Pinot wins Il Lombardia

Frechman seizes victory with late solo attack

Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) won the 2018 Il Lombardia with a solo attack on the penultimate climb of Civiglio, leaving defending champion Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) in his wake.

Nibali took second place, 32 seconds behind the Frenchman, having been part of the elite attacking group from the top of the Muro di Sormano onwards. Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing) rounded off the podium with a sprint from the chasing group, 43 seconds down.

Primož Roglič (LottoNL-Jumbo) kicked off the days' festivities with a long-range attack on the Sormano. His attack provoked Nibali and Pinot into going, with the trio leaving the remains of the peloton behind as they crested the top of the climb.

Egan Bernal (Team Sky) joined them after a fearless descent, and the four men enjoyed a 40-second lead as they hit the climb of Civiglio with 19km to race. Roglič and Bernal fell back on the climb, leaving just Pinot and Nibali up front.

After several attempts to get away, the Frenchman managed to gap Nibali at the top of Civiglio, going solo with 14km to the line. Nibali couldn't offer a response, and it was game over as Pinot soloed to his first Monument victory just days after triumphing at Milano-Torino.

Nibali was caught by the chasers in the closing kilometres, but managed to immediately strike out to take a solo second place.

"Among the Monuments, Il Lombardia is the nicest in my mind," said Pinot after the win. "I've always wanted to win it. I'm in the best shape of my career but to win ahead of Nibali is something very special.

"When I saw him attacking I said 'bingo, this is the right move.' I'm glad he attacked at Sormano. That was the key to success."

Nibali was philosophical after his second place, happy with the result after his late-season plans were thrown into turmoil after suffering fractured verterbrae in a crash at the Tour de France.

"The condition is what it is," he said. "However it grew just in time for Lombardia, which is a very beautiful race for me. I care about it but I couldn't do more - Pinot was the winner in Milano-Torino and had a was in top condition like I was last year.

"I still managed to get this good second place with the grit which is important to me as an athlete. It's a kind of redemption for all that has happened - a good success."

How it unfolded

There would be a slight change of route at the final European WorldTour race of the years. With the race 6km shorter than last year at 241km, the final climb of San Fermo della Battaglia left out due to road problems. The Madonna del Ghisallo, Muro di Sormano and Civiglio remained though, while the final test would be Monte Olimpino, a short climb topping out 3.3km from the finish.

It took a 4km battle for the break of the day to establish themselves. Davide Ballerini (Androni-Sidermec), Umberto Orsini, Alessandro Tonelli (both Bardiani-CSF), Florian Sénéchal (Quick Step Floors), Franck Bonnamour (Fortuneo-Samsic), Jonathan Restrepo (Katusha-Alpecin), Michael Storer (Team Sunweb), and Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates) were the lucky men out front.

In the race's early stages, Movistar were among the teams working on the front, on behalf of new world champion Alejandro Valverde. Five minutes up the road, the break tackled the day's early climbs - the Colle Gallo and Colle Brianza.

On the Madonna del Ghisallo (8.5km at 6.2%) the real attrition started as Bahrain-Merida upped the pace at the head of the peloton with a Vincenzo Nibali repeat victory in mind. Up front, the break fell apart, leaving Orsini, Tonelli, Storer and Bonnamour as the leaders. Over the top, their advantage was 1:45 with 60km to race.

Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) and Jan Hirt (Astana) were among the attackers on the climb, with the Australian going solo on the descent. He was caught on the lower slopes of the Muro di Sormano though, as LottoNL-Jumbo set the pace in the peloton.

At 1.9km, the Sormano is a short climb, but the 15.8% gradients (27% maximum) bit. The break was quickly caught and Primož Roglič launched an attack 49km out as the peloton shattered behind.

Towards the top, Nibali and Thibaut Pinot leapt out of the peloton, which was already only around 20-men strong. Dropped on the climb, Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) came to grief at the top after a spectator's camera strap caught on his handlebars. The Frenchman managed to stop before hitting the deck though.

Nibali led the way down the technical descent, with Roglič chasing the lead duo down, eventually making it a trio with 38km to race. Further back, Egan Bernal flew down the descent alone, some ten seconds back.

As the leaders hit the shores of Lake Como at the bottom of the descent, Bernal was with them. The foursome were 45 seconds up with 30km to race. Meanwhile back in the chase group Daniel Martinez (EF-Drapac) put in a big turn of at the front for his team leader Rigoberto Urán.

On Civiglio, a 4.2km 9.7% climb which started 19km out, Roglič and Bernal were dropped as Pinot and Nibali pushed on. Further back, the chase was stalling before Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) tried an attack near the top of the climb. Up front, Pinot managed to drop Nibali, having previously attempted several attacks.

Inside the final 10km, 45 seconds separated Pinot and the chase group, while Nibali was 25 seconds behind the Groupama-FDJ man. With victory almost certain for Pinot on Monte Olimpino, the main suspense in the final kilometres concerned the destination of the final podium spots.

Another Martin attack saw Nibali caught 3km from the line, but 'the Shark' wouldn't give up, immediately countering from the chase group which included two of his Bahrain-Merida teammates.

It was an impressive second wind from the Italian, who eased away from the chasers to salvage a second place after his season-ruining crash caused by a fan on the Alpe d'Huez in July. Dylan Teuns won the sprint for the final podium spot, 11 seconds behind Nibali.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama - FDJ5:53:22 
2Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain - Merida0:00:32 
3Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bmc Racing Team0:00:43 
4Rigoberto Uran (Col) Team EF Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale  
5Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
6Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Bahrain - Merida  
7Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora - Hansgrohe  
8Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain - Merida  
9Daniel Martin (Irl) Uae Team Emirates0:00:48 
10George Bennett (NZl) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo0:01:22 
11Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:31 
12Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Team Sky  
13Michael Woods (Can) Team EF Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale  
14Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama - FDJ  
15Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Mitchelton - Scott  
16Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:01:57 
17Primož Roglic (Slo) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo0:03:04 
18Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora - Hansgrohe0:03:33 
19Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
20Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team  
21Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Astana Pro Team  
22Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe  
23Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora - Hansgrohe  
24Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick - Step Floors0:03:54 
25Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
26Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
27Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb  
28Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo0:03:59 
29Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton - Scott0:04:01 
30Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain - Merida0:04:04 
31Simone Ponzi (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini0:04:55 
32Mathias Frank (Swi) Ag2R La Mondiale0:04:57 
33Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Bmc Racing Team  
34Davide Villella (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:06:02 
35Simone Velasco (Ita) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia0:06:40 
36Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy  
37Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek - Segafredo0:07:02 
38Rui Costa (Por) Uae Team Emirates  
39Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick - Step Floors  
40Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Team Katusha Alpecin  
41Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani Csf  
42Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team  
43Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton - Scott  
44Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek - Segafredo  
45Robert Gesink (Ned) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo  
46Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani Csf  
47Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb  
48Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb  
49Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda (Col) Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale0:07:07 
50Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini  
51Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Quick - Step Floors  
52Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Team Sky  
53Jose Manuel Diaz Gallego (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy0:08:10 
54Fabio Aru (Ita) Uae Team Emirates0:08:40 
55Manuel Senni (Ita) Bardiani Csf  
56Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain - Merida0:08:57 
57Luca Wackermann (Ita) Bardiani Csf0:09:51 
58Sebastian Schönberger (Aut) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia0:10:36 
59Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek - Segafredo  
60Simon Špilak (Slo) Team Katusha Alpecin  
61Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
62Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team0:10:39 
63David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Team Sky  
64Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek - Segafredo  
65Floris De Tier (Bel) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo0:12:28 
66Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
67Jérémy Maison (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
68Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb  
69Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
70Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Team Dimension Data  
71Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro Team  
72Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bmc Racing Team  
73Simon Clarke (Aus) Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale  
74Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb0:14:27 
75Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale0:15:01 
76Mikael Cherel (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
77Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia  
78Rob Power (Aus) Mitchelton - Scott  
79David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama - Fdj0:15:05 
80Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team0:17:02 
81Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Bahrain - Merida  
82Carlos Verona (Spa) Mitchelton - Scott  
83Daan Olivier (Ned) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo  
84Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani Csf  
85Stephen Cummings (GBr) Team Dimension Data  
86Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky  
87Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky  
88Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo0:19:21 
89Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Team Katusha Alpecin0:23:36 
90Willem Jakobus Smit (RSA) Team Katusha Alpecin  
91Joan Bou Company (Spa) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini  
92Marco Tizza (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini  
93Ilia Koshevoy (Blr) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia  
94Guy Niv (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy0:24:56 
95Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic0:25:08 
96Matteo Spreafico (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec0:25:10 
97Miguel Eduardo Florez Lopez (Col) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia  
98Ruben Plaza (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFAntonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain - Merida  
DNFRomain Bardet (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
DNFNans Peters (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
DNFFrançois Bidard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale  
DNFBen Gastauer (Lux) Ag2R La Mondiale  
DNFDavide Ballerini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
DNFMarco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
DNFFrancesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
DNFMattia Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
DNFIvan Ramiro Sosa Cuervo (Col) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec  
DNFNikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
DNFAndrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
DNFUmberto Orsini (Ita) Bardiani Csf  
DNFLorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani Csf  
DNFAlberto Bettiol (Ita) Bmc Racing Team  
DNFLoïc Vliegen (Bel) Bmc Racing Team  
DNFSimon Gerrans (Aus) Bmc Racing Team  
DNFJoseph Rosskopf (USA) Bmc Racing Team  
DNFCesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora - Hansgrohe  
DNFChristoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe  
DNFPawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora - Hansgrohe  
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra) Groupama - Fdj  
DNFMatthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama - Fdj  
DNFJérémy Roy (Fra) Groupama - Fdj  
DNFLéo Vincent (Fra) Groupama - Fdj  
DNFAwet Andemeskel (Eri) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFKrists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFOmer Goldshtein (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFThomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFMaxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFJames Shaw (GBr) Lotto Soudal  
DNFMichael Albasini (Swi) Mitchelton - Scott  
DNFJack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton - Scott  
DNFHector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFJaime Castrillo Zapater (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFJosé Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFJuan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini  
DNFNicola Bagioli (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini  
DNFFilippo Zaccanti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini  
DNFBob Jungels (Lux) Quick - Step Floors  
DNFKasper Asgreen (Den) Quick - Step Floors  
DNFLaurens De Plus (Bel) Quick - Step Floors  
DNFFlorian Senechal (Fra) Quick - Step Floors  
DNFLachlan Morton (Aus) Team Dimension Data  
DNFBen O'connor (Aus) Team Dimension Data  
DNFSerge Pauwels (Bel) Team Dimension Data  
DNFJohann Van Zyl (RSA) Team Dimension Data  
DNFJulien Vermote (Bel) Team Dimension Data  
DNFMatti Breschel (Den) Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale  
DNFJoseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale  
DNFSacha Modolo (Ita) Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale  
DNFBrice Feillu (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
DNFElie Gesbert (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
DNFRomain Le Roux (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic  
DNFIlnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha Alpecin  
DNFRobert Kišerlovski (Cro) Team Katusha Alpecin  
DNFJhonatan Restrepo Valencia (Col) Team Katusha Alpecin  
DNFMichal Golas (Pol) Team Sky  
DNFGianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky  
DNFLennard Kämna (Ger) Team Sunweb  
DNFMichael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb  
DNFLaurent Didier (Lux) Trek - Segafredo  
DNFNiklas Eg (Den) Trek - Segafredo  
DNFPeter Stetina (USA) Trek - Segafredo  
DNFMarco Marcato (Ita) Uae Team Emirates  
DNFManuele Mori (Ita) Uae Team Emirates  
DNFEdward Ravasi (Ita) Uae Team Emirates  
DNFRory Sutherland (Aus) Uae Team Emirates  
DNFMatteo Busato (Ita) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia  
DNFLuca Raggio (Ita) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia  

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