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."
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.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange||6:26:36|
|2||Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team|
|3||Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac|
|4||Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||0:00:06|
|5||Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac||0:01:19|
|6||Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team||0:01:24|
|7||Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo|
|8||Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin|
|9||Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team|
|10||Pierre-Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|11||Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team||0:01:26|
|12||Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step||0:02:04|
|13||Rodolfo Andres Torres (Col) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec||0:02:05|
|14||Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team||0:02:42|
|15||Rui Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida||0:05:02|
|16||Matvey Mamykin (Rus) Team Katusha|
|17||Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|18||Darwin Atapuma (Col) BMC Racing Team||0:05:33|
|19||Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo||0:06:24|
|20||Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team||0:06:36|
|21||Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale||0:07:17|
|22||Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida||0:08:10|
|23||Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ|
|24||Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ|
|25||Alessio Taliani (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec|
|26||Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky|
|27||Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Dimension Data|
|28||Javier Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team|
|29||Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek-Segafredo|
|30||Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team|
|31||Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac|
|32||Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits||0:10:30|
|33||Damiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini|
|34||Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team|
|35||Michael Gogl (Aut) Tinkoff Team|
|36||Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - Merida|
|37||Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale|
|38||Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin|
|39||Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin|
|40||Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha|
|41||Simone Petilli (Ita) Lampre - Merida||0:15:05|
|42||Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||0:15:51|
|43||Carlos Verona (Spa) Orica-BikeExchange|
|44||Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJ|
|45||Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Team Katusha|
|46||Yonder Godoy (Ven) Wilier Triestina-Southeast||0:15:54|
|47||Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre - Merida||0:15:57|
|48||Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step|
|49||Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec|
|50||Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team||0:16:01|
|51||Simone Velasco (Ita) Bardiani CSF||0:18:12|
|52||Víctor De La Parte (Spa) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
|53||Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step|
|54||Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
|55||Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team|
|56||Andrei Solomennikov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo|
|57||Daniel Martínez (Col) Wilier Triestina-Southeast|
|58||Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|59||Stefan Denifl (Aut) IAM Cycling|
|60||Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step||0:18:16|
|61||David De La Cruz (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step||0:20:09|
|DNF||Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team|
|DNF||Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team|
|DNF||Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team|
|DNF||Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team|
|DNF||Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team|
|DNF||Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Marco Bandiera (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec|
|DNF||Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec|
|DNF||Alberto Nardin (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec|
|DNF||Daniele Ratto (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec|
|DNF||Serghei Tvetcov (Rom) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec|
|DNF||Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF|
|DNF||Simone Andreetta (Ita) Bardiani CSF|
|DNF||Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF|
|DNF||Stefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani CSF|
|DNF||Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF|
|DNF||Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSF|
|DNF||Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani CSF|
|DNF||Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team|
|DNF||Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team|
|DNF||Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team|
|DNF||Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac|
|DNF||Andre Cardoso (Por) Cannondale-Drapac|
|DNF||Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac|
|DNF||Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac|
|DNF||Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac|
|DNF||Felix Grosschartner (Aut) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
|DNF||Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
|DNF||Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
|DNF||Maciej Paterski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
|DNF||Simone Ponzi (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
|DNF||Branislau Samoilau (Blr) CCC Sprandi Polkowice|
|DNF||Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|DNF||Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|DNF||Arnold Jeannesson (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|DNF||Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|DNF||Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits|
|DNF||Laurens De Plus (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step|
|DNF||Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step|
|DNF||Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step|
|DNF||Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ|
|DNF||Jérémy Maison (Fra) FDJ|
|DNF||Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ|
|DNF||Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ|
|DNF||Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ|
|DNF||Alexander Kolobnev (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo|
|DNF||Igor Boev (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo|
|DNF||Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo|
|DNF||Alexander Foliforov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo|
|DNF||Artem Nych (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo|
|DNF||Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo|
|DNF||Aydar Zakarin (Rus) Gazprom-Rusvelo|
|DNF||Oliver Zaugg (Swi) IAM Cycling|
|DNF||Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling|
|DNF||Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling|
|DNF||Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) IAM Cycling|
|DNF||Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling|
|DNF||Lawrence Warbasse (USA) IAM Cycling|
|DNF||Marcel Wyss (Swi) IAM Cycling|
|DNF||Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre - Merida|
|DNF||Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre - Merida|
|DNF||Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre - Merida|
|DNF||Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal|
|DNF||Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|DNF||Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|DNF||Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|DNF||Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|DNF||Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|DNF||Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|DNF||Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|DNF||Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team|
|DNF||Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Movistar Team|
|DNF||Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar Team|
|DNF||Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar Team|
|DNF||Grega Bole (Slo) Nippo - Vini Fantini|
|DNF||Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini|
|DNF||Iuri Filosi (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini|
|DNF||Eduard Michael Grosu (Rom) Nippo - Vini Fantini|
|DNF||Yuma Koishi (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini|
|DNF||Genki Yamamoto (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini|
|DNF||Gianfranco Zilioli (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini|
|DNF||Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange|
|DNF||Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange|
|DNF||Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-BikeExchange|
|DNF||Ruben Plaza (Spa) Orica-BikeExchange|
|DNF||Amets Txurruka (Spa) Orica-BikeExchange|
|DNF||Robert Power (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange|
|DNF||Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data|
|DNF||Natnael Berhane (Eri) Dimension Data|
|DNF||Omar Fraile (Spa) Dimension Data|
|DNF||Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data|
|DNF||Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension Data|
|DNF||Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data|
|DNF||Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data|
|DNF||Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin|
|DNF||Fredrik Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-Alpecin|
|DNF||Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-Alpecin|
|DNF||Sindre Skjoestad Lunke (Nor) Team Giant-Alpecin|
|DNF||Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin|
|DNF||Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha|
|DNF||Alberto Losada (Spa) Team Katusha|
|DNF||Egor Silin (Rus) Team Katusha|
|DNF||Rein Taaramae (Est) Team Katusha|
|DNF||Angel Vicioso (Spa) Team Katusha|
|DNF||Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo|
|DNF||Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo|
|DNF||Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo|
|DNF||Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo|
|DNF||Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo|
|DNF||Bram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo|
|DNF||Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team LottoNl-Jumbo|
|DNF||Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Team Sky|
|DNF||Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky|
|DNF||Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky|
|DNF||Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky|
|DNF||Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky|
|DNF||Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky|
|DNF||Ben Swift (GBr) Team Sky|
|DNF||Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff Team|
|DNF||Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff Team|
|DNF||Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff Team|
|DNF||Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff Team|
|DNF||Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Tinkoff Team|
|DNF||Sergio Paulinho (Por) Tinkoff Team|
|DNF||Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff Team|
|DNF||Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek-Segafredo|
|DNF||Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo|
|DNF||Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Trek-Segafredo|
|DNF||Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo|
|DNF||Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo|
|DNF||Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-Segafredo|
|DNF||Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Southeast|
|DNF||Julen Amezqueta (Spa) Wilier Triestina-Southeast|
|DNF||Rafael Andriato (Bra) Wilier Triestina-Southeast|
|DNF||Andrea Fedi (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Southeast|
|DNF||Cristian Rodriguez (Spa) Wilier Triestina-Southeast|
|DNF||Eugert Zhupa (Alb) Wilier Triestina-Southeast|
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