Welcome to live coverage of the final monument of the season, Il Lombardia.
Here it is, the final monument of the season. The last few teams are signing on and the race will be on its way very soon.
The teams are taking to the stage one by one and the team of defending champion Dan Martin, Cannondale-Garmin have signed on.
After some late changes due to an injury for Joaquim Rodriguez, here is the official start list for today's race.
@Il_Lombardia Sun, 4th Oct 2015 08:28:56
And they're off. There are some grey skies above and we can expect rain during the day too but the finish should be dry for the riders.
Two-time champioin Joaquim Rodriguez is not among the starters this morning. He hit his knee off a signpost during training on Monday; Fortunately he didn't crash but the injury was enough to force him out of the race. Read the full story here.
Rodriguez's compatriot Alejandro Valverde is at the race and leading the Movistar team. For many, Valverde is seen as the favourite for today's race.
We have the makings of our first break going off the front. Here are some of the names that have been confirmed in the move: Stefan Schumacher, Enrico Barbin, Jan Polanc, Matteo Busato, Dennis Van Winden and Simon Geschke.
The escapees now hold more than a two-minute gap on the peloton. Here's a full list of the escapees.
Stefan Schumacher (CCC Sprandi), Enrico Barbin (Badiani CSF), Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida), Matteo Busato (Southeast), Dennis Van Winden (LottoNL-Jumbo), Simon Geschke (Giant-Alpecin), Pier Paolo de Negri (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Marco Canola (UnitedHealthcare), Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Argon 18) and Oscar Gatto (Androni Giocattoli).
It's is currently Sky doing the chasing on the front of the bunch. They've got the likes of Sergio Henao, Wout Poels and Loepold Konig who could do well here. It is Poels that seems to be on the best form at the moment.
215km remaining from 245km
It's long day out there and the peloton are happy to let the gap to the break go out further. Our 10 plucky adventurers have 4:10 at the moment.
We'd like to read your predictions for today's race. You can tweet us at @Cyclingnewsfeed or @SadhbhOS and we'll post some of them here.
The Giro di Lombardia is one of the oldest races on the calendar, after hosting its first edition in 1905. Our pictorial records don't quite go back that far but we've put together some images from Lombardia races of the past. You can flick through the extensive gallery here.
200km remaining from 245km
The average speed over the first hour of racing has been 46kph, which has allowed the leaders to extend their advantage to over the seven-minute mark as they approach the first climb of the day.
@r4ryandean Sun, 4th Oct 2015 09:36:46
The leaders are on the Colle Gallo, a 7.4km ascent that averages 6%. The gap is now over eight minutes.
Italy have dominated the Lombardia record books with 67 winners but it has been seven years since they last had a rider on the top step. One man who is hoping to end that drought is Vincenzo Nibali. His Astana team are hoping to control proceedings and deliver him to victory. You can read the full story here.
Thus far the riders have been able to avoid the predicted rain. There'll be many in the peloton hoping that their luck in this respect continues to the end of the race.
Thus far the riders have been able to avoid the predicted rain. There'll be many in the peloton hoping that their luck in this respect continues to the end of the race.
It appears that Jerome Coppel is also part of this break, meaning we have 11 riders out front. Their gap currently stands at a little over 7 minutes.
@collegallo Sun, 4th Oct 2015 10:03:03
As they promised, it is Astana controlling things on the front of the bunch at the moment. After a troubled last few months, Vincenzo Nibali is looking to end his season with a bang.
Looks like we spoke too soon. The rain is falling on the breakaway. LottoNL-Jumbo, who have Dennis van Winden in the break, posted this picture of the conditions.
@BArTMANb Sun, 4th Oct 2015 09:55:14
There is some good news for the riders, there are clear skies above Como so the rain shouldn't last too long. Astana continue to control the front of the peloton.
The 11 out front have a gap of 7:40 on the bunch.
Speaking of those clear skies, here is a picture of the finish in Como, posted on twitter by the organisers.
150km remaining from 245km
150km to the finish and the break are working well together, they've kept their advantage at over 7:30 and things look to be settling down as they close in on the second climb of the day.
@Il_Lombardia Sun, 4th Oct 2015 10:48:34
A reminder of the 11 men at the head of proceedings: Stefan Schumacher (CCC Sprandi), Enrico Barbin (Badiani CSF), Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida), Matteo Busato (Southeast), Dennis Van Winden (LottoNL-Jumbo), Simon Geschke (Giant-Alpecin), Pier Paolo de Negri (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Marco Canola (UnitedHealthcare), Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Argon 18), Jerome Coppel (IAM Cycling) and Oscar Gatto (Androni Giocattoli).
The riders have reached the second climb of the day the Colle Brianza, in the province of Lecco. The Brianza is a short 553-metre climb which shouldn't provide too much of an obstacle for the peloton.
The riders have reached the second climb of the day the Colle Brianza, in the province of Lecco. There are four more climbs to contend with today, ascents that should help define the make up of the podium.
@petercossins Sun, 4th Oct 2015 11:04:57
There has been other racing going on this weekend. Tom Boonen took victory in Germany, while Marcel Kittel vented his frustrations about his latest abandon. You can read that and more in our latest edition of news shorts.
It is unlikely that the break will succeed today, although the Grand Tours have shown this year that you can never be too certain of anything. There are some pretty strong riders in the leading group with Simon Geschke and Jan Polanc both taking Grand Tour stage wins from a break in 2015.
132km remaining from 245km
The break have completed the Colle Brianza and their gap has gone back up over 8 minutes as Astana continues to set the pace.
If you're just joining us, we'd like to hear your predictions for the victory today. Tweet us on @Cyclingnewsfeed or @SadhbhOS and we'll post some of your predictions here.
As the riders tackle the climbs, the pace in the second hour has dropped to 40.40kph, still on the fastest predicted time schedule.
On rider that is a favourite for today is defending champion Dan Martin. He's still suffering from the crash he had at the Vuelta a Espana but he's seriously motivated for today, not least because it's his final race with the Garmin team her turned professional with. Read what he had to say about his chances here.
The 11 escapees continue with an advantage of 8:24 on the bunch. As they have been for almost the entire race, Astana head up the chase.
Michal Kwiatkowski is a potential contender for today. You may have to look harder for him in the bunch though as he's in Etixx-QuickStep colours after ceding the world champion's stripes to Peter Sagan last weekend.
Astana said before the race that they were looking to control things and they weren't lying. They're still on the front, they must have serious confidence in Vincenzo Nibali. The team have had a very successful run into the race with Nibali winning Tre Valli Veresine and Diego Rosa winning Milano-Torino. Here's what Nibali had to say ahead of today's race.
125km remaining from 245km
After 140km of racing, the gap to the escapees is finally coming down. The 11 out front still have 7:40, though this will disappear when the peloton really ramp up the pace.
The parcours really gets hard today with 72 kilometres to go. First the riders will tackle the Madonna del Ghisallo and 8.5km climb that averages 6% and maxes out at 14. Next up is the formidable Muro di Sormano a 1.9km slope that averages nearly 16% and hits gradients of 25 to 27 per cent.
There has been a crash in the group. No information as to who has gone down but it doesn't appear to be any of the race favourites. We'll update you on the situation.
100km remaining from 245km
The crash hasn't halted the chase down of the escapees and their advantage is now under the 7-minute mark with just under 100km to the finish.
Peter Sagan isn't racing in Lombardy this weekend, but his Tinkoff-Saxo team gave fans a sneak peak of his new world champion's bike. You can take a look it here.
Astana are finally getting a bit of assistance from Movistar and the gap is tumbling now. After 153km they've got just 5:30 in the chasing pack.
After a grey and miserable start to the day, there is sunshine at the finish.
We remind you of the riders who are in the breakaway group. The 11 riders got away very early on in the race and there gap is coming down quickly at the moment.
They are: Stefan Schumacher (CCC Sprandi), Enrico Barbin (Badiani CSF), Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida), Matteo Busato (Southeast), Dennis Van Winden (LottoNL-Jumbo), Simon Geschke (Giant-Alpecin), Pier Paolo de Negri (Nippo-Vini Fantini), Marco Canola (UnitedHealthcare), Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Argon 18), Jerome Coppel (IAM Cycling) and Oscar Gatto (Androni Giocattoli).
Sensing that there time may be up, there are attacks coming out of this front group. They want to stay out there as long as possible, and perhaps even take the win.
Just four minutes remain for the 11 out front as they approach the Madonna del Ghisallo. This is about to get very interesting.
@Il_Lombardia Sun, 4th Oct 2015 12:42:06
75km remaining from 245km
The gaps is down to just 2:30 and Etixx-QuickStep are showing some serious intention on the front now.
@Lotto_Soudal Sun, 4th Oct 2015 12:52:29
Several riders have gone off the front in the Gisallo, they are Tom Jelte Slagter (Cannondale-Garmin), Michal Kwiatkowski, Zdenek Stybar, Metteo Trentin, Carlos Verona, Lukasz Wisniowski (Etixx-QuickStep), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Jon Izaguirre (Movistar), Robert Gesink, Timo Roosen (Lotto NL-Jumbo), Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing)
The lead group is breaking up as the chasers close in on them. Benedetti and Canola are out front now. The second group on the road is 24 seconds ahead of the peloton.
Trentin has been dropped from the chasing group and is now back with the peloton.
There is around 20 seconds between the leading escapees and the remaining group. The Ghisallo has really broken this up.
Riders are all over this climb, we're trying to piece it all together at the moment. Benedetti and Canola seem to be extending their lead for now.
The two leaders have extended the gap to 3:20 as Stybar and Nizzolo have been distanced by the chase group. Barbin, Polanc and Van Winden are 18 seconds behind the leading duo, de Negri is on his own at 1:08, while the Kwiatkowski group is at 1:38. The remainder of the original escape group has been caught.
Barbin, Van Winden and Polanc are closing back in on the two leaders while de Negri has been caught by the Kwiatkowski group. Next up is the Muro di Sormano.
@Il_Lombardia Sun, 4th Oct 2015 13:16:57
The peloton are still riding along slightly faster than the fastest predicted average speed. Astana have once again resumed control on the front after a bit of help from Movistar.
There has been a bit ofa shake out in thr front groups. Canola, Benedeti, Van Winden and Barbin lead the way. They are being chased by a group that contains Michal Kwiatkowski, Tom Jelte Slagter, Jan Polanc, Simon Geschke, Lukasz Wisniowski,Tim Wellens, Robert Gesink and Jon Izagirre.
52km remaining from 245km
It might be dry right now but there are still some wet patches on the road as the chasers hit the bottom of the Muro di Sormano.
The riders are really having to grind up this climb and Canola looks the strongest of the leading group and he's got a small gap. Benedetti is close behind.
Geschke has lost contact with the chasing group and is now back with the peloton.
Each of the 1,900 metres have been marked out on the road and they go by not in a blur but at snail's paces as this climb really ramps up. Barbin is bring brought back by the Kwiatkowski group now.
Van Winden is now back in the Kwiatkowski group and they've got our two remaining leaders in their sights.
50km remaining from 245km
Wellens is leading this chase. He's up on his pedals and battling with his bike. This is such a tough climb.
Kwiatkowski has surged forward and he's pased Benedetti, Wellens is trying to chase him down. Kwiatkowski looks pretty comfortable at the moment.
Astana are bringing the bunch back to these leaders and they're almost withing touching distance. There is hardly any space on the road though as Kwiatkowski continues alone.
Wellens has almost caught up with Kwiatkowski, they've only got 10 seconds on the Astana led peloton.
The riders are coming through in ones and twos and there are some big names, including the defending champion Dan Martin who have been dropped. They've got just under 50km to get back in touch though.
48km remaining from 245km
The leaders are descending now and they've got a long stretch of flat road before they hit the next climb of the Civiglio a 4.2km climb that averages nearly 10 per cent.
Vincenzo Nibali has been looking strong so far today, he even took to the front of the peloton on the Sormano. He doesn't seem worried about marking himself out.
The two leaders have to pass through a patch of fog as they descend. Kwiatkowski signals to the motorbike, he wants someone to follow. Fortunately the fog patch is pretty small.
@Il_Lombardia Sun, 4th Oct 2015 13:45:51
43km remaining from 245km
The descent off the Sormano is almost as hard as the climb, with its narrow roads and tight corners. Mikel Landa is the designated Astana rider to lead the peloton down.
The peloton has been seriously reduced and there's only around 15 riders at the moment. Riders who have made it through are Poels, Chaves, Barguil, Gesink and Nibali. There are more chasing on and it will grow when they hit the flat.
Kwiatkowski and Wellens look comfortable on this descent though and they've got 28 seconds on the main group.
38km remaining from 245km
All of the other teams seem pretty happy to let Astana do all of the work at the moment. They've been the team of the week out in Italy but are they doing too much work? Will they have the legs to do when the time comes?
36km remaining from 245km
It looks like Valverde has made it into this select group, which has grown to about 20 riders. Looks like there is a Cannondale-Garmin jersey in the group but it may be Slagter rather than Martin. The Nibali group is 36 seconds down on Wellens and Kwiatkowski.
Gilbert is being forced to chase back on and he's around 25 seconds behind the Nibali group at the moment.
Gilbert is getting very little help from his companions. They know how dangerous he is if they take him back to the main group.
Kiwatkowski and Wellens sharing a few words in the break. They've got a very fragile advantage at the moment.
28km remaining from 245km
Gilbert has got fed up of dragging his group along and has decided to have a dig. This is make or break for the Belgian and it's going to be a tough challenge to make it back.
Rui Costa is now with Gilbert and the BMC rider seems to be closing the gap. How much will this effort take its toll on him in the finale?
There's about 5km to go until the riders hit the next climb of the Civiglio as the Etixx-QuickStep car gets pretty close to the back wheel of Kwiatkowski. A hairy moment for the Polish rider.
24km remaining from 245km
The leading duo have just 20 seconds on the peloton. Astana continue to drill this chasing group. They're making it as difficult as possible for everyone.
@Cyclingnewsfeed Sun, 4th Oct 2015 14:09:53
20km remaining from 245km
We're into the final 20km and the two leaders are on the Civiglio. They're looking over their shoulders because they can see the chasers right behind them.
Slagter has been dropped from the main group as Wellens is caught. Kwiatkowski on his own with just a couple of seconds' advantage.
19km remaining from 245km
Kwiatkowski's attack has been closed and the Astana team don't even pause as they pass by him. Romain Bardet is now struggling.
Kwiatkowski having to fight to keep in touch. Wout Peols is on the back with him.
Last Astana rider pulls off and Vincenzo Nibal has a little dig. It's not a proper attack but he's distanced plenty of people. Chaves, Valverde, Moreno and Pinot keep with him.
Henao catches on and takes Diego Rosa back too. Rosa now makes a move off the front.
Sergio Henao has caught Rosa. Te pair have a very slim margin over the group as Brambilla tries to chase them down.
The two leaders have been brought back. There is only about 10 riders now in this leading group and Poels is not one of them as he is dropped.
Henao has now gone pop as has Brambilla. Just seven riders at the front of the race now.
17km remaining from 245km
Pinot attacks, takes Nieve and Rosa with him.
Moreno doesn't want these three to get away. He brings them back but drags the others with him.
Now Nieve goes and takes Rosa with him. Nieve runs out of steam but Rosa continues on with Pinot on his wheel.
Moreno once again doing the chasing.
The riders in this group are Thibaut pInot (FDJ), Vincenzo Nibali, Diego Rosa (Astana), Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge), Daniel Moreno (Katusha), Alejandro Valvede (Movistar) and Mikel Nieve (Team Sky).
17km remaining from 245km
Nibali shoots up the middle of the group and is quickly followed by Pinot. Moreno continues to just drag these riders back with Valverde in his wheel.
Nieve looks like he's in trouble now. He's been dropping off and chasing back for almost this entire climb.
Noticeably, Valverde has not attacked or done any of the chasing. He seems to be biding his time as they hit a small descent.
Nibali attacks on the descent. He's probably the best descender in this group and he takes it sitting on the top tube of his custom shark-painted bike.
How much of a gap can Nibali get? There's still one more climb to do after this. He's been out reconning the course though, so he knows what to expect.
After keeping quiet in the bunch, Valverde has finally sprung to live and leads the chase on the descent.
Nibali is really riding this descent on the edge. He's taking all of these corners as fast as he can and few will be able to match him.
11km remaining from 245km
Nibali forced to make a correction as his bike moves under him but that doesn't slow him down. He's really going hell for leather on this descent. Akin to Peter Sagan's performance in the final week of the Tour de France. Can he go one better than his former teammate did on that day?
Nibali almost comes together with a moto that takes a really wide angle around one of the corners. He comes through it safely though.
10km remaining from 245km
There seems to be some discord in the chasing group and this is all good news for Nibali. Rosa sitting near the front and trying to slow things down too.
A time check for Nibal shows that he's got 25 seconds with 10km to go. It's not over for these chasers but tey need to get their act together soon.
Nibali has about 5km of flat before he hits the next climb. Valverde gets frustrated with Rosa's blocking tactics and gives him a friendly shove out of the way.
7km remaining from 245km
A few riders have made it back to this chasing group. Gallopin, Brambilla and Henao are back. Henao is now doing the pulling on the front.
Nibali climbing again, the lead has gone out to 41 seconds now as Esteban Chaves attacks.
Chaves suddenly pulls up and it looks like he's suffering from cramp. Pinot is the next to go but Rosa is doing his best to make life difficult and keeps bringing riders back.
6km remaining from 245km
Moreno brings back Pinot and he's got Valverde in his wheel.
Moreno makes his own attack for the first time. He's got a small gap on the main group of chasers.
Pinot is the only rider that has been able to keep in touch with Moreno but another dig on the steeper gradient puts some distance between them.
Moreno is out of contract at the end of this season and he's not got a new team yet. A win here would certainly help with that and he's bring Nibali back.
5km remaining from 245km
Nibal getting some encouragement from the car and he's got to dig deep because Moreno is on his case.
Moreno is really eating chunks out of Nibali's lead. It's down to just 14 seconds now.
There are now no vehicles between Nibali and Moreno, this is going to be close but Nibali is descending once again and he's going to give it his all once again.
Moreno on the descent now too but he's looking much more sheepish in comparison to Nibali, who is one of the best at this in the peloton.
Nibali back in position on his top tube. Moreno looking much slower on this descent. Looks like this one could belong to the Italian.
3km remaining from 245km
Moreno certainly doesn't look as smooth but he's only 11 seconds behind Nibali.
Nibali out of the saddle and sprinting as hard as he can.
300 metres left for Nibali and he's already celebrating.
Nibali has won
Moreno over the line in second
Pinot takes third
Looks like Valverde beat Rosa for fourth place
That was an impressive victory from Nibali. The Astana team controlled things right from the start and then the Italian used his superb descending skills to make the crucial gap.
@Il_Lombardia Sun, 4th Oct 2015 14:53:09
Here is the top 9 from Il Lombardia
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 06:16:28
2 Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha 00:00:21
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 00:00:32
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:00:46
5 Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team
6 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky
7 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 00:00:56
8 Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team Sky
9 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step 00:01:10
Nibali is getting ready to step out onto the podium. This is his first monument victory, to add to his three Grand Tour titles.
The sun is beating down on the riders, a stark difference to how it was this morning in Bergamo.
Huge cheers as Nibali comes out onto the stage with his daughter Emma.
@Il_Lombardia Sun, 4th Oct 2015 15:08:38
Nibali and many of the other riders will only have a couple of day's rest before they head to their final race of the season at the Abu Dhabi Tour, which begins next Thursday.
Vincenzo Nibali as he crosses the line to take victory in Lombardia.
Our full report and gallery is coming together. You can find it here, with the full results on their way too.
That is it from Cyclingnews today, thank you for joining us and remember to stick with us for all the reaction from today's racing.
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