Welcome to live coverage of the 2014 Il Lombardia
The final monument of the year is here Il Lombardia, or the Giro di Lombardia to you and me. It's a little cloudy in Como as the riders line-up for sign-on. We're about 30 minutes away from the start.
Michal Kwiatkowski will be racing for the first time in his new rainbow jersey today. The new world champion has just signed on. Can he do something today? He's not one of the main favourites, but that didn't stop him last weekend.
Here is the world champion on stage in Como
We were able to get a sneak preview of Michal Kwiatkowski's new steed for today's race and the 2015 season. Specialized have given his S-Works Tarmac a bit of a rainbow make over and dubbed the new frame the Kwiato. You can see a full gallery of images right here.
As we welcome a new world champion, we're also saying goodbye to a former wearer of the rainbow stripes. Il Lombardia will be the final European race for 2009 champion Cadel Evans. The Australian will officially end his career on home soil at the Great Ocean race, but this is his goodbye to the WorldTour.
Defending champion Joaquim Rodríguez is busy talking to the media with only 10 minutes now until the start is given. He is looking to take his third consecutive title. The last rider to win three in a row was Italian hero Fausto Coppi, who actually won four in a row between 1946-1949.
Rodríguez isn't the only Lombardia victor on the start line today. We've got three in total, with 2009/10 champion Philippe Gilbert and 2011 champ Oliver Zaugg.
One man who isn't on the start line today is three time champion Damiano Cunego. The Italian will be leaving Lampre-Merida at the end of this season, after signing for Nippo-Vini Fantini and wasn't named in the team's line-up for today.
The riders are racing and we've already got four riders with a small advantage over the peloton. They are Juan Valencia (Colombia), Francesco Gavazzi (Astana), Mathias Brandel (IAM) and Paul Voss (NetApp).
Those four riders are back with the bunch and the attacks continue to come off the front. Luis Mas, who was in contention for the Vuelta's mountains classification is trying his luck.
UCI president Brian Cookson was on the start line this morning. Cyclingnews managed to grab a few words with Cookson on Alonso and Astana. We'll have a full story on the website soon, but here is what the UCI President had to say about the race.
"I’ve not been to the Giro di Lombardia before but I’ve been here for an under 23 race. It is a great part of the world. One of my first memories of cycling is reading about Simpson winning the world champs and then going on to win Lombardy. You always have a great winner of a great race here."
It's all together again for the peloton with 13 kilometres completed. We can expect a lot of attacks to come today before the escape finally makes it away.
It's not just the race victory that is at stake today. Alberto Contador and Alajandro Valverde are duelling for overall victory in the WorldTour. Only 14 points seperate the two and it is set to go down to the wire in Beijing next week.
@irishpeloton Sun, 5th Oct 2014 10:07:32
We have a break now, who have 50 seconds over the peloton. We'll bring you the names in a moment.
The men out front are Tiziano Dall'Antonia, Francesco Gavazzi, Jeremy Roy, Jan Polanc, Andrea Fedi, Guillemois, Paul Voss & Sergio Paulinho.
Three riders are chasing our leading group. They are Mathias Brandle, Angelo Pagani & Esteban Chaves. Brandle was in one of the initial attacks with Vos and Gavazzi.
214km remaining from 254km
It looks like this will be our day's break. The escapees now have 2:30 on the peloton with the three chasers still stuck in no man's land.
It looks like Chaves is no longer in that chasing group, he has been replaced by Miguel Angel Rubiano.
The gap to the escapees now stands at 7:25, with the three chasers just over a minute behind the leaders.
We told you earlier that Cyclingnews had managed to grab a word with UCI president Brian Cookson on the start line this morning. You can read what he had to tell us about the Alonso team and Astana's two EPO positives.
Cadel Evans isn't the only one ending his career today. Tinkoff-Saxo rider Nicki Sorensen is also riding his last race as a professional. Sorensen turned professional in 1999 and has won stages of the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana.
Defending champion Joaquim Rodríguez is again the big favourite this year. He won't be able to make the same move as he has in the last two years, but this finish should favour him more. There are plenty of riders who are in contention today including Alejandro Valverde and Michal Kwiatkowski.
Who is your favourite today? Let us know on twitter on @CYclingnewsfeed or @SadhbhOS and we'll post them here throughout the day.
@BrianCooksonUCI Sun, 5th Oct 2014 10:58:16
220km remaining from 254km
A quick reminder of the men out front, they are: Tiziano Dall'Antonio, Francesco Gavazzi, Jeremy Roy, Jan Polanc, Andrea Fedi, Sergio Paulinho, Paul Voss and Mathias Brändle.
We have two chasers with Agenlo Pagani and Miguel Angel Rubiano.
Outgoing world champion Rui Costa is celebrating his 27th birthday today. The Lampre-Merida rider is another of the contenders today.
204km remaining from 254km
The leaders are onto the descent of the first climb the Madonna del Ghisallo. Their advantage has ballooned up to 10:22 after 50 kilometres of racing.
@Ruiz_X14 Sun, 5th Oct 2014 11:10:23
The last edition of this race was run in torrential conditions. It is expected to be much nicer this time around. The temperature should remain around 20 degrees throughout the day with some clouds over head. After the conditions at the worlds last weekend, that will be music to the ears of the cyclist.
The chasers have finally made contact with the leaders, it has been a long hard chase but we've now got ten riders at the head of the race.
A quick apology about our time stamp. It is playing up at the moment, you'll have to bear with us. It is of course 12:23 CET
Michal Kwiatkowski is debuting his world championship rainbow stripes today. You can take a look at his new kit and new bike right here.
Europcar rider Romain Guillmois is in the break. The Frenchman was a late addition to the race. The 11 escapees have seen their advantage cut down to 8:36.
@CafeRoubaix Sun, 5th Oct 2014 11:28:46
Road works mean that there have been a couple of changes to the early part of the route, however the final 180 kilometres remain unchanged.
184km remaining from 254km
After 70 kilometres of racing the gap to the escapees has levelled out at 8:36. There is a small climb at Pescate, but the road flattens out for some time. The next significant climb will be at 145 kilometres run at the Colle dei Pasta.
After 130 kilometres the riders will pass through the finish at Bergamo for the first time. That will just be the halfway distance though and once they leave Bergamo they will begin the most difficult part of the course. Five climbs, including the 9.2-kilometre Passo di Ganda, face the riders in the second half of the race.
The riders have been in the saddle for two hours now, ticking along at an average speed of 44.8kph.
Philippe Gilbert is one of the three former champions riding today. He gave this year's new-look course two thumbs up ahead of the race.
Unsurprisingly, it is Katusha and Movistar controlling things at the front of the peloton. They're hoping to deliver Joaquim Rodríguez and Alejandro Valverde to victory today.
Will one of them win today or will it be someone else. Let us know your predictions for today on twitter on @Cyclingnewsfeed or @SadhbhOS and we'll post them on here.
Valverde is doing battle with Alberto Contador this weekend for the lead in the WorldTour rankings. Currenlty Contador leads the way with 620 points, with Valverde trailing by only 14 points. Victory today will give the winner 100 points and a strong lead in the competition.
The competition will go down to the wire at the Tour of Beijing next week. However, with the Chinese race set to end this year Lombardia will return to its traditional place at the end of the season.
Trek Factory Racing report that Yaroslav Popovych has been involved in a heavy crash and has abandoned the race. We will update you as soon as we have the information.
@BMCProTeam Sun, 5th Oct 2014 12:02:50
155km remaining from 254km
The gap has come down a touch as the leaders rider through this flat section. With 155 kilometres remaining, they have a lead of 7:52 over the peloton.
Tinkoff-Saxo are also pitching in with the work on the front of the peloton.
@Smiles_End Sun, 5th Oct 2014 12:12:33
@lanzany Sun, 5th Oct 2014 12:06:56
152km remaining from 254km
The gap to the escapees continues to come down. It now sits at 6 minutes after going well over 11 minutes at one stage.
Confirmation from Trek Factory Racing that Popovych is currently being taken to hospital by ambulance. He is suffering from lots of abrasions on the chest and will have a scan to see if he's broken his ribs.
With 150km still to go today, we're nearing the halfway point. Here is a little reminder of the new stage profile, which features much more climbing in the finale.
Matthias Brandle is one of the 11 leaders today. The 24-year-old has made a name for himself as an escape artist in recent months. He played it perfectly at the Tour of Britain to take two consecutive stage wins, utilising the time trial skills that earned him the Austrian national TT title. It will be much harder for him to repeat his Tour of Britain success, but he'll certainly give it a try.
@pmdicker Sun, 5th Oct 2014 12:33:09
The gap to the leaders has gone back up a touch to 6:30
Jeremy Roy is another rider who is a regular feature in the breaks. The Frenchman won the Tour de France's overall combativity prize in 2011.
We haven't seen much of the new world champion Michal Kwiatkowski today. He's staying safe in the peloton for now. Read what he had to say about riding his first race in the rainbow stipes and coming to terms with his huge victory.
125km remaining from 254km
The halfway point has been reached and the riders are making their first trip of the day to Bergamo. The leaders have 6:39 on the peloton.
Remember to send us in your predictions for today's race. Can Rodríguez become the first rider to win three consecutive Lombardia titles since Coppi in the 1940s or will someone else steal his thunder?
Tweet us on @Cyclingnewsfeed and @SadhbhOS with your thoughts.
Katusha still doing a lot of the work on the front of the peloton. They are now being assisted by Omega Pharma-QuickStep.
@TrekFactory Sun, 5th Oct 2014 13:01:57
120km remaining from 254km
The peloton seem happy with the gap as it is for now. As we enter the toughest part of the route, the gap remains around 6:30 or just above.
A reminder of the news today that we difinitely won't be seeing the Fernando Alonso team at WorldTour level in 2015, but the team still hope to come in at ProContinental level. You can read the full story here, plus UCI president Brian Cookson's thoughts on Astana's two recent doping positives.
110km remaining from 254km
Tinkoff-Saxo have moved to the front of the peloton now and the gap to the escapees quickly falls to 5:50
The leaders have completed the Pasta. The next climb for them is the Colle Gallo. The 7.4 kilometre climb averages 6% and peaks at 10%.
After the Gallo the riders will get another chance to get some food, as they pass through the second feed zone of the day. They'll need it with the biggest climbs of the day the Passo di Ganda coming up soon after it.
The Ganda featured in the 2011 edition of the Giro d'Italia on stage 18 from Morbegno to San Pellegrino Terme. The day was won by Movistar rider Eros Capecchi, who is riding in support of Alejandro Valverde today. From the top of the Ganda the riders face a quick descent through Selvino and Rigosa.
@8aldwin Sun, 5th Oct 2014 13:33:14
The teams seem happy to share the work back in the peloton. Movistar are the latest outfit to assume the front of the group. With less than 100km remaining.
Fabio Aru could be a contender at the finish today. How the Italians would love that. The home nation have been without a winner since 2008.
Here is what Aru had to stay at the start today: “For sure the WorldTour rankings and the fight for points between Contador and Valverde will condition the race.”
“I wanted to have a good second part of the season and I think I did. This is my last race and i'll givre it everything. I've lived in Bergamo for six years and so I'm racing on my home roads.”
@gospina Sun, 5th Oct 2014 13:41:39
Defending champion Joaquim Rodríguez had this to say at the start. “This new route is hard, really hard. We'll see what happens. A win would be a perfect way to end what hasn't been a great 2014 for me.
When a race is 260km long, the ditance makes every climb hurt even more.”
80km remaining from 254km
With around 80 kilometres to go, the gap has fallen to around four minutes to our escapees. Their days out front are numbered as the Ganda comes into view.
Away from Lombardy, Arnaud Démare has won the final stage of the Eurmetropole Tour and takes the overall classification too. You will be able to find full results here as soon as we have them.
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is riding a double race today: for victory and for vital WorldTour points as he fights with Alberto Contador for the number one ranking.
"I want to win as well as score as many points as I can. I like the route. Its very different to the course of the last few years but it's nice.”
We've mentioned a few riders closing their professional careers. For Cadel Evans, this is his last professional race in Europe, while Nicki Sorensen and Thomas Lofkvist will hang up their wheels at the end of today.
71km remaining from 254km
The riders are winding their way up the Passo di Ganda and we're beginning to see splits in the front group. Their gap is down to 3:43 as Movistar drive the pace.
Paul Voss has been dropped from the leading group, while Ivan Basso has fallen off the back of the main peloton. Doesn't look like he'll be contesting much today.
The gap to the leaders is tumbling at a fast rate of knots. It's down to 3:20 now. World champion Kwiatkowski is safely inside the peloton for now. Here is what he had to say ahead of the race.
“It's nice to see so many people cheering for me and asking for an autograph. I'm excited, it's a big day for me. It was difficult for me to understand what I achieved last week but now I can understand that I'm world champion because lots of people are calling out my name.”
My teammates are very strong and they'll support me. We never give up in races. I've never finished Lombardy but I hope do it this time in the rainbow jersey. I had a busy week and so it's been difficult to have info on the race but my teammates Gianluca Brambilla and Rigoberto Uran made a recon and told me things. Of course in the ends it's the legs not the race route that wil deide what happen.”
69km remaining from 254km
Philip Deignan attacks and is followed by Gianluca Brambilla.
Brandle hanging onto the back of the leading group on this climb. He looks like he might be the next victim of the climb.
Deignan and Brambilla have got a small advantage on the peloton. Brambilla is talking on his radio, is this a tactic for the team? Barguil now joins the pair.
Deignan and Brambilla have been brought back and Amets Txurruka is now trying his luck and he nearly overcooks a corner while attacking up hill.
More riders getting dropped from the lead group. Six riders remain out front, they are: Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez, Jan Polanc, Romain Guillemois, Jeremy Roy, Andrea Fedi and Sergio Paulinho.
66km remaining from 254km
Txurruka is building up a decent gap on the peloton. No indication as to how close he is to the leaders yet.
Guillemois is gone from the leading group and only five remain now. Txurruka is beginning to catch the struggling escapees. He's already gone past Gavazzi.
Two-time champion Philippe Gilbert is keeping close to the front of the peloton. Can he win another title today? It's a tought ask, here's what he said at the start today.
“With the new route it's like a totally new race, nobody has ever done the climbs. I've seen the route and the finale. I like and my form is good too.”
“I think all the strong riders will be up there, though it's a one-day Classics and so I don't think Contador is a real favourite.”
Polanc has had enough and attacks the escapees. Pauhlino follows him and they have a small advantage over the other three. Txurruka continues to mop up the former breakaway riders.
Fedi joins the front group to make it three out front.
Domenico Pozzivivo has been dropped from the peloton. It's impressive that the Italian has even made it to the race after breaking his tibia and fibula less than a month ago. Most expected that he wouldn't race again in 2014.
64km remaining from 254km
Rubiano Chavez has finally made it back up to the leading group, as it now expands to four riders.
Txurruka continuing to spit out the struggling escapees. Can he make it up to this leading four? Will the move actually work?
Our group of five are all back together. Jeremy Roy has made it back on this descent. Txurruka is now with Brandle, but the Austrian is struggling to stage with him.
56km remaining from 254km
We've finally got some timings. Txurruka is some 2:10 behind this leading group with the peloton just over 30 seconds behind him. A long way to go for the Caja Rural rider.
Cadel Evans (BMC) brought his young son Robel to the start in Como. On the tape holding his race radio in place, he had written 'Grazie' -Thanks.
“It's a pretty emotional moment for me. It's my last race in Europe and I'll definitely miss racing. I want to do well today but also enjoy the moment. But I know I've got to stay focused on the race but I want to be up front and feel the passion of the race. The passion is always strong in Italian races.”
“We've got a strong team. I don't know if we're the strongest but we've got at least two good cards to play.”
48km remaining from 254km
Guillemois is now with Brandle and Txurruka. They managed to bring the gap down to 1:30 but it hace gone back up to 1:57. It's not looking likely for this group at the moment.
A probelm for Ryder Hejedal. He's riding down the descent with one foot unclipped. Looks like he's suffering from a bit of cramp. A quick shake of his leg and he's chasing back to the peloton.
Paulinho attacks the leaders. The Portuguese rider came from well back to launch his move and catch the others by surprise. He's got a small gap on the other four.
Gavazzi is now back in the peloton. He was one of the initial escapees this morning.
@BrianCooksonUCI Sun, 5th Oct 2014 14:50:06
Paulinho is on the climb of Bracca now, two more climbs and 46 kilometres still to go for the TInkoff-Saxo rider
Txurruka now ploughing a lonely furrow after dropping Guillemois and Brandle, as we see some attacks coming from the peloton.
A small group with Ben Hermans, Pieter Weening and Bauke Mollema has gone off the front.
Interesting to see Mollema attack here. He could be a dark horse for today. The Dutch rider will of course be heading to Trek Factory Racing next season.
40km remaining from 254km
Paulinho has been caught by Fedi to make it two riders out front. They have 2:04 on the first chasing group.
@bambula Sun, 5th Oct 2014 14:57:59
The group containing Mollema has caught up with Txurruka and they've hoovered up Roy.
36km remaining from 254km
Paulinho and Fedi are working very well together. They're holding off the peloton for now and the gap has extended to 2:43. The addition of four riders to Txurruka's chase is helping and they've cut the gap to the leaders to 1:48.
Remember you can send in your predictions for today's race on twitter on @Cyclingnewsfeed and @SadhbhOS
Michal Kwiatkowski has been staying close to the front of the bunch today. He's riding his new personalised S-Works Tarmac. Take a look at his new bike and rainbow jersey right here.
32km remaining from 254km
Katusha perhaps getting a little worried? They're sending men to the front now, as this Mollema group now holds a 1 minute advantage over the peloton. They're closing in on the leaders too and the gap is down to 1:13.
31km remaining from 254km
With just over 30 kilometres remaining, the gap to these two leaders is falling quickly. They've only got 56 seconds over the chasers and 1:57 on the peloton.
The riders are onto the Berbenno. Katusha, BMC and QuickStep are all ont he front.
Great effort by Jan Polanc. The Lampre-Merida rider has managed to make it back up to the leading pair. We've now got three riders out front, but the advantage is only 32 seconds.
Kenny Elissonde looking very much worse for weat on the Berbenno. He's gone out the back door.
Weening, Cherel and Hermans have joined this front group. They've managed to get rid of Txurruka and Mollema somewhere.
Kolobnev attacks the peloton
Up front Weening and Hermans have dropped the others. The peloton are about to bring them back.
Zardini has caught Kolobnev and the pair have bridged over to some of the leaders. Lots of attacks happening now.
Kiryienka has attacked from the peloton and has been followed by Tim Weelens and Ricardo Zoidl.
It is still Hermans and Weening up at the very front of the race, they are being chased down by Zardini and Kolobnev. The Russian is pulling all sorts of faces.
The Kiryienka move has been neutralised and Katusha have two riders on the front of the peloton. Is Kolbnev trying to set something up for Rodríguez or is this plan b?
Edoardo Zardini looks comfortable in the group with Kolobnev. He's had a great year. He beat all of the favourites in the Giro del Trentino earlier this yeat and won the Queen stage of the Tour of Britain last month. Bardiani have a few options today with Bongiorno, Pirazzi and Battaglin.
25km remaining from 254km
The leaders are on the descent now and Weenings gives a little dig. Their gap is now 25 seconds on the peloton.
No sightings of Kolobnev and Zardini recently. We can only assume that they are still stuck in the middle for now.
The Berbenno was the last significant climb of the day, but there is still one small climb just four kilometres fromt he finish that could be the launch-pad for the winning move.
All those attacks have had a big affect on the peloton, which is now drastically reduced. Ryder Hesjedal is sitting near the back of the group, after returning from a small spell of mid-race cramp.
20km remaining from 254km
The peloton are not holding ack on this descent as we see Leopold Konig attack the group.
Konig has joined up with the two leaders with 18 kilometres to go. Konig will be moving to Team Sky for next season, along with Nicolas Roche.
17km remaining from 254km
The three out front only have 16 seconds on a very disorganised peloton. A number of riders coming to the front of the group, but no one team trying to control things.
Lots of riders trying to bridge over. Cadel Evans moves to the front and neutralises a number of the moves.
Jean Christophe Peraud has gone off the front of the group and set off in chase of the leaders
Peraud was the first Frenchman to finish on the podium since 1997, when Richard Virenque finished second.
With 10 kilometres to go, the three escapees continue to work very well together. It looks like they've got 30 seconds on the peloton. Katusha and Garmin now on the front of the peloton.
Ryder Hesjedal doing a turn on the front of the peloton. Tom Jelte Slagter likely to be their option today, although Dan Martin is also a contender.
Tom Dumoulin gets caught up in a crash in the middle of the peloton and it looks like his race is done.
Problem for Kwiatkowski, looks like some very bad cramp for the world champion.
Konig is also suffering with cramp, he is back in the peloton now.
Kwiatkowski riding along at a snail's pace. He takes a bottle fromt he team car, but he's not foing to feature in the finish.
8km remaining from 254km
17 seconds remain for our two leaders. They're being chased by a very small peloton. Looks like there's about 30 riders remaining in that bunch.
6km remaining from 254km
Despite losing Kwiatrkowski, it looks like Omega Pharma-QuickStep still has Rigoberto Uran in that small peloton.
Hermans and Weening taking turns on the front, but with only nine second seperating them from the peloton they won't be out front for much longer.
There are a number of tight corners in the final two kilometres that the riders will have to watch out for.
As they hit the foot of the final climb, Barguil attacks and our two escapees have been brought back.
Wellens attacks onto the pave
Wellens leads as they finish the pave section and he continues to open a gap. The Lotto Belisol rider took the biggest victory of his career at the Eneco Tour, but this would be huge for the young neo-pro.
Gilbert digs in and closes the gap to Wllens.
Gilberto goes again, but he has Costa, Valverde and Rodriguez with him. Most interestingly though Albasini is still in this front group.
2km remaining from 254km
Costa now takes to the front on this short descent.
Samuel Sanchez goes for a flier right from the back of the group.
Albasini hanging onto all of these attack. If he can hold on he has to be the favourite to win
Dan martin attacks
the others are looking at each other
Valverde now chasing
Dan Martin wins
Dan Martin went just inside the final kilometre and caught the others by surprise. While the others were looking at each other, he managed to build a substantial lead.
This has been a very difficult year for Dan Martin. He crashed out on the final corner of Liege, crashed out of the Giro on day one and crashed again at the Worlds. With this victory though, all of that will be forgotten.
Valverde lead the chasers over the line for yet another second place. He is gracious in defeat and hugs Martin by the podium. Rui Costa rounds out the podium
That was a fast and furious finish. The organisers did well with the route change and the riders delivered on it.
Here is the top 10 for today's race
1 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin Sharp 6:25:33
2 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:01
3 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida
4 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol
5 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team
6 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica Greenedge
7 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
8 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha
9 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team
10 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:14
Dan Martin was obviously delighted at the finish. Here is what he had to say after taking his second monument victory:
"I just love this race. It’s one of my favourites. To get second and crash in the last corner last year, it’s just incredible to win it. After all of the bad luck this year, I crashed again, the team believed in me and believed that I would get the big victory and to win this is incredible.
"I planned to attack on the last climb, but I couldn’t get through there were too many people. It was such a hard climb and then I saw Gilbert and Valverde and they’re really fast so I thought I would try something. It’s pretty similar to when I won a stage in the Vuelta, there was about this much gap and I got through as Gilbert was closing it. It was so close to the line so I had to go as hard as I could and not crash on the last corner like Liege.
"Lombardia is always a beautiful race, for me it has always been about the lake, but Bergamo what a fantastic place to finish a race. As soon as I saw the finish on Friday I got goosebumps, and maybe that was a good sign."
@Ride_Argyle Sun, 5th Oct 2014 16:14:07
QuickStep confirm that Michal Kwiatkowski managed to finsh the race, despite suffering from very bad cramp with 10 kilometres to go.
@LucaPapini Sun, 5th Oct 2014 16:15:29
With that second place, Valverde moves into the lead of the WorldTour classification with just the Tour of Beijing remaining.
Reports coming through that ALberto Contador crashed in the final 20 kilometres and fell on his injured knee.
Sorry Contador crashed in the final 250 metres of the race not final 20km.
That is all from us today, you can find the full report, results and gallery here.
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