Martin wins Il Lombardia

Valverde second and Costa third

Garmin-Sharp's Dan Martin timed his late attack to perfection to win the Tour of Lombardia. The Irishman was part of a stellar break that formed on the descent of the Bergamo Alta and attacked inside the final kilometre to win ahead of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and former world champion Rui Costa (Lampre Merida).

For Martin, who had crashed out of a number of major races this year, and even took a tumble in Lombardia 12 months ago, it was a moment to savour, with the Irishman building up enough time to lift his arms in celebration as he crossed the line.

The win signified Martin’s second Monument, adding to his Liège-Bastogne-Liège title in 2013. His win in Lombardia was just as clinical and he once again owed much to his teammates – notably Ryder Hesjedal - who buried himself in the final of the race as the peloton sought to bring back a dangerous pairing of Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) and Ben Hermans (BMC Racing).

The duo was caught on the slopes of the final climb with the main contenders vying for position at the front of the bunch. It was Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol) who took the early initiative with a daring move but he was quickly caught by a rampaging Philippe Gilbert (BMC), who led across a group contain Martin.

The Irishman was, however, able to bridge to the leaders on the descent and as Gilbert’s teammate Samuel Sanchez led the group that contained Valverde, Costa, Fabio Aru (Astana), Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) and defending champion Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Martin ghosted to the back of the group.

Sanchez’s pace setting briefly eased as he checked back to catch Gilbert’s position, and the moment of hesitation was all Martin needed as he kicked clear.

Valverde and Gilbert exchanged glances with neither willing to sacrifice their chances. It was all Martin needed, his only obstacles remaining, the final corners before the line.

“I love this race, it’s one of my favourite races,” Martin said at the line. “To get second and crash in the last corner last year, it’s incredible to win it after all the bad luck this year. Last week I felt good and I crashed again. I believed, and the team believed, in me all the way, that the luck would change and we would get the big victory.”

In victory, Martin can look back at an overall successful of season. Second in La Flèche Wallonne may have been followed by bitterly disappointing outings in Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Giro d’Italia due to crashes but he has shown dogged determination in the second half of the season, with seventh at the Vuelta a España reaffirming confidence in his Grand Tour aspirations and this Lombardia win adding to his impressive palmares.

As for Valverde, another second place this season was at least enough to give him the lead in the WorldTour rankings with just the Tour of Beijing remaining. His nearest rival, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), dropped to second after he was eliminated on the final climb.

Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) victory salute at Il Lombardia

A new start for Lombardia

A new course for one of cycling’s most established and respected races saw the peloton limber up in Como on Sunday morning. Unlike last year, the sun was out, the autumn temperatures offering the perfect send off as riders closed out their European campaigns.

Among them, Cadel Evans (BMC), who was joined at the start by his infant son for the Australian’s final race as a professional rider in Europe.

There was little time for ceremony and nostalgia as the race headed towards the Madonna del Ghisallo. In previous years the location had been positioned closer to the finish but this time around the early break had already formed as the race passed with Tiziano Dall'Antonio (Androni Giocattoli), Francesco Gavazzi (Astana), Jeremy Roy (FDJ), Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida), Andrea Fedi (Neri Sottoli - Yellow Fluo), Sergio Paulinho (Tinkoff-Saxo), Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Colombia), Paul Voss (NetApp-Endura), Angelo Pagani (Bardiani-CSF) and Mathias Brändle (IAM Cycling) building up a lead in excess of eight minutes.

11 riders escaped in the early part of the race

With 80 kilometres of racing remaining and barely a metre of flat road between the break and the finish, the gap had been reduced to four minutes.

Remaining were a set of decisive climbs with Passo di Ganda snapping the elastic as a number of riders from the initial break began to struggle.

When the peloton reached the climb a few minutes later the whittling down in the main field began with Philip Deignan (Team Sky) among a number of riders who raised the tempo with a darting attack.

Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural), however, was the only man to make his move stick and as he effortlessly scythed through the stragglers from the early break with just Paulinho, Fedi, Chavez and Polanc remaining ahead.

On the Bracca, Paulinho forced the issue, surging clear before Fedi made contact on the descent.

Back in the bunch, a slow but important selection process had begun to take shape. A counter attack including Pieter Weening, Bauke Mollema, Ben Hermans, Jeremy Roy, Txurruka, Chavez, and Mickaël Chérel had linked up. They sat 1:50 behind the two leaders with the peloton roughly a minute back, and the Berbenno climb looming.

With Paulinho on the offensive his team was able to take a backseat as Katusha, Movistar and Omega Pharma-QuickStep set about controlling the race.

Polanc, who rode strongly in last month’s WorldTour race in Montreal, made contact with the two leaders before Hermans, Weening and Chérel made it across.

As the gradient rose on the Berbenno, Weening applied enough pressure to distance all but Hermans and as the pair descended they held a slender 13-second lead over the field.

Leopold König (NetApp-Endura) jumped from the peloton on the descent and his presence gave the break new impetus but he was distanced with a cramp – as was world champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). Hesjedal buried himself with a huge turn on the front as the peloton approached the final climb.

Hermans and Weening were duly caught on the lower slopes, just as Wellens powered clear. Gilbert was the first to match his countryman but by the time he made contact the leaders were already approaching the descent.

Sanchez took over as the leading group raced towards the line. At the back of the group sat Martin, laying in wait for the moment to pounce. When it arrived, he leapt into action and while those around him hesitated, he demonstrated panache and timing to take the win.

Dan Martin tops the podium with Alejandro Valverde and Rui Costa

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp6:25:33 
2Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:01 
3Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida  
4Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
5Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team  
6Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica Greenedge  
7Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
8Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha  
9Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
10Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:14 
11Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
12Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:00:18 
13Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha0:00:20 
14Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:25 
15Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale  
16Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale  
17Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
18Tiago Machado (Por) Team NetApp - Endura  
19Mauro Finetto (Ita) Yellow Fluo  
20Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Orica Greenedge  
21André Cardoso (Por) Garmin Sharp  
22Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek Factory Racing0:00:30 
23Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo0:00:31 
24Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing0:00:42 
25Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:00:46 
26Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
27Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
28Romain Sicard (Fra) Team Europcar  
29Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling  
30Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA  
31Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team0:00:54 
32Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani-CSF  
33Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin Sharp0:00:58 
34Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo  
35Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:01:05 
36Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Shimano0:01:16 
37Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team0:01:21 
38Diego Rosa (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:01:27 
39Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:01:34 
40Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida  
41David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA  
42Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-Merida  
43Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano  
44Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:01:44 
45Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Team Katusha0:01:46 
46Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:06 
47Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky  
48Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica Greenedge0:02:37 
49Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica Greenedge0:02:42 
50Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:21 
51Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:03:52 
52Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Sky  
53Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Colombia  
54Marco Marcato (Ita) Cannondale  
55Robinson Eduardo Chalapud Gomez (Col) Colombia  
56Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Colombia  
57Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
58Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF  
59Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida  
60Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:04:02 
61Francesco Failli (Ita) Yellow Fluo  
62Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
63Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Tinkoff-Saxo  
64Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Tinkoff-Saxo0:04:04 
65David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Team NetApp - Endura0:04:12 
66José Joao Pimenta Costa Mendes (Por) Team NetApp - Endura  
67Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp - Endura0:04:14 
68Antonio Parrinello (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:04:15 
69Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling  
70Simone Ponzi (Ita) Yellow Fluo  
71Valerio Conti (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:07:09 
72Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA  
73Johann Tschopp (Swi) IAM Cycling  
74Andrea Fedi (Ita) Yellow Fluo0:07:13 
75Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ.fr0:09:40 
76Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team0:09:42 
77Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
78Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
79Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale  
80Paolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Cannondale  
81Maxime Mederel (Fra) Team Europcar  
82Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Giant-Shimano0:12:15 
83Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team NetApp - Endura  
84Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:12:47 
85Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:13:12 
86Romain Guillemois (Fra) Team Europcar0:13:34 
87Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Belisol0:14:58 
88Philip Deignan (Irl) Team Sky  
89Bauke Mollema (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
90Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.fr0:17:09 
91Antonio Piedra Perez (Spa) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA  
92Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling  
93Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Garmin Sharp  
94Alessio Taliani (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:18:25 
95Gianfranco Zilioli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFPavel Brutt (Rus) Team Katusha  
DNFAlberto Losada Alguacil (Esp) Team Katusha  
DNFDaniel Moreno Fernandez (Esp) Team Katusha  
DNFEgor Silin (Rus) Team Katusha  
DNFEduard Vorganov (Rus) Team Katusha  
DNFCarlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFMatteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFAlexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFTiziano Dall'antonia (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFCarlos Galviz (Ven) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFYonder Godoy (Ven) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFEnrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFFrancesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFFredrik Carl Wilhelm Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team  
DNFMikel Landa Meana (Esp) Astana Pro Team  
DNFMichele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFEnrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani-CSF  
DNFFrancesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani-CSF  
DNFStefano Locatelli (Ita) Bardiani-CSF  
DNFAngelo Pagani (Ita) Bardiani-CSF  
DNFStefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani-CSF  
DNFStef Clement (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
DNFMartijn Keizer (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
DNFDavid Tanner (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
DNFLaurens Ten Dam (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team  
DNFYannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
DNFTejay Van Garderen (Usa) BMC Racing Team  
DNFLawrence Warbasse (Usa) BMC Racing Team  
DNFLuis Leon Sanchez Gil (Esp) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA  
DNFKarol Domagalski (Pol) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA  
DNFFrancesco Lasca (Ita) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA  
DNFLuis Mas Bonet (Esp) Caja Rural - Seguros RGA  
DNFIvan Basso (Ita) Cannondale  
DNFDamiano Caruso (Ita) Cannondale  
DNFMoreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale  
DNFEdward Fabian Diaz Cardenas (Col) Colombia  
DNFFabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Colombia  
DNFCarlos Julian Quintero (Col) Colombia  
DNFRodolfo Andres Torres Agudelo (Col) Colombia  
DNFJuan Pablo Valencia (Col) Colombia  
DNFArnaud Courteille (Fra)  
DNFMurilo Antonio Fischer (Bra)  
DNFAlexandre Geniez (Fra)  
DNFPierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Fra)  
DNFJussi Veikkanen (Fin)  
DNFJanier Alexis Acevedo Colle (Col) Garmin Sharp  
DNFNathan Haas (Aus) Garmin Sharp  
DNFLachlan David Morton (Aus) Garmin Sharp  
DNFThomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin Sharp  
DNFJonathan Fumeaux (Sui) IAM Cycling  
DNFThomas Lövkvist (Swe) IAM Cycling  
DNFJérôme Pineau (Fra) IAM Cycling  
DNFPatrick Schelling (Sui) IAM Cycling  
DNFMatteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFNelson Filipe Santos Simoes Oliveira (Por) Lampre-Merida  
DNFRafael Valls Ferri (Esp) Lampre-Merida  
DNFPim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Belisol  
DNFDennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNFLouis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Belisol  
DNFEros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar Team  
DNFJesus Herrada Lopez (Esp) Movistar Team  
DNFBenat Intxausti Elorriaga (Esp) Movistar Team  
DNFJon Izaguirre Insausti (Esp) Movistar Team  
DNFDayer Uberney Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar Team  
DNFJasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team  
DNFRafael Andriato (Bra) Neri Sottoli-Yellow Fluo  
DNFGiorgio Cecchinel (Ita) Neri Sottoli-Yellow Fluo  
DNFJonathan Monsalve (Ven) Neri Sottoli-Yellow Fluo  
DNFFabio Taborre (Ita) Neri Sottoli-Yellow Fluo  
DNFJulian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
DNFGianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
DNFWouter Poels (Ned) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
DNFRigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team  
DNFDaryl Impey (Rsa) Orica Greenedge  
DNFChristian Meier (Can) Orica Greenedge  
DNFAdam Yates (Gbr) Orica Greenedge  
DNFSimon Yates (Gbr) Orica Greenedge  
DNFJerome Cousin (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFFabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFVincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFChristophe Kern (Fra) Team Europcar  
DNFDavide Malacarne (Ita) Team Europcar  
DNFLawson Craddock (Usa) Team Giant-Shimano  
DNFDries Devenyns (Bel) Team Giant-Shimano  
DNFSimon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Shimano  
DNFTobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-Shimano  
DNFDaan Olivier (Ned) Team Giant-Shimano  
DNFBartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team Netapp - Endura  
DNFRalf Matzka (Ger) Team Netapp - Endura  
DNFPaul Voss (Ger) Team Netapp - Endura  
DNFDario Cataldo (Ita) Team Sky  
DNFSebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky  
DNFChristian Knees (Ger) Team Sky  
DNFDavid Lopez Garcia (Esp) Team Sky  
DNFBen Swift (Gbr) Team Sky  
DNFMatteo Tosatto (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo  
DNFJesus Hernandez Blazquez (Esp) Tinkoff-Saxo  
DNFNicki Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo  
DNFEugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek Factory Racing  
DNFJulian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek Factory Racing  
DNFLaurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing  
DNFFabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing  
DNFYaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Trek Factory Racing  
DNFCalvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory Racing  

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