Just about every year, Italian fans could count on a thrilling but ultimately futile attack from Vincenzo Nibali in the closing kilometres of Milan-San Remo. For 12 long years, since the country last had a home winner in Filippo Pozzato, the tifosi have prayed that Nibali could do it.
2018 turned out to be the year for Nibali to time his move perfectly and, countering an attack from young Latvian champion Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy), the Bahrain-Merida rider powered away from a peloton filled with the sport's top sprinters.
This time guile and daring trumped pure speed and, thanks in small part to the fast-men watching each other, Nibali soloed in with a narrow margin of victory to claim his second Monument in a row after last autumn's Il Lombardia triumph.
Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) led 2016 winner Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) in for second.
Watch how it all unfolded in the highlights video above.