Rui Costa (Movistar) will race for the first time in his World Champion's rainbow jersey at Il Lombardia this Sunday in Italy. Only a week after claiming Portugal's first ever UCI Road World Championship gold medal in Florence, Costa will debut his rainbow jersey just 300km to the north as the race rolls out in Bergamo.
Joining Costa will be his Spanish teammate, Alejandro Valverde, one of the riders left rueing being beaten by Costa just a week ago. Other foes from Florence, namely Nairo Quintana and Giovanni Visconti, will now be friends again to Costa as Movistar field what is one of the strongest squads to take on la classica delle foglie morte (the classic of the falling leaves).
In fact, only two of the riders starting for Movistar -Beñat Intxausti and Eros Capecchi- did not start the elite men's road race last Sunday.
The World's re-match will be fuelled further as last year's Il Lombardia victor and runner-up in Florence, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), as well as Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), look to make amends in Lombardy.
With a parcours typified by multiple punchy climbs and technical descents, and with rain forecast for Sunday, Il Lombardia could prove to be a worlds re-run in every sense.
The full Movistar line-up for Il Lombardia: Rui Costa, Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, Andrey Amador, Jesús Herrada, Beñat Intxausti, Giovanni Visconti, Eros Capecchi