BMC had numbers but not strength in Lombardia

Santaromita's ninth place best of three in main group

The BMC team put in a strong showing in the final Monument of 2013, Il Lombardia, but two-time winner Philippe Gilbert, Italian champion Ivan Santaromita and sprinter Greg Van Avermaet weren't able to put their numbers to a tactical advantage when winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) blew the race apart on the final climb with 10km to race.

Gilbert told Het Nieuwsblad that he had a hunger knock before the climb of the Madonna del Ghisallo, and although he was able to get some sugar into his system and stay with the group, he wasn't the same afterward. Santaromita's ninth place was the team's best result, but he suffered in the harsh conditions.

"I was hoping for good weather because I suffer a lot in the rain," he told Tuttobiciweb. "I couldn't do more than this today."

Van Avermaet was arguably the best sprinter of the group of 30 or so riders who caught solo escapee Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) at the last climb, but the 3km ascent of the Villa Vergano was better suited to the climbers like Rodriguez, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff), who made up the race's final podium.

"It was a bit too hard for us, and we saw already on the other climbs that we weren't with the best guys in the race," Van Avermaet told Cyclingnews. "We just tried to be there in the front and do something, but it was hard to have a good result, because the legs weren't there to do it better.

"We did a nice race, but it's the same as last week. I think this race is also more for climbers than Classics guys. It was a bit too hard for me on the climbs."

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