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Gilbert triumphs in Lombardia

By:
Shane Stokes

Belgian wins first Monument, claims fourth straight post-Worlds victory

Showing sensational end of season form, Belgian one-day specialist Philippe Gilbert took his fourth consecutive victory when he won the Giro di Lombardia in Como. The Silence-Lotto rider clipped towards the top of the final climb of the day and Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was the only rider who was able to bridge across.

The duo joined forces going over the top of the San Fermo Della Battaglia climb and worked well over the remaining 5.7 kilometres of racing. They had approximately a 10-second lead over the other race favourites, hurtling down the serpentine descent towards the finish and preserving their advantage.

Gilbert led inside the final kilometre and gradually wound up the sprint. Olympic road champion Sanchez sat behind and came back at his rival all the way to the line, but Gilbert still had half a bike length lead at the finish and added the Giro di Lombardia to his recent wins in the Coppa Sabatini, Paris-Tours and the Giro del Piemonte.

"With this condition i can do it all, sprint, climbs... I am very strong now," said Gilbert. "I am very happy. A lot of people say I don't win big races, but i proved them wrong.

"Sanchez and I spoke two to three kilometres from the finish and we said we'd each work 100 percent and may the best man win. Approaching the sprint I knew he would stay on my wheel, but I was confident after the last race.

"When you're strong, you have a good team and you do not make any mistakes, normally you win. That's what happened today," added Gilbert.

Russian rider Alexandr Kolobnev (Saxo Bank) won the sprint behind for third place seven seconds later, edging out Luca Paolini (Acqua & Sapone), Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil), Robert Gesink (Rabobank), Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) and Dan Martin (Garmin Slipstream).

"I was feeling strong today but in the exact moment where Gilbert launched his attack I just couldn't follow his pace," said Kolobnev, silver medalist at this year's world road championships. "At the finish line, [teammate] Jakob [Fuglsang] worked hard to put me in the right position and I felt strong in the sprint. I am very pleased with the result and it sure is a good way to finish the season."

The end of season Classic saw Sergey Klimov (Katusha), Reinier Honig (Vacansoleil), Marco Velo (Quick Step) and Nicolas Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) go clear early on. This quartet had a lead of over seven minutes with 130 kilometres left. Roche then pressed on ahead and was solo on the Ghisallo climb, 50 kilometres from the finish, before being reeled in by a large group of chasers.

Vacansoleil’s Johnny Hoogerland then surged clear on the Ghisallo climb and was joined after the top by his teammate Matteo Carrara, Mauro Santambrogio (Lampre), Dries Devenyns (Quick Step) and Dan Martin (Garmin-Slipstream). Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank) also got across.

The Civiglio climb saw attacks in both the break and what was left of the bunch, and Santambrogio and Larsson were alone at the front on the descent. World champion Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) had tried to get clear on the way up but was marked by the other favourites, including defending champion Damiano Cunego (Lampre).

The leading duo persisted and received the reinforcement of Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) before the start of the final climb, the San Fermo Della Battaglia. Vino drove the pace and was later joined by Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank), but these were all caught by the favourites. Evans did most of the work in the lower part of the climb and Gilbert profited from his teammate's efforts, surging clear close to the summit, combining with Sanchez, and setting himself up for the biggest win of his career.

Full results
1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Silence - Lotto 5:43:45  
2 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
3 Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:07  
4 Luca Paolini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo 0:00:08  
5 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank    
7 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana    
8 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin - Slipstream    
9 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Fuji-Servetto    
10 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence - Lotto    
11 Leonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli    
12 Christopher Horner (USA) Astana    
13 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas    
14 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C    
15 Francesco Masciarelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo 0:00:10  
16 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank 0:00:15  
17 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C 0:00:44  
18 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick Step 0:00:46  
19 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Liquigas    
20 Tadej Valjavec (Slo) AG2R La Mondiale    
21 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne    
22 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana    
23 Chris Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
24 Alberto Fernandez De La Puebla Ramos (Spa) Fuji-Servetto 0:00:58  
25 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quick Step 0:01:15  
26 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Caisse d'Epargne    
27 Matteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 0:01:33  
28 Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Quick Step    
29 Alessandro Ballan (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C    
30 Oscar Pujol Munoz (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam 0:01:55  
31 Alexandre Botcharov (Rus) Team Katusha 0:02:01  
32 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Team Milram    
33 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Team Katusha    
34 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Team Columbia - HTC    
35 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne    
36 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team Columbia - HTC    
37 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Team Saxo Bank    
38 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Caisse d'Epargne 0:02:08  
39 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Silence - Lotto    
40 Philip Deignan (Irl) Cervélo TestTeam 0:02:28  
41 David De La Fuente Rasilla (Spa) Fuji-Servetto 0:02:34  
42 Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank    
43 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 0:02:53  
44 Vladimir Efimkin (Rus) AG2R La Mondiale    
45 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne    
46 Craig Lewis (USA) Team Columbia - HTC    
47 Jan Bakelandts (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
48 Mikael Cherel (Fra) Française Des Jeux    
49 Ruggero Marzoli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo    
50 Hubert Schwab (Swi) Quick Step    
51 Gorazd Stangelj (Slo) Liquigas    
52 Michal Golas (Pol) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
53 Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz) Astana    
54 Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
55 Daniel Fleeman (GBr) Cervélo TestTeam    
56 Andrea Masciarelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo    
57 Sébastien Minard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne    
58 Pavel Brutt (Rus) Team Katusha    
59 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step    
60 Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana    
61 Massimo Codol (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo    
62 Francesco Failli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo    
63 Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C    
64 Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Cervélo TestTeam    
65 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin - Slipstream    
66 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha    
67 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Fuji-Servetto    
68 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Quick Step 0:03:01  
69 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) ISD    
70 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank 0:03:09  
71 Javier Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi 0:04:04  
72 Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Team Katusha    
73 Sven Renders (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
74 Nikita Eskov (Rus) Team Katusha    
75 Johann Tschopp (Swi) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
76 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Columbia - HTC    
77 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Milram    
78 Michael Barry (Can) Team Columbia - HTC    
79 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
80 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas 0:06:02  
81 Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C    
82 Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Liquigas    
83 Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
84 Ruslan Podgornyy (Ukr) ISD    
85 Morris Possoni (Ita) Team Columbia - HTC    
86 Christian Meier (Can) Garmin - Slipstream 0:06:19  
87 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Team Columbia - HTC 0:06:52  
88 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli    
89 Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank    
90 Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) ISD    
91 Mickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne 0:08:00  
92 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
93 Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Liquigas    
94 Serguei Klimov (Rus) Team Katusha    
95 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale    
96 Inaki Isasi Flores (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
97 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C    
98 Fabrice Piemontesi (Ita) Fuji-Servetto 0:11:18  
99 G. Luca Mirenda (Ita) ISD    
100 Christophe Brandt (Bel) Silence - Lotto    
101 Gerben Löwik (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
102 Lars Boom (Ned) Rabobank    
103 Fabio Taborre (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli    
104 Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas    
105 Maryan Hary (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne    
106 Jean-Eudes Demaret (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne    
107 Reinier Honig (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team    
108 Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Silence - Lotto 0:16:17  
109 Geert Steurs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
110 Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
111 Thomas Rohregger (Aut) Team Milram    
112 Cyril Dessel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
113 Marco Velo (Ita) Quick Step    
114 Alexandre Usov (Blr) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne    
115 Vitaliy Kondrut (Ukr) ISD    
116 Huub Duyn (Ned) Garmin - Slipstream    
117 Paul Voss (Ger) Team Milram 0:17:10  
118 Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli    
119 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
120 Wouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team 0:17:20  
DNF Mauro Da Dalto (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C    
DNF Enrico Magazzini (Ita) Lampre - N.G.C    
DNF Alessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo    
DNF Luca Pierfelici (Ita) Acqua & Sapone - Caffe Mokambo    
DNF Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Julien Loubet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Ludovic Turpin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale    
DNF Valeriy Dmitriyev (Kaz) Astana    
DNF Roman Kireyev (Kaz) Astana    
DNF Bolat Raimbekov (Kaz) Astana    
DNF Olivier Bonnaire (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
DNF Guillaume Le Floch (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
DNF Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) BBox Bouygues Telecom    
DNF Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne    
DNF Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne    
DNF Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne    
DNF Imanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne    
DNF Simon Gerrans (Aus) Cervélo TestTeam    
DNF Joaquin Novoa Menedez (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam    
DNF Serge Pauwels (Bel) Cervélo TestTeam    
DNF Marcel Wyss (Swi) Cervélo TestTeam    
DNF Christophe Kern (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne    
DNF Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit en Ligne    
DNF Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
DNF Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi    
DNF Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra) Française Des Jeux    
DNF Aurelien Duval (Fra) Française Des Jeux    
DNF Yoann Offredo (Fra) Française Des Jeux    
DNF Frédéric Guesdon (Fra) Française Des Jeux    
DNF Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Française Des Jeux    
DNF Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française Des Jeux    
DNF Paolo Bailetti (Ita) Fuji-Servetto    
DNF Andrea Tonti (Ita) Fuji-Servetto    
DNF Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Fuji-Servetto    
DNF Timothy Duggan (USA) Garmin - Slipstream    
DNF William Frischkorn (USA) Garmin - Slipstream    
DNF Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin - Slipstream    
DNF Kilian Patour (Fra) Garmin - Slipstream    
DNF Santo Anza (Ita) ISD    
DNF Alessandro Proni (Ita) ISD    
DNF Simon Clarke (Aus) ISD    
DNF Kjell Carlström (Fin) Liquigas    
DNF Davide Malacarne (Ita) Quick Step    
DNF Dmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) Rabobank    
DNF Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank    
DNF Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank    
DNF Francesco Ginanni (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli    
DNF Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli    
DNF Luca Celli (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli    
DNF Luca Solari (Ita) Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli    
DNF Wilfried Cretskens (Bel) Silence - Lotto    
DNF Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Silence - Lotto    
DNF Charles Wegelius (GBr) Silence - Lotto    
DNF Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Team Columbia - HTC    
DNF Dominik Roels (Ger) Team Milram    
DNF Matthias Russ (Ger) Team Milram    
DNF Peter Velits (Svk) Team Milram    
DNF Niki Terpstra (Ned) Team Milram    
DNF Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
DNF Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank    
DNF Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo Bank    
DNF Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank    
DNF Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
DNF Preben Van Hecke (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
DNF Johan Coenen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator    
DNF Tom Criel (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator