Zaugg solos to win in Lombardia

Oliver Zaugg had never won the Giro di Lombardia before Saturday. Or indeed any Classic. Or for that matter a professional race of any description. The Swiss rider won't enjoy the comparison, but the 30-year-old Leopard-Trek rider's victory in Lecco on Saturday was a Lombardy upset in the Raimondas Rumsas or Vladislav Bobrik league.

On a course that lived up to the pre-race hype in beauty but perhaps not difficulty, Zaugg romped clear alone with a powerful attack on the Villa Vergano climb, 10 kilometres from the finish line in Lecco. Best of the rest was Garmin-Cervélo's Daniel Martin, whose sprint to pip Joaquin Rodriguez to second place underlined the Irishman's affinity for Lombardy and hilly one-day races in general. Zaugg's final winning margin was 15 seconds.

Martin could have few complaints. Zaugg's triumph came, as the French say, à la pédale. He proved the strongest rider in the crucial final kilometre of the Villa Vergano ascent, the so-called Muro dell'Alpino, and was faultless on the descent into Lecco. It was on the Muro dell'Alpino that many expected Philippe Gilbert to ride away to his third consecutive Lombardy title. But the world's number one rider seemed laboured, losing 20 seconds in less than a kilometre as the gradient reared up to 15 percent and dropping out of contention.

Ahead of Gilbert, a group comprising Przemyslaw Niemec, Domenico Pozzovivo, Ivan Basso, Martin and Rodriguez had also conceded too much time to trouble Zaugg on the run-in. Giovanni Visconti outsprinted Gilbert for seventh place but, if anything, was the more frustrated of the pair. "It's another opportunity thrown away," the Italian champion, riding his last race for Farnese Vini, cursed. "I didn't believe in myself and consequently took the Villa Vergano climb too far back. I chucked it away."

Most pundits argued that Vincenzo Nibali had also sabotaged his own chances. The Sicilian pandered to the calls for a rousing finale to a miserable season for Italian riders with an attack as exciting as it was unwise. The Liquigas captain had jumped at the foot of the Ghisallo, 55km from the finish, and soon built an advantage of nearly two minutes. Behind, though, Team Sky hit the front of a still sizeable peloton and reeled him in on the 16 kilometres of flat road before the start of the Villa Vergano climb. Sky's attempts to seize first place in the UCI World Tour team rankings from Gilbert's Omega-Pharma, alas, turned out to be in vain.

Nibali claimed that he was caught because of the restyled course, or at least hinted there was too much time for recovery between its three major obstacles - the Valcava, the Colma di Sormano and the Ghisallo. "It would have been different on last year's course," he said. He had a point but not an excuse. Like his old mountain domestique Zaugg, he had done his recces and liked what he had seen; unlike Zaugg, he had inexplicably decided that a single rider could escape on a route which alternated long climbs, long descents and long flat sections. Either that or he’d been terrified of what Gilbert might do on the Villa Vergano.

At least Nibali had tried. And finished - more than could be said of 150 riders who started in Milan. The five of HTC-Highroad's already threadbare sextet who had abandoned before the Colma di Sormano will have had their reasons, no doubt including fatigue. Maybe Lombardy should take place in September after all, as it will next year. But then there will be no HTC-Highroad in the peloton - and frankly a team of their record and stature owed itself a rather better send-off.

How it happened

After an eleven o'clock start in Milan, a six-man break had enlivened the early stages of a race billed as one of the toughest Tours of Lombardy in recent years. Claudio Corioni, Johan Van Summeren, Andrea Pasqualon, Yukiya Arashiro, Mikel Astarloza and Omar Bertazzo saw their advantage rise to over eight minutes before the feared Valcava climb, plummet to under two at the summit, then rise again to over six by kilometre 108. By this point, though, Liquigas and Nibali's intentions were already clear: under their impulse, the gap was down to less than two minutes again at the foot of the Colma di Sormano climb, with just over 100 kilometres remaining. It had evaporated altogether by the time Gilbert tried a few tentative accelerations at the end of the Colma’s descent.

These early skirmishes were Nibali's cue: he attacked as the leaders took drinks and a breather in Bellagio, and for a moment Gilbert, Jakob Fuglsang, Luca Paolini and Mauro Santambrogio were able to follow. Nibali then surged again. His suicide mission up the Ghisallo had begun. Gilbert, Fuglsang and the rest were happy to let him go, and the tifosi to revel in an illusion which lasted all of 30 kilometres.

The team Sky duo of Michael Rogers and Steve Cummings now assured the chase, handing over to Thomas Löfkvist as Nibali was caught before the first ramps of the Villa Vergano. Martin now looked strong on Löfkvist's wheel, as did Basso, but the speed nudged 30kph; all bets and attacks were off until the Muro dell'Alpino. Here Zaugg applied his coup de grâce. And what a coup - and surprise - it turned out to be.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Leopard - Trek6:20:02
2Daniel Martin (Irl) Team Garmin - Cervelo0:00:08
3Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas - CannondaleRow 3 - Cell 2
5Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre - ISDRow 4 - Cell 2
6Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 5 - Cell 2
7Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli0:00:16
8Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma - LottoRow 7 - Cell 2
9Carlos A. Betancur Gomez (Col) Acqua & SaponeRow 8 - Cell 2
10Riccardo Chiarini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - C.I.P.I.Row 9 - Cell 2
11Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team0:00:27
12Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Peter Stetina (USA) Team Garmin - CerveloRow 13 - Cell 2
15Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 14 - Cell 2
16Nicholas Roche (Irl) Ag2R La MondialeRow 15 - Cell 2
17Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Rémi Pauriol (Fra) FDJRow 17 - Cell 2
19Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky ProcyclingRow 18 - Cell 2
20Thomas Lovkvist (Swe) Sky ProcyclingRow 19 - Cell 2
21Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Fabio Felline (Ita) Geox - TMC0:01:11
23Carlos Barredo Llamazales (Spa) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil - DCM Pro C.TeamRow 23 - Cell 2
25Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar TeamRow 24 - Cell 2
26Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo Bank SungardRow 25 - Cell 2
27Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre - ISD0:01:15
28Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Leopard - TrekRow 27 - Cell 2
29Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
30Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 29 - Cell 2
31Federico Canuti (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 30 - Cell 2
32Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Team RadioshackRow 31 - Cell 2
33Chris Sorensen (Den) Saxo Bank SungardRow 32 - Cell 2
34Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Team Garmin - Cervelo0:02:39
35Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Ag2R La MondialeRow 34 - Cell 2
36Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 35 - Cell 2
37Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:05:30
38Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha Team0:06:44
39Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Leopard - Trek0:07:14
40Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas - CannondaleRow 39 - Cell 2
41Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 40 - Cell 2
42Steven Cummings (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 41 - Cell 2
43Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) HTC - Highroad0:11:20
44Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Saxo Bank SungardRow 43 - Cell 2
45Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Pro Team Astana0:12:04
46Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Omega Pharma - Lotto0:12:31
47Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJRow 46 - Cell 2
48Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 47 - Cell 2
49Brian Vandborg (Den) Saxo Bank SungardRow 48 - Cell 2
50Grischa Niermann (Ger) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51Bruno Pires (Por) Leopard - TrekRow 50 - Cell 2
52Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 51 - Cell 2
53Elia Favilli (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 52 - Cell 2
54Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 53 - Cell 2
55Andrey Mizourov (Kaz) Pro Team AstanaRow 54 - Cell 2
56Thomas Peterson (USA) Team Garmin - CerveloRow 55 - Cell 2
57Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 56 - Cell 2
58Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 57 - Cell 2
59Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas - Cannondale0:15:34
60Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Sky ProcyclingRow 59 - Cell 2
61Nick Nuyens (Bel) Saxo Bank SungardRow 60 - Cell 2
62Johan Van Summeren (Bel) Team Garmin - CerveloRow 61 - Cell 2
63Francis De Greef (Bel) Omega Pharma - LottoRow 62 - Cell 2
DNFBart De Clercq (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 63 - Cell 2
DNFGert Dockx (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 64 - Cell 2
DNFJurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 65 - Cell 2
DNFFrederik Willems (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 66 - Cell 2
DNFRafai Chtioui (Tun) Acqua & SaponeRow 67 - Cell 2
DNFClaudio Corioni (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 68 - Cell 2
DNFAlessandro Donati (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 69 - Cell 2
DNFPaolo Ciavatta (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 70 - Cell 2
DNFSimone Masciarelli (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 71 - Cell 2
DNFFrancesco Di Paolo (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 72 - Cell 2
DNFFabio Taborre (Ita) Acqua & SaponeRow 73 - Cell 2
DNFJulien Berard (Fra) Ag2R La MondialeRow 74 - Cell 2
DNFGuillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Ag2R La MondialeRow 75 - Cell 2
DNFMaxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2R La MondialeRow 76 - Cell 2
DNFMikael Cherel (Fra) Ag2R La MondialeRow 77 - Cell 2
DNFBen Gastauer (Lux) Ag2R La MondialeRow 78 - Cell 2
DNFRinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2R La MondialeRow 79 - Cell 2
DNFLuca Barla (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - C.I.P.IRow 80 - Cell 2
DNFOmar Bertazzo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - C.I.P.IRow 81 - Cell 2
DNFAlessandro Bertolini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - C.I.P.IRow 82 - Cell 2
DNFAlessandro De Marchi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - C.I.P.IRow 83 - Cell 2
DNFGiairo Ermeti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - C.I.P.IRow 84 - Cell 2
DNFLuca Solari (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - C.I.P.IRow 85 - Cell 2
DNFAntonio Santoro (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - C.I.P.IRow 86 - Cell 2
DNFAlessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 87 - Cell 2
DNFMathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 88 - Cell 2
DNFMartin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 89 - Cell 2
DNFSteve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 90 - Cell 2
DNFMauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 91 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 92 - Cell 2
DNFGianluca Brambilla (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 93 - Cell 2
DNFAngelo Pagani (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 94 - Cell 2
DNFAlberto Contoli (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 95 - Cell 2
DNFAndrea Pasqualon (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 96 - Cell 2
DNFStefano Pirazzi (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 97 - Cell 2
DNFAndrea Piechele (Ita) Colnago - CSF InoxRow 98 - Cell 2
DNFYukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team EuropcarRow 99 - Cell 2
DNFAnthony Charteau (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 100 - Cell 2
DNFCyril Gautier (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 101 - Cell 2
DNFVincent Jerome (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 102 - Cell 2
DNFAlexandre Pichot (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 103 - Cell 2
DNFDavid Veilleux (Can) Team EuropcarRow 104 - Cell 2
DNFThomas Voeckler (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 105 - Cell 2
DNFMikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 106 - Cell 2
DNFAlan Perez Lezaun (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 107 - Cell 2
DNFJon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 108 - Cell 2
DNFMikel Landa Meana (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 109 - Cell 2
DNFArnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFLuca Mirenda G. (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 111 - Cell 2
DNFAlessandro Bisolti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFDiego Caccia (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFDavide Ricci Bitti (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 114 - Cell 2
DNFLeonardo Giordani (Ita) Farnese Vini - Neri SottoliRow 115 - Cell 2
DNFSandy Casar (Fra) FDJRow 116 - Cell 2
DNFMickael Delage (Fra) FDJRow 117 - Cell 2
DNFPierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFGeoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFArthur Vichot (Fra) FDJRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFMarco Corti (Ita) Geox-TMCRow 121 - Cell 2
DNFJuan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Geox-TMCRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFDaniele Colli (Ita) Geox-TMCRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFDavid Gutierrez Gutierrez (Spa) Geox-TMCRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFDavid De La Fuente Rasilla (Spa) Geox-TMCRow 125 - Cell 2
DNFFabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Geox-TMCRow 126 - Cell 2
DNFXavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Geox-TMCRow 127 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Albasini (Swi) HTC-HighroadRow 128 - Cell 2
DNFCaleb Fairly (USA) HTC-HighroadRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFLeigh Howard (Aus) HTC-HighroadRow 130 - Cell 2
DNFMartin Velits (Svk) HTC-HighroadRow 131 - Cell 2
DNFPeter Velits (Svk) HTC-HighroadRow 132 - Cell 2
DNFArkimedes Arguelyes Rodriges (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 133 - Cell 2
DNFMaxime Vantomme (Bel) Katusha TeamRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFFilippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha TeamRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFLeonardo Bertagnolli (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFFrancesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFMarco Marzano (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFDiego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFStefan Denifl (Aut) Leopard TrekRow 140 - Cell 2
DNFMaxime Monfort (Bel) Leopard TrekRow 141 - Cell 2
DNFThomas Rohregger (Aut) Leopard TrekRow 142 - Cell 2
DNFEros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 143 - Cell 2
DNFDamiano Caruso (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 144 - Cell 2
DNFDominik Nerz (Ger) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 145 - Cell 2
DNFPaolo Longo Borghini (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 146 - Cell 2
DNFCristiano Salerno (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 147 - Cell 2
DNFAngel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 148 - Cell 2
DNFImanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 149 - Cell 2
DNFJesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 150 - Cell 2
DNFBenat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 151 - Cell 2
DNFSergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 152 - Cell 2
DNFRuben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 153 - Cell 2
DNFPablo Lastras Garcia (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 154 - Cell 2
DNFAndrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Pro Team AstanaRow 155 - Cell 2
DNFFrancesco Masciarelli (Ita) Pro Team AstanaRow 156 - Cell 2
DNFAlexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Pro Team AstanaRow 157 - Cell 2
DNFDmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Pro Team AstanaRow 158 - Cell 2
DNFEvgeny Petrov (Rus) Pro Team AstanaRow 159 - Cell 2
DNFYevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (Kaz) Pro Team AstanaRow 160 - Cell 2
DNFDavide Malacarne (Ita) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 161 - Cell 2
DNFDries Devenyns (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 162 - Cell 2
DNFFrancesco Reda (Ita) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 163 - Cell 2
DNFKevin De Weert (Bel) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 164 - Cell 2
DNFMatteo Trentin (Ita) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 165 - Cell 2
DNFMarco Bandiera (Ita) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 166 - Cell 2
DNFSylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quickstep Cycling TeamRow 167 - Cell 2
DNFBauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 168 - Cell 2
DNFBram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 169 - Cell 2
DNFLaurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 170 - Cell 2
DNFAndré Steensen (Den) Saxo Bank SungardRow 171 - Cell 2
DNFManuele Boaro (Ita) Saxo Bank SungardRow 172 - Cell 2
DNFMatteo Tosatto (Ita) Saxo Bank SungardRow 173 - Cell 2
DNFDario David Cioni (Ita) Sky ProcyclingRow 174 - Cell 2
DNFChristian Knees (Ger) Sky ProcyclingRow 175 - Cell 2
DNFXabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Sky ProcyclingRow 176 - Cell 2
DNFThomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 177 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel Lloyd (GBr) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 178 - Cell 2
DNFGabriel Rasch (Nor) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 179 - Cell 2
DNFSep Vanmarcke (Bel) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 180 - Cell 2
DNFMatthew Busche (USA) Team RadioshackRow 181 - Cell 2
DNFPhilip Deignan (Irl) Team RadioshackRow 182 - Cell 2
DNFBen Hermans (Bel) Team RadioshackRow 183 - Cell 2
DNFMichal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team RadioshackRow 184 - Cell 2
DNFTiago Machado (Por) Team RadioshackRow 185 - Cell 2
DNFNelson Oliveira (Por) Team RadioshackRow 186 - Cell 2
DNFHaimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Team RadioshackRow 187 - Cell 2
DNFStijn Devolder (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 188 - Cell 2
DNFMatteo Carrara (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 189 - Cell 2
DNFMarcello Pavarin (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 190 - Cell 2
DNFRuslan Pydgornyy (Ukr) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 191 - Cell 2
DNFWouter Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 192 - Cell 2
DNFWouter Mol (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 193 - Cell 2

 

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