Alessandro Petacchi outsprinted the field to win the Milan-San Remo classic, the third event of the International Cycling Union Pro Tour.
Milan-San Remo is one of the biggest wins of Petacchi's career
Petacchi, the leader of the Fassa Bortolo team, saw off Germany's Danilo Hondo and Thor Hushovd of Norway at the end of a gruelling 294km race.
A group of about 40 riders launched a sprint in the final 400m, with Petacchi bursting clear with 200m left.
Australian Stuart O'Grady was fourth, ahead of world champion Oscar Freire.
Britain's Roger Hammond finished in a respectable 21st - in the same time as Petacchi - while fellow countryman Bradley Wiggins was more than seven minutes back in 88th.
Afterwards Petacchi said: "Before the sprint started I was scared I was going to lose again.
"But then, when the other riders accelerated, I gave it everything as well. I felt good, got a gap and so knew I was going to win."
Milan-San Remo result (Sat):
1. Alessandro Petacchi (It) 7hr 11min 39 sec
2. Danilo Hondo (Ger) same time
3. Thor Hushovd (Nor) same time
4. Stuart O'Grady (Aus) same time
5. Oscar Freire (Sp) same time
6. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) same time
7. Ruggero Marzoli (It) same time
8. Tom Boonen (Bel) same time
9. Franco Pellizotti (It) same time
10. Manuele Mori (It) ame time
11. Vicente Reynes (Sp) same time
12. Josu Silloniz (Sp) same time
13. Laurent Brochard (Fr) same time
14. Erik Zabel (Ger) same time
15. Allan Davis (Aus) same time