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BMC had numbers but not strength in Lombardia

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Italian champion Ivan Santaromita would be BMC's best finisher at Il Lombardia in 9th place

Italian champion Ivan Santaromita would be BMC's best finisher at Il Lombardia in 9th place (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) in action during Il Lombardia

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) in action during Il Lombardia (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Two-time Il Lombardia champion Philippe Gilbert leads BMC teammate Greg Van Avermaet

Two-time Il Lombardia champion Philippe Gilbert leads BMC teammate Greg Van Avermaet (Image credit: Sirotti)

The BMC team put in a strong showing in the final Monument of 2013, Il Lombardia, but two-time winner Philippe Gilbert, Italian champion Ivan Santaromita and sprinter Greg Van Avermaet weren't able to put their numbers to a tactical advantage when winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) blew the race apart on the final climb with 10km to race.

Gilbert told Het Nieuwsblad that he had a hunger knock before the climb of the Madonna del Ghisallo, and although he was able to get some sugar into his system and stay with the group, he wasn't the same afterward. Santaromita's ninth place was the team's best result, but he suffered in the harsh conditions.

"I was hoping for good weather because I suffer a lot in the rain," he told Tuttobiciweb. "I couldn't do more than this today."

Van Avermaet was arguably the best sprinter of the group of 30 or so riders who caught solo escapee Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) at the last climb, but the 3km ascent of the Villa Vergano was better suited to the climbers like Rodriguez, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff), who made up the race's final podium.

"It was a bit too hard for us, and we saw already on the other climbs that we weren't with the best guys in the race," Van Avermaet told Cyclingnews. "We just tried to be there in the front and do something, but it was hard to have a good result, because the legs weren't there to do it better.

"We did a nice race, but it's the same as last week. I think this race is also more for climbers than Classics guys. It was a bit too hard for me on the climbs."

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Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. As former elite-level road racer who dabbled in cyclo-cross and track, Laura has a passion for all three disciplines. When not working she likes to go camping and explore lesser traveled roads, paths and gravel tracks.