the final climb up the Poggio. Alaphilippe and Kwiatkowski made contact with him just before the descent and the trio held onto their small advantage.

''I gave my maximum,'' Sagan said. ''In this race, it's important to avoid crashing. I was very close to crashing as I crossed the finishing line!

''The spectacle is important for the people who watch the race. Everybody is happy, I think. My attack on the Poggio was dictated by instinct. I just tried. I realized I was alone, then Alaphilippe came across and we descended very quickly. It was a good show.''

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