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Chaves wins WorldTour finale Il Lombardia

Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange) made history, giving Colombia its first victory in the history of Il Lombardia, as he prevailed in a tactical finale over breakaway companions Diego Rosa (Astana) and Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac).

Rosa was distanced on the Bergamo Alta climb in the final five kilometres, along with Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), but while the Frenchman could not manage to rejoin, Rosa fought his way back to Chaves and Uran as the two Colombians watched each other.

Rosa put in a probing attack in the final kilometer that was marked by Chaves, and then attempted to surprise with an attack out of the final turn in a bid for glory.

But it was not meant to be for the Italian, who ran out of steam and was passed by the diminutive Chaves just before the line.

The victory was a significant one for Chaves, as the first Monument of his career, the first one-day WorldTour victory and as the first rider from outside of Europe to win Il Lombardia.

"It's unbelievable - I can’t believe I’ve won Lombardia," Chaves said. "I turned pro here in Lombardy with Coldeportes, I lived in Bergamo for two years, and now I’ve won this race. It’s really special, I want to say thank you very much to everyone at Orica-BikeExchange. I'm really happy and feel really proud of my team."

Chaves had an outstanding season, coming second overall in the Giro d'Italia and third in the Vuelta a España. This late in the season, the 241km distance meant everyone was fatigued, leaving the top climbers at an advantage.

"It was really hard, close to 5000 metres [of climbing], but I'm really happy. To finish the season with this victory is unbelievable."

Chaves escaped with Uran and Bardet - with Rosa later bridging across - on the Selvino ascent, some 35km before the finish, and the quartet worked well together to hold off an elite chasing group, arriving at the final climb, the short but sharp Bergamo Alta, with an advantage of 1:30. The climb crested with 3.1km to go, and Chaves split the breakaway with a surge near the top.

"I tried to make a difference after the cobbles – I knew the last climb – but I arrived with Rigoberto and then Rosa closed the gap. The important thing was staying calm. I tried and I won."

Rosa came into the race as co-leader with Astana teammate Fabio Aru, and did a load of work for his teammate ahead of the Selvino to reel in attacks. When he got the nod to go up the road as the strongest Astana man, and made it up to leading trio, he was confident he could win. After a scrappy chase-back after Bergamo Alta, he went early and just mis-timed his effort in the sprint.

"Sorry for the final," Rosa said to his team, which he is set to leave at the end of this season, "because I think today was my day, but ok, next year.

"For me it was important to have a good finish to the season with Astana, and to finish with a win in Lombardia would have been the best, but second is good."

Video Highlights

How it happened

The riders looked worriedly at the heavy grey clouds hugging the hills above Como as they signed on at the start of the race. Overnight rain had left the fallen leaves and roads wet and everyone was hoping to stay dry and stay safe during the 241km of climbing and descending that made up the 2016 Il Lombardia.

BMC was the last team to sign on and the flag dropped on schedule, catching out several riders who had to dash from the start area to catch up to the peloton. These included Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), with Robert Power (Orica-Bike Exchange) the last to leave. Unfortunately he struggled to fight his way through the crowds in the centre of Como and never made it to the peloton.

Bardiani-CSF's Sonny Colbrelli was one of the first to attack in his final race with the Italian team before joining Bahrain-Merida in 2017. Zdenek Stybar chased after him but both were soon pulled back. The peloton stayed together for the first hour and until the foot of the Ghisallo – the first of the eight major climbs of the race. It as here as the gradient steepened that Damiano Caruso (BMC), Stefan Denifl (IAM), Mickael Cherel (AG2R La Mondiale) and Rudy Molard (Cofidis) jumped away to form the early break of the day. Denifl lead the move over the top and past the Madonna di Ghisallo cyclist's chapel, as the bells rang out in welcome. The peloton was four minutes behind.

Cannondale-Drapac and Astana did the lion's share of the work leading the chase. Davide Formolo climbed off at the summit of the Ghisallo but Moreno Moser buried himself for Uran.

After a fast 125km of racing, the break began the Valcava climb that signalled the start of the finale and the remaining six climbs. Caruso pushed the pace and Denifl was unable to hold the pace and was dropped. Cherel was dropped from the breakaway as other riders fell out of the back of the peloton as the climbs and tired legs and tired heads at the end of the season took their toll. The peloton reached the summit some 3:15 behind the break.

Caruso was forced to stop on the descent of Berbenno after dropping his chain but quickly caught Molard again and then passed him on the little-known but steep Sant-Antonio Abbandonato.

The climb sparked several attacks behind with Bardet, Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) jumping off the front. Sensing it was an important move, Brambilla and Aru also take off in pursuit. Soon after Robert Gesink (LottoNl-Jumbo) went away with Diego Rosa (Astana), Davide Villela (Cannondale-Drapac), Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) and several others as the situation remained fluid over the top and on the descent.

The leading group was made up of: Fabio Aru and Diego Rosa (Astana), Romain Bardet and Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale), Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange), Alejandro Valverde and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar), Rigoberto Uran and Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac), Gianluca Brambilla and David de la Cruz (Etixx-QuickStep), Warren Barguil (Giant-Alpecin), Alessandro de Marchi (BMC), Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo), Rodolfo Torres (Androni), and Rudy Molard (Cofidis).

The finish was still 50km away and so the riders in the move failed to commit as they studied who was there and who had missed out. The Miragolo San Salvatore climb was next but the attackers rode steady, allowing riders to come up from behind, including Uran who had been distanced.

Caruso was finally swept up and dropped on the 8.7km climb as the favourites readied for the final attacks. They came on the start of the Selvino when Chaves surged away with a sustained effort. Uran and Bardet dug deep to go with him. It was the decisive attack that showed who had the legs to win and who was forced to fight for survival and a placing in the top ten.

Rosa made a huge effort to jump across to the trio on the Selvino. He first tried to drag Aru up to the attack as the 5% gradient allowed a fast pace, then surged away alone to cross the gap over the top of the climb. He made it to the front making it four riders with 40 seconds on the chasers on the long, twisty descent into Bergamo.

Despite rain beginning as they approached the finish, the leaders made it safely off the Selvino and worked together to hold off the 10-rider chase behind. Luckily for the quartet, there was a lack of cooperation in that group, and they came into Bergamo with more than a minute's lead.

Chaves lit it up on the Bergamo Alta, dropping Bardet and Rosa, but he and Uran were not committed to fending off the chase. Rosa was able to make it back and almost pull off the coup, but he ran out of gas just before the line.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange6:26:36
2Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team
3Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac
4Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:06
5Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac0:01:19
6Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:24
7Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
8Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin
9Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team
10Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
11Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:01:26
12Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step0:02:04
13Rodolfo Andres Torres (Col) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec0:02:05
14Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team0:02:42
15Rui Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida0:05:02
16Matvey Mamykin (Rus) Team Katusha
17Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
18Darwin Atapuma (Col) BMC Racing Team0:05:33
19Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo0:06:24
20Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team0:06:36
21Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:07:17
22Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida0:08:10
23Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ
24Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ
25Alessio Taliani (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec
26Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky
27Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Dimension Data
28Javier Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team
29Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek-Segafredo
30Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team
31Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac
32Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:10:30
33Damiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
34Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
35Michael Gogl (Aut) Tinkoff Team
36Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - Merida
37Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
38Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
39Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
40Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha
41Simone Petilli (Ita) Lampre - Merida0:15:05
42Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:15:51
43Carlos Verona (Spa) Orica-BikeExchange
44Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJ
45Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Team Katusha
46Yonder Godoy (Ven) Wilier Triestina-Southeast0:15:54
47Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre - Merida0:15:57
48Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step
49Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec
50Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team0:16:01
51Simone Velasco (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:18:12
52Víctor De La Parte (Spa) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
53Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step
54Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
55Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team
56Andrei Solomennikov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
57Daniel Martínez (Col) Wilier Triestina-Southeast
58Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
59Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling
60Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step0:18:16
61David De La Cruz (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step0:20:09
DNFDario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team
DNFAndriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team
DNFTanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team
DNFMiguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team
DNFPaolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team
DNFMikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFHubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFCyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFMarco Bandiera (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec
DNFFrancesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec
DNFAlberto Nardin (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec
DNFDaniele Ratto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec
DNFSerghei Tvetcov (Rom) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec
DNFSonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNFSimone Andreetta (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNFEnrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNFStefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNFLorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNFEdoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNFFrancesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani CSF
DNFGreg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
DNFBen Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team
DNFAmaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team
DNFAlberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
DNFAndre Cardoso (Por) Cannondale-Drapac
DNFDavide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
DNFMoreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
DNFTom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
DNFFelix Grosschartner (Aut) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFJan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFLukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFMaciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFSimone Ponzi (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFBranislau Samoilau (Blr) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
DNFAnthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFNicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFArnold Jeannesson (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFLuis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFAnthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFLaurens De Plus (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
DNFPieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
DNFZdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step
DNFAlexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ
DNFJérémy Maison (Fra) FDJ
DNFSteve Morabito (Swi) FDJ
DNFAnthony Roux (Fra) FDJ
DNFJérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ
DNFAlexander Kolobnev (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNFIgor Boev (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNFSergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNFAlexander Foliforov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNFArtem Nych (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNFEvgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNFAydar Zakarin (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo
DNFOliver Zaugg (Swi) IAM Cycling
DNFStef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling
DNFMathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling
DNFVegard Stake Laengen (Nor) IAM Cycling
DNFJarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling
DNFLawrence Warbasse (USA) IAM Cycling
DNFMarcel Wyss (Swi) IAM Cycling
DNFMatteo Bono (Ita) Lampre - Merida
DNFKristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre - Merida
DNFJan Polanc (Slo) Lampre - Merida
DNFTony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
DNFSander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFGert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFBart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFMaxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFTim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFJelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFLouis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFWinner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team
DNFJon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFDayer Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
DNFFrancisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFGrega Bole (Slo) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNFPier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNFIuri Filosi (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNFEduard Michael Grosu (Rom) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNFYuma Koishi (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNFGenki Yamamoto (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNFGianfranco Zilioli (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini
DNFJack Haig (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
DNFDamien Howson (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
DNFJens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-BikeExchange
DNFRuben Plaza (Spa) Orica-BikeExchange
DNFAmets Txurruka (Spa) Orica-BikeExchange
DNFRobert Power (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange
DNFEdvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
DNFNatnael Berhane (Eri) Dimension Data
DNFOmar Fraile (Spa) Dimension Data
DNFSerge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data
DNFKristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data
DNFKanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data
DNFJaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data
DNFTom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFFredrik Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFTobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFSindre Skjoestad Lunke (Nor) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFAlbert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFJoaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha
DNFAlberto Losada (Spa) Team Katusha
DNFEgor Silin (Rus) Team Katusha
DNFRein Taaramae (Est) Team Katusha
DNFAngel Vicioso (Spa) Team Katusha
DNFEnrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
DNFKoen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
DNFWilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
DNFBertjan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
DNFPaul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
DNFBram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
DNFAlexey Vermeulen (USA) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
DNFMikel Landa Meana (Spa) Team Sky
DNFVasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky
DNFLeopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky
DNFMikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky
DNFWouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky
DNFNicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky
DNFBen Swift (GBr) Team Sky
DNFPavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff Team
DNFJesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff Team
DNFRoman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff Team
DNFRafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team
DNFMatteo Tosatto (Ita) Tinkoff Team
DNFSergio Paulinho (Por) Tinkoff Team
DNFPawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff Team
DNFLaurent Didier (Lux) Trek-Segafredo
DNFFabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
DNFRyder Hesjedal (Can) Trek-Segafredo
DNFJulien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
DNFJasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
DNFHaimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
DNFFilippo Pozzato (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Southeast
DNFJulen Amezqueta (Spa) Wilier Triestina-Southeast
DNFRafael Andriato (Bra) Wilier Triestina-Southeast
DNFAndrea Fedi (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Southeast
DNFCristian Rodriguez (Spa) Wilier Triestina-Southeast
DNFEugert Zhupa (Alb) Wilier Triestina-Southeast

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