Vincenzo Nibali held off a late charge to claim victory in the Milan-San Remo, where Mark Cavendish's torrid 2018 season continued with a spectacular crash.
Not since Filippo Pozzato in 2006 had an Italian won the first Monument of the season and Nibali was a popular champion on Saturday as he crossed the line arms aloft in familiar fashion after almost seven hours and 20 minutes of racing.
The Bahrain-Merida man finished ahead of Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) and Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ), while there were concerns for Cavendish's welfare after the Dimension Data rider suffered a heavy fall with around 10 kilometres of the 294km-route remaining.
Cavendish collided with a bollard in the centre of the road and was thrown over his handlebars before landing painfully on his back.
Shortly after the conclusion of the race, Dimension Data tweeted to say that Cavendish "is currently being assessed by a medical team. More information will be provided when available."
It was the third accident in as many outings for the Briton this year, after he was forced out of the Abu Dhabi Tour in February and then sustained a broken rib and facial injuries at the Tirreno-Adriatico this month.
Having begun the race amid a torrential downpour, the peloton enjoyed far milder conditions as they travelled further south and Nibali attacked going up the Poggio, the final climb of the route.
The pack began to cut his lead as the gradient eased on the descent, but the man known as the Shark of Messina gritted his teeth and held on to claim a hard-earned success.
Nibali said: "It was all day water, rain, rain, rain, my sensations were very good, but I was working with Sonny Colbrelli and in the last 15 kilometres I had really good sensations.
"On the Poggio I worked with Colbrelli, but in the last five kilometres I only followed the other rider. When my on my radio the director spoke with me and he said '20 seconds', I only thought 'full gas'. It's a fantastic day for me."
18 de julio 2018
|Warburton retires: Gatland salutes Wales and Lions great|
|Sturridge determined to stay at Liverpool|
|Mbappe is an alien – Varane|
|Warburton retires from rugby|
|India to assess Bhuvneshwar as Bumrah makes Test squad|
|Injured Craddock passes $100,000 in donations at Tour de France|
|WATCH: Perez taunts team-mate after audacious training goal|
|Alison Becker tweets ´I´m joining Liverpool´... but all is not as it seems|
|Notorious Carnoustie holds fond memories for legendary Watson|
|Rooney refused to be ´dead weight´ at Everton|
|The Open 2018: Molinari, Rahm and the in-form contenders at Carnoustie|
|Marsh interested in Australia leadership roles|
|United can challenge City for Premier League title, says Rooney|
|MLB All-Star 2018: Seven things you missed at Midsummer Classic|
|American League win home run-filled MLB All-Star game|
|Dragons lure Sims from Broncos|
|Cassano: Ronaldo like Nadal, Messi like Federer|
|Lakers´ Ball undergoes successful knee surgery|
|´We kill them, Messi or no Messi´ - Pogba´s pre-Argentina World Cup speech revealed|
|Cardinals suspend GM Keim for five weeks after DUI|
|Dalic: I can coach Brazil or Barca but Croatia my favourite|
|Warriors coach Kerr extends contract|
|I´m ready to bust him up - Miller calls out Joshua after New York confrontation|
|CAF Champions League Review: ES Tunis and TP Mazembe set the pace|
|Mixed day for seeds in Newport as Muller progresses|
|Rams sign Cooks to five-year extension|
|Cowboys’ Randy Gregory reinstated by NFL|
|Verdasco survives Swedish Open scare as Paire is picked off in Umag|
17 de julio 2018
|US Open announces record prize fund for 2018|
|Stosur wins battle of former grand slam champions in Gstaad|
|Emery is Arsenal´s best signing, says Pires|
|Brewster commits to Liverpool with long-term deal|
|Panama boss Gomez steps down after World Cup|
|No Chelsea agreement for Golovin, claims CSKA president|
|Root looks right at home as England ease to series victory|
|Brighton sign Mali midfielder Bissouma from Lille|
|Kaka backs Brazil boss Tite after ´excellent´ World Cup|
|Alaphilippe the toast in France as Van Avermaet increases Tour lead|
|Shkupi 0 Rangers 0: Gerrard´s men advance despite dour draw|
|Khazri ends Sunderland nightmare as Saint Etienne swoop|
|The Open 2018 diary: Rose lets Rio go as Rahm goes ´Lefty´|
|Lampard raids Chelsea and Liverpool in Derby double swoop|
|Balotelli returns to Nice training after Marseille talks stall|
|Owens wants to play in the CFL, says agent|
|I don´t like thinking too much - Johnson|
|Toulon president fined as French club receive suspended points penalty|
|Top of the flops - Mickelson plays exquisite trick shot over man´s head!|
|Kerber targeted Wimbledon after 2017 disappointment|
|England´s World Cup heroes given dedicated parking spots|
|Insigne prefers Messi to new Juve star Ronaldo|
|Koepka enjoys playing with a chip on the shoulder|
|Ryan Hall to leave Leeds Rhinos amid reports of NRL move|
|Hamann slams Lahm for Low criticism|
|Hart named in Manchester City squad for United States tour|
|F1 Raceweek: Leader Vettel heads home|
|Unfair to pin Brazil blame on Neymar, says Kaka|
|Thomas and friends ´want to beat each other´s brains in´|
|Woods´ love for links fathered at Carnoustie|
|Confident Rose targets tournament wins and number one spot|
|Hallgrimsson leaves Iceland post|
|Australian Open to consult players over fifth-set tie-breaks|
|Daley´s coming home - Ajax rewrite Three Lions anthem|
|Woods: Open my best chance at winning another major|
|Blind completes Ajax return from Manchester United|
|I belong at the top, says Anderson|
|Leaving Madrid was my biggest regret, Panucci warns Ronaldo|
|Folau in no rush to settle future amid Reds rumours|
|Degenkolb: I need two or three secretaries to manage congratulations!|
|Harrington v Garcia: When winning makes life tougher|
|Mafi and Timani fined by Rebels|