Gilbert repeat victor of Giro di Lombardia

Belgian solos to victory in Como

Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) reaffirmed his immense talent for the toughest classics in cycling by taking his second successive victory at the Tour of Lombardy.

Gilbert looked the strongest rider throughout the new finale of the race, handling the heavy rain and cold conditions far better than any of his rivals.

After putting all his rivals to the sword in the final hour of the race, he dropped Michele Scarponi (Androni Giocattoli) over the top of the final San Fermo di Battaglia climb to win the final classic of the year alone. He waved and smiled as he crossed the finish line, savouring his second consecutive victory on the shores of Lake Como.

"This year it was a lot more difficult to win and the weather made it even worse,” Gilbert said after lifting the winner's trophy.

"This race is really hard to win and I had to go deep. We had to make huge efforts in the finale and for a long time there was a head wind. It was 45 minutes at 100 percent."

Scarponi finished 12 seconds later but it seemed much more, such was the superiority of Gilbert. He was rightly satisfied with second after trying his hardest to take on Gilbert. Pablo Lastras (Caisse d'Epargne) was a surprise third at 55 seconds, proving he is also one of the hard men of the peloton.

195 starters, only 34 finishers

195 riders rolled out of Milan, happy to get the last race of the season underway but only 34 made it to the finish on Como. The riders crossed the line alone or in small groups, with the pain of racing in the cold and wet for most of the 260km, carved deep in their faces.

Gilbert was the only one smiling. He was patently the most on-form man in the race and his win was born as much of his strength of mind as the strength in his legs.

As usual the early action fast and furious, with the early break consisting of six riders: Tony Gallopin (Cofidis), Gianluca Mirenda (ISD-Neri), Diego Caccia (ISD-Neri), Mauro Da Dalto (Lampre-Farnese Vini), Kjeil Carlström (Team Sky) and Michael Albasini (HTC-Columbia).

They went clear after 15km and opened a seven-minute lead but Gilbert's Omega Pharma-Lotto team worked solidly to keep them in check during the long circuit of Lake Como.

The Belgian team has been criticised for its poor results in the past but the riders always raise their game when Gilbert is at his best and they stoically whittled down the gap before also shaking out the group of favourites; first on the Madonna del Ghisallo climb up from the lake shore and then on the new Colma di Sormano climb.

Italian national champion Giovanni Visconti (ISD-Neri) and Vladimir Gusev (Katusha) went away from the bunch on the Ghisallo and got across to the remnants of the break. Albasini was clear alone but the Sormano climb was long and hard and reshuffled the race.

Bauke Mollema (Rabobank) surged across to the front group and then dropped the others but his move was far too early and far too ambitious.

The real race began on the treacherous descent of the Sormano. Gilbert went to the front in order to negate the threat from Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) and show he was in control.

The twisting descent split the front group into a long broken line of riders, with Gilbert leading Nibali, Lastras and Haimar Zubeldia (RadioShack).

When Nibali crashed on a hairpin corner, landing on his chest and looking stunned and defeated, Gilbert accelerated to make sure he would not get back on. It was perhaps a key moment of the race, making victory much simpler for Gilbert.

The rest of the descent and the fast run-in to Como turned into a pursuit match as Gilbert drove on the front. Scarponi emerged as the best chaser and managed to get across to Gilbert after a long, solo effort. He was the only one to make it but would pay for it later, while the likes of Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank), Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) formed the first chase group.

The final climb of San Fermo above Como decided the race and Gilbert simply toyed with Scarponi, who seemed to be bluffing his way to the finish in the hope of having a chance in the sprint.

The two rode shoulder-to-shoulder most of the way up the climb, even touching as they fought the gradient and tried to handle the rough roads. However, Gilbert’s expression was one of supreme control and smooth pedalling backed by immense strength.

After eyeing up his prey, Gilbert seemed to switch to the big chain ring and that was enough to distance Scarponi, who also had a brief gear problem. The gap was made and the race was over.

Gilbert wisely took no chances on the descent into Como but was in total control and won by 12 seconds ahead of Scarponi, while Pablo Lastras (Caisse d’Epargne) clipped off the front of the Nibali group to take third. Behind, Fuglsang out-sprinted the Italian for fourth place, and a second successive season ended with success for Gilbert and without an Italian classics victory.

Full Results
1Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto6:46:32 
2Michele Scarponi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:00:12 
3Pablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne0:00:55 
4Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank0:01:08 
5Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo  
6Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:01:12 
7Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:02:07 
8Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:03:01 
9Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Quick Step0:03:25 
10Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha0:03:50 
11Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Team Katusha0:04:24 
12Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Caisse d'Epargne0:05:13 
13Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank  
14Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick Step0:05:32 
15Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Team Milram0:05:52 
16Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:06:00 
17Vladimir Miholjevic (Cro) Acqua & Sapone0:06:10 
18Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Team Katusha  
19Maciej Paterski (Pol) Liquigas-Doimo  
20Maxime Monfort (Bel) Team HTC - Columbia  
21Christopher Horner (USA) Team Radioshack  
22Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:41 
23Jurgen Van Goolen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:08:23 
24Serge Pauwels (Bel) Sky Professional Cycling Team0:09:38 
25José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Team Radioshack0:09:52 
26Ludovic Turpin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:11:50 
27Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini0:12:30 
28Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Androni Giocattoli0:12:42 
29Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne0:12:44 
30Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana0:12:46 
31Thomas Peterson (USA) Garmin - Transitions  
32Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Milram0:14:34 
33Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team0:20:39 
34Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Team HTC - Columbia0:21:35 
DNFJan Bakelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFChristophe Brandt (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFOlivier Kaisen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFMatthew Lloyd (Aus) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFStaf Scheirlinckx (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto  
DNFLuca Paolini (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
DNFPaolo Ciavatta (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
DNFRuggero Marzoli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
DNFAndrea Masciarelli (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
DNFFrancesco Di Paolo (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
DNFAlessandro Proni (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
DNFAlessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & Sapone  
DNFRinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFTadej Valjavec (Slo) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFDavid Lelay (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFJulien Loubet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFChristophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFThomas Bertolini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFAlessandro Bertolini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFLuca Solari (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFLeonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFDamiano Margutti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFFabrice Piemontesi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFAlexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana  
DNFDmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Astana  
DNFEnrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana  
DNFAndriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana  
DNFJosep Jufre Pou (Spa) Astana  
DNFMirko Selvaggi (Ita) Astana  
DNFGorazd Stangelj (Slo) Astana  
DNFCadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team  
DNFAlessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
DNFChris Butler (USA) BMC Racing Team  
DNFKarsten Kroon (Ned) BMC Racing Team  
DNFJeffry Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team  
DNFSteve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
DNFMichael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
DNFImanol Erviti (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne  
DNFDavid Lopez Garcia (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne  
DNFAngel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne  
DNFLuis Pasamontes Rodriguez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne  
DNFFrancisco Perez Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne  
DNFJuan Mauricio Soler Hernandez (Col) Caisse d'Epargne  
DNFDavide Appollonio (Ita) Cervélo TestTeam  
DNFGabriel Rasch (Nor) Cervélo TestTeam  
DNFVolodymir Gustov (Ukr) Cervélo TestTeam  
DNFJoaquin Novoa Menedez (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam  
DNFOscar Pujol Munoz (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam  
DNFXavier Tondo Volpini (Spa) Cervélo TestTeam  
DNFThor Hushovd (Nor) Cervélo TestTeam  
DNFMarcel Wyss (Swi) Cervélo TestTeam  
DNFEmanuele Sella (Ita) Carmiooro NGC  
DNFDaniele Ratto (Ita) Carmiooro NGC  
DNFEnrico Peruffo (Ita) Carmiooro NGC  
DNFSebastien Fournet Fayard (Fra) Carmiooro NGC  
DNFAristide Ratti (Ita) Carmiooro NGC  
DNFFrancesco Tizza (Ita) Carmiooro NGC  
DNFAndrea Piechele (Ita) Carmiooro NGC  
DNFAntonio Quadranti (Ita) Carmiooro NGC  
DNFDavid Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFMickaël Buffaz (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFNico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFTony Gallopin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFTristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFRomain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne  
DNFDomenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
DNFFilippo Savini (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
DNFMichele Gaia (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
DNFAlessandro Bisolti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
DNFGianluca Brambilla (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
DNFFederico Canuti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
DNFAlan Marangoni (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
DNFMarco Frapporti (Ita) Colnago - CSF Inox  
DNFPablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
DNFGorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
DNFAmets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
DNFJonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
DNFJuan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
DNFJavier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi  
DNFOlivier Bonnaire (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
DNFBenoît Vaugrenard (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
DNFArnaud Gerard (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
DNFMatthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
DNFYoann Offredo (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
DNFAnthony Roux (Fra) Française Des Jeux  
DNFThomas Danielson (USA) Garmin - Transitions  
DNFTimothy Duggan (USA) Garmin - Transitions  
DNFMichel Kreder (Ned) Garmin - Transitions  
DNFDaniel Martin (Irl) Garmin - Transitions  
DNFChristian Meier (Can) Garmin - Transitions  
DNFPeter Stetina (USA) Garmin - Transitions  
DNFJohan Van Summeren (Bel) Garmin - Transitions  
DNFGiovanni Visconti (Ita) ISD - Neri  
DNFPatrik Sinkewitz (Ger) ISD - Neri  
DNFBartosz Huzarski (Pol) ISD - Neri  
DNFG. Luca Mirenda (Ita) ISD - Neri  
DNFDiego Caccia (Ita) ISD - Neri  
DNFPaolo Longo Borghini (Ita) ISD - Neri  
DNFDavide Ricci Bitti (Ita) ISD - Neri  
DNFPier Paolo De Negri (Ita) ISD - Neri  
DNFFrancesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
DNFEnrico Magazzini (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
DNFDaniele Righi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
DNFAndrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
DNFDiego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
DNFMauro Da Dalto (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
DNFDaniele Pietropolli (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini  
DNFValerio Agnoli (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo  
DNFMaciej Bodnar (Pol) Liquigas-Doimo  
DNFMauro Finetto (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo  
DNFPeter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo  
DNFIvan Santaromita (Ita) Liquigas-Doimo  
DNFSylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Doimo  
DNFDario Cataldo (Ita) Quick Step  
DNFSylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step  
DNFMarco Velo (Ita) Quick Step  
DNFFrancesco Reda (Ita) Quick Step  
DNFKevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step  
DNFMatteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step  
DNFJanez Brajkovic (Slo) Team Radioshack  
DNFMatthew Busche (USA) Team Radioshack  
DNFMarkel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Team Radioshack  
DNFGrégory Rast (Swi) Team Radioshack  
DNFIvan Rovny (Rus) Team Radioshack  
DNFHaimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Team Radioshack  
DNFOscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank  
DNFMauricio Ardila Cano (Col) Rabobank  
DNFDmitry Kozontchuk (Rus) Rabobank  
DNFSebastian Langeveld (Ned) Rabobank  
DNFPaul Martens (Ger) Rabobank  
DNFGrischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank  
DNFDennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank  
DNFEdvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
DNFJohn-Lee Augustyn (RSA) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
DNFBradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
DNFDario David Cioni (Ita) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
DNFStephen Cummings (GBr) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
DNFKjell Carlström (Fin) Sky Professional Cycling Team  
DNFPeter Velits (Svk) Team HTC - Columbia  
DNFMartin Velits (Svk) Team HTC - Columbia  
DNFKanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) Team HTC - Columbia  
DNFMarco Pinotti (Ita) Team HTC - Columbia  
DNFAdam Hansen (Aus) Team HTC - Columbia  
DNFMichael Albasini (Swi) Team HTC - Columbia  
DNFFilippo Pozzato (Ita) Team Katusha  
DNFJoaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha  
DNFAlexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha  
DNFPavel Brutt (Rus) Team Katusha  
DNFEgor Silin (Rus) Team Katusha  
DNFMarkus Eichler (Ger) Team Milram  
DNFMarkus Fothen (Ger) Team Milram  
DNFWim De Vocht (Bel) Team Milram  
DNFDominik Roels (Ger) Team Milram  
DNFGerald Ciolek (Ger) Team Milram  
DNFPaul Voss (Ger) Team Milram  
DNFAndy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank  
DNFAndré Steensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
DNFChris Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
DNFGustav Larsson (Swe) Team Saxo Bank  
DNFMatti Breschel (Den) Team Saxo Bank  
DNFRichie Porte (Aus) Team Saxo Bank  
DNFAnders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank  

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