Ciolek wins the Milan-San Remo

German sprinter Gerald Ciolek won the Milan-San Remo classic one-day race, which was curtailed because of snow.

Ciolek, riding for South African Team MTN, finished ahead of favourite Slovakian Peter Sagan and Swiss Fabian Cancellara in a sprint finish.

Britain’s Ian Stannard was the best-placed British rider in sixth, with Mark Cavendish ninth, 14 seconds behind in the chasing pack.

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I’m frozen and I don’t want to be sick

Tom Boonen

The 298km race was temporarily halted after 117 kilometres.

Because of the appalling weather conditions team buses had to transport the riders about 50km, causing a two-hour delay, to restart 130km from the finish.

However a number of riders decided to call it a day including Tom Boonen, 2011 winner Matthew Goss and Vincenzo Nibali were among the cyclists who abandoned the race.

Boonen told Belgian channel Sporza: “There are two reasons for me giving up. First I’m frozen and I don’t want to be sick. Second it’s a statement to the organisers.”

The leading group were caught 30km from the line and Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert chose his moment to launch a challenge before Sylvain Chavanel, Britain’s Stannard and Russia’s Eduard Vorganov made their own bid at Poggio, 10km out, as they opened up a 27-second lead.

But as the finish line loomed, Cancellara, with Sagan on his wheel, went for broke with Ciolek, who just nudged through in the final 30 metres.

“I was on Sagan’s wheel – and that was the best place to be,” said the 26-year-old German after his first Classic success.

Milan-San Remo one-day race results:

1. Gerald Ciolek (Germany/Team MTN) 5:37:20″

2. Peter Sagan (Slovakia/Cannondale) ST

3. Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland/RadioShack)

4. Sylvain Chavanel (France/Omega Pharma-Quick-Step)

5. Luca Paolini (Italy/Katusha)

6. Ian Stannard (Britain/Team Sky)

7. Taylor Phinney (US/BMC Racing)

8. Alexander Kristoff (Norway/Katusha) +14″

9. Mark Cavendish (Britain/Omega Pharma-Quick-Step)

10. Bernhard Eisel (Austria/Team Sky)

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