Ag2r-La Mondiale head to the final WorldTour and Monument race of the season, Il Lombardi, with a strong team headlined by Romain Bardet, Domenico Pozzovivo and Alexis Vuillermoz. Rinaldo Nocentini and Bardet were the best finishers for the team at last year's 'race of the falling leaves' in tenth and 11th place respectively.
Pozzovivo makes his first return to racing since placing 11th overall at the Vuelta a Espana at today's Milano-Torino before lining up in Lombardy. The Italian's best result in the end of season classic so far is sixth place at the 2011 edition of the race. In a statement from the team, Pozzovivo explained he is felling fresh for the final races of 2016 after a short period of rest following the conclusion of the Spanish grand tour.
"I took a week off after the Vuelta because it was a challenging competition," Pozzovivo said. "However, I can assure you I have recovered well. Then, I was among the starters of a Cyclosportive last week in order to stay in shape. The season’s final is really exciting and I cannot wait to ride one the Italian classics."
Tour de France stage winners Bardet and Vuillermoz most recently rode the Tour du Gévaudan with the later winning stage 2 and finishing sixth overall and Pozzovivo believes the duo will be there fighting in the finale for victory.
"We will have an amazing team for Il Lombardia with Romain (Bardet) and Alexis (Vuillermoz). The latter is definitely in great shape after his Gevaudan victory. That is why we have the possibility to be among the best riders in the race final meters which is, for sure, an advantage for us," he said.
Neo-pro Pierre-Roger Latour and Jan Bakelants will provide further options for the team in the 245km race.
Ag2r-La Mondiale for Il Lombardia: Hubert Dupont, Pierre Latour, Domenico Pozzovivo, Mattéo Montaguti, Alexis Vuillermoz, Romain Bardet, Jan Bakelants and Guillaume Bonnafond.
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