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Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s Mark Cavendish became the first-ever British winner of Milano-Torino in its 103rd edition, calling it an “incredible” feeling. Cavendish particularly cherished getting his name onto an exclusive list of riders who have won both Milan-San Remo and Milano-Torino classics – even more so being a sprinter in what are traditionally hilly events.

Mark Cavendish declared himself “super happy” after writing his name into the history books by becoming the first Briton to ever win the Milano-Torino one-day classic.

The event – first run in 1876 – is the oldest one-day cycling event in the world, and the adjoining level of prestige clearly meant a huge amount to the Manxman, who had enough left in the legs to power to the line after the 199km route.

It’s another step back to top form for Cavendish as he eyes more Grand Tour stage wins later in 2022.

The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider said: “I’m super happy.
“For a one day race you have to be dialled – there’s only one opportunity.

“They [his team management] sent a solid base of a sprint team for me here, and it’s incredible.

“It’s the first time I’ve raced it.

“I’ve already won Milan-San Remo, now I can say I’ve won Milano-Torino as well. Not many sprinters [have done that] – it’s usually a hilly race.

“So to see my name next to the riders that have won this race in history – that’s going to be quite special I think.”

For a long time it had looked like the victor of the 103rd edition of the Northern Italian showpiece would come from a three-man breakaway, which stayed away for much of the day.

But as the closing stages approached, the peloton coordinated their chase and hauled in the escapees – Daniel Viegas, Martin Marcellusi and Juan Diego Alba.

That was good news for Cavendish, and he made the most of his chance to sprint to the tape ahead of Nacer Bouhanni.

There is little time to draw breath in the classics calendar, with Milan-San Remo taking place on Saturday. There will be a strong field in place, with the red-hot Tadej Pogacar among the favourites.

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