Alejandro Valverde heads to Il Lombardia with an unassailable lead in the UCI WorldTour rankings for the second straight year looking for his ninth win and second monument of the season. The runner-up of the last two editions will lead the Movistar team on his European return to racing after finishing fifth at the World Championships last weekend.
With just 33 points separating Movistar and Katusha in the team WorldTour standings, the 'race of the falling leaves' is the final opportunity for the Spanish squad to reclaim its lead and seal a second consecutive victory in the standings.
Valverde's current sole victory of Italian soil was the 2013 edition of Roma Maxima but will start the fifth and final monument of the season as one of the favourites for the win. Last year Valverde was one second behind Dan Martin in Lombardy, and in 2013 was 17 seconds behind Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha).
Supporting Valverde will be Italian Giovanni Visconti who placed eighth at Milano-Torino this week and Andrey Amador who impressed earlier in the season by finishing fourth overall at the Giro d'Italia.
Tour de L'Avenir winner Marc Soler and Tour de Pologne winner Ion Izagirre will also provide support throughout the hilly race which features a new, challenging finale. Neo pro Jasha Sütterlin and Javi Moreno complete the eight-rider team.
Movistar for Il Lombardia: Alejandro Valverde, Giovanni Visconti, Andrey Amador, Ion Izagirre, Marc Soler, Jasha Sütterlin, José Joaquín Rojas and Javi Moreno.
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.