Milan - Frenchman Thibaut Pinot won the 99th edition of the Milan-Turin semi-classic on Wednesday after Colombian rival Miguel Angel Lopez lost time in a crash in the race towards a summit finish.
The 28-year-old Pinot made a break two kilometres from the line after the 200km race through northern Italy.
An uphill crash at the front of the race with 1km to go caused chaos as Pinot's teammate David Gaudu collided with Lopez.
Pinot was unaffected and rode on as Lopez remounted and chased hard behind. The French rider finished ten seconds ahead of Lopez with newly crowned world Champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) of Spain finishing at 28sec behind.
"To finally win an Italian Classic is important for me," said Pinot, who becomes the first French winner of the oldest classic race since Laurent Jalabert in 1997.
"I love this race. If it wasn't for this crash with 1km to go, it would have been a harder fight with Miguel Angel Lopez who was the man to beat today as much as Valverde. To beat the world champion here means a lot to me."
1. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/Groupama-FDJ) 4hr 43min 36sec.
2. Miguel Angel Lopez (COL/Astana Pro Team) at 10sec.
3. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) at 28