Milan-San Remo provided all the thrills and spills we have come to expect from the season’s first Monument, as 294km of racing ended with Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) sprinting to victory.
The Norwegian had given an earlier indication of his form with a super-strong sprint to win stage two of the Tour of Oman, and the 26-year-old proved he can do it on the top stage too with the biggest victory of his career.
Where Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) started his sprint too early, finding he did not have the legs to stay up front, Kristoff timed his to perfection to hold off the likes of Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and Ben Swift (Team Sky).
For Cancellara it was yet another near-miss at La Primavera with a second win to accompany his 2008 triumph remaining elusive.
Swift had much more reason to be cheerful however, securing one of the biggest results of his career as Team Sky enjoyed their first Milan-San Remo podium finish.
Could it be the result which kick-starts the next phase of the Yorkshireman’s career, after injury setbacks slowed the promising start made in 2010? Read on for our five observations.