SAN REMO, Italy (AP) Vincenzo Nibali carried off a daring solo attack to perfection to win the Milan-San Remo classic on Saturday and add to his long list of major achievements in cycling.
The Italian accelerated away from the pack on the Poggio, the final climb of the 294-kilometer (183-mile) race, with 7 kilometers to go.
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 looked back only once, with 50 meters remaining, and realized he had time to raise his arms in celebration before crossing the line in a time of 7 hours, 18 minutes, 43 seconds.
“I saw I created a gap right away,” Nibali said. “When I looked back it was a special emotion. It’s a race I didn’t expect to win because I’m not (a sprinter).
Caleb Ewan of Australia crossed second and Arnaud Demare of France finished third, both with the same time as Nibali.
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.
Always looking for the fastest lines, Nibali at one point came so close to the fences that he knocked a cell phone out of a fan’s hand.
“When I pull these things off sometimes even I don’t know how I’m able do it,” Nibali said.
Mark Cavendish, the British sprinting standout, slammed into road furniture with 10 kilometers to go and flipped over his bike onto the asphalt.
BERN, Switzerland (AP) Andy Rihs, a Swiss businessman who owned the BMC Racing cycling team and Young Boys soccer club, has died. He was 75.
Rihs died Wednesday in Zurich after “a patient and valiantly endured illness,” the BMC team said Thursday in a statement.
“Our grief is indescribable, but we will carry on his values,” the team said, praising Rihs for his “generosity, his sense of humor, and his infectious laugh.”
Rihs’s death comes with Young Boys close to winning its first Swiss league title in 32 years. Young Boys leads by 11 points with six matches left.
“Andy, thank you for everything. We will miss you,” Young Boys said in a statement.
Rihs’s brother, Hans-Ueli, is also an owner of the club and Stade de Suisse in Bern, known locally as Wankdorf. The stadium staged the 1954 World Cup final.
As BMC owner, Rihs secured a Tour de France title five years after his previous team was involved in a doping scandal. Cadel Evans of Australia wore BMC’s black and red colors to victory in the 2011 Tour.
In 2006, the Rihs-backed Phonak team disbanded after American rider Floyd Landis was stripped of the Tour title.
LOS ANGELES (AP) The top men’s and women’s teams will compete next month in the Amgen Tour of California, the premier U.S. cycling race.
The men will cover 645 miles over seven stages from Long Beach to Sacramento from May 13 to May 19. The women will have three of the top five teams for their three-day, 187-mile race that starts May 17 in Elk Grove.
Race owner AEG announced Thursday that Pete Sagan will ride for the BORA-hansgrohe team while Mark Cavendish will go for Team Dimension Data and be joined by Rafal Majka.
Tony Gallopin of AG2R La Mondiale is in the men’s field. So is LottoNL-Jumbo’s Nielson Powless, the race’s best young rider in 2016.
The women feature 2016 champion Megan Guarnier of USA Cycling National Team, Katie Hall of UnitedHealthcare and Kasia Niewiadoma of Canyon/SCRAM.