Nibali followed a brave attack by the young Latvian champion Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy) a kilometre before the crest of the Poggio and whilst the poor 23-year-old found himself in over his head, Nibali pressed on.
On most days, the enormous peloton, filled with all of the sport's top sprinters (except Mark Cavendish, who crashed at the base of the Poggio), would have crushed Nibali's and the tifosi's hopes on the Via Roma, but the stars aligned to swing the balance.
Nibali entered the final s-bend with the peloton in sight, and as Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) rocketed out of the pack all could see they had timed their efforts just too late.
Nibali celebrated his victory, all of Italy was overcome with joy, and the rest of the sprinters could only shake their heads and wonder, 'what if'.
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2018 Milan-San Remo Brief Results
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida||7:18:43|
|2||Caleb Ewan (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott|
|3||Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ|
|4||Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates|
|5||Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) BMC Racing Team|
|6||Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe|
|7||Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb|
|8||Magnus Cort (Den) Astana Pro Team|
|9||Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida|
|10||Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo|