Nibali wins Milan-San Remo classic with solo attack

Nibali wins Milan-San Remo classic with solo attack

Mark Cavendish suffered a heavy crash in the final 10km of the Milan-San Remo in Italy on Saturday.

The Milan-San Remo is the longest one-day race in the calendar and the first big classic of the season.

Rising Australian star Caleb Ewan has finished a close second to Vincenzo Nibali, with the 2014 Tour de France champion claiming the Milan-San Remo "Monument" classic.

Nibali then showed off his downhill skills on the technical descent and narrowly held off a pack of chasing sprinters on the flat finish.

Nibali snatched the first of five top one-day races - Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Tour of Lombardy - by pulling away from the pack on the ascent of the Poggio, seven km from the finish.

Nibali's lead was trimmed down second by second throughout the final kilometre, but with the teams massing behind him the lone Italian had just enough left to cross the line in front, clocking 7 hours 18min 43sec for the gruelling 294km race.

"I saw I created a gap right away", Nibali said. "When I looked back it was a special emotion".

The Manx Missile was the last man to win gold at the event, when he triumphed in the Men's Scratch Race in Melbourne in 2006.

Nibali, who rides for the Bahrain Merida team, has also won all three Grand Tours: the Giro d'Italia twice, the Tour de France and the Spanish Vuelta.

"When I pull these things off sometimes even I don't know how I'm able do it", Nibali said.

British road racing cyclist Mark Cavendish was sent flying over his handlebars today after colliding with a traffic bollard in Italy.

The Team Dimension Data rider came off his bike headfirst and landed hard on his back - team doctor Jarrad van Zuydam later tweeted: "Yes, Cav is okay".

The victor of 30 Tour de France stages also has bruising and abrasions as well as a possible ankle injury that will require further assessment, the team said.

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