Nibali took second place, 32 seconds behind the Frenchman, having been part of the elite attacking group from the top of the Muro di Sormano onwards. Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing) rounded off the podium with a sprint from the chasing group, 43 seconds down.
Primož Roglič (LottoNL-Jumbo) kicked off the days' festivities with a long-range attack on the Sormano. His attack provoked Nibali and Pinot into going, with the trio leaving the remains of the peloton behind as they crested the top of the climb.
Egan Bernal (Team Sky) joined them after a fearless descent, and the four men enjoyed a 40-second lead as they hit the climb of Civiglio with 19km to race. Roglič and Bernal fell back on the climb, leaving just Pinot and Nibali up front.
After several attempts to get away, the Frenchman managed to gap Nibali at the top of Civiglio, going solo with 14km to the line. Nibali couldn't offer a response, and it was game over as Pinot soloed to his first Monument victory just days after triumphing at Milano-Torino.
Nibali was caught by the chasers in the closing kilometres, but managed to immediately strike out to take a solo second place.
"Among the Monuments, Il Lombardia is the nicest in my mind," said Pinot after the win. "I've always wanted to win it. I'm in the best shape of my career but to win ahead of Nibali is something very special.
"When I saw him attacking I said 'bingo, this is the right move.' I'm glad he attacked at Sormano. That was the key to success."
Nibali was philosophical after his second place, happy with the result after his late-season plans were thrown into turmoil after suffering fractured verterbrae in a crash at the Tour de France.
"The condition is what it is," he said. "However it grew just in time for Lombardia, which is a very beautiful race for me. I care about it but I couldn't do more - Pinot was the winner in Milano-Torino and had a was in top condition like I was last year.
"I still managed to get this good second place with the grit which is important to me as an athlete. It's a kind of redemption for all that has happened - a good success."
How it unfolded
There would be a slight change of route at the final European WorldTour race of the years. With the race 6km shorter than last year at 241km, the final climb of San Fermo della Battaglia left out due to road problems. The Madonna del Ghisallo, Muro di Sormano and Civiglio remained though, while the final test would be Monte Olimpino, a short climb topping out 3.3km from the finish.
It took a 4km battle for the break of the day to establish themselves. Davide Ballerini (Androni-Sidermec), Umberto Orsini, Alessandro Tonelli (both Bardiani-CSF), Florian Sénéchal (Quick Step Floors), Franck Bonnamour (Fortuneo-Samsic), Jonathan Restrepo (Katusha-Alpecin), Michael Storer (Team Sunweb), and Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates) were the lucky men out front.
In the race's early stages, Movistar were among the teams working on the front, on behalf of new world champion Alejandro Valverde. Five minutes up the road, the break tackled the day's early climbs - the Colle Gallo and Colle Brianza.
On the Madonna del Ghisallo (8.5km at 6.2%) the real attrition started as Bahrain-Merida upped the pace at the head of the peloton with a Vincenzo Nibali repeat victory in mind. Up front, the break fell apart, leaving Orsini, Tonelli, Storer and Bonnamour as the leaders. Over the top, their advantage was 1:45 with 60km to race.
Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) and Jan Hirt (Astana) were among the attackers on the climb, with the Australian going solo on the descent. He was caught on the lower slopes of the Muro di Sormano though, as LottoNL-Jumbo set the pace in the peloton.
At 1.9km, the Sormano is a short climb, but the 15.8% gradients (27% maximum) bit. The break was quickly caught and Primož Roglič launched an attack 49km out as the peloton shattered behind.
Towards the top, Nibali and Thibaut Pinot leapt out of the peloton, which was already only around 20-men strong. Dropped on the climb, Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) came to grief at the top after a spectator's camera strap caught on his handlebars. The Frenchman managed to stop before hitting the deck though.
Nibali led the way down the technical descent, with Roglič chasing the lead duo down, eventually making it a trio with 38km to race. Further back, Egan Bernal flew down the descent alone, some ten seconds back.
As the leaders hit the shores of Lake Como at the bottom of the descent, Bernal was with them. The foursome were 45 seconds up with 30km to race. Meanwhile back in the chase group Daniel Martinez (EF-Drapac) put in a big turn of at the front for his team leader Rigoberto Urán.
On Civiglio, a 4.2km 9.7% climb which started 19km out, Roglič and Bernal were dropped as Pinot and Nibali pushed on. Further back, the chase was stalling before Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) tried an attack near the top of the climb. Up front, Pinot managed to drop Nibali, having previously attempted several attacks.
Inside the final 10km, 45 seconds separated Pinot and the chase group, while Nibali was 25 seconds behind the Groupama-FDJ man. With victory almost certain for Pinot on Monte Olimpino, the main suspense in the final kilometres concerned the destination of the final podium spots.
Another Martin attack saw Nibali caught 3km from the line, but 'the Shark' wouldn't give up, immediately countering from the chase group which included two of his Bahrain-Merida teammates.
It was an impressive second wind from the Italian, who eased away from the chasers to salvage a second place after his season-ruining crash caused by a fan on the Alpe d'Huez in July. Dylan Teuns won the sprint for the final podium spot, 11 seconds behind Nibali.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama - FDJ||5:53:22|
|2||Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain - Merida||0:00:32|
|3||Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bmc Racing Team||0:00:43|
|4||Rigoberto Uran (Col) Team EF Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale|
|5||Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|6||Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Bahrain - Merida|
|7||Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora - Hansgrohe|
|8||Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain - Merida|
|9||Daniel Martin (Irl) Uae Team Emirates||0:00:48|
|10||George Bennett (NZl) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo||0:01:22|
|11||Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team||0:01:31|
|12||Egan Arley Bernal Gomez (Col) Team Sky|
|13||Michael Woods (Can) Team EF Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale|
|14||Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama - FDJ|
|15||Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Mitchelton - Scott|
|16||Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team||0:01:57|
|17||Primož Roglic (Slo) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo||0:03:04|
|18||Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora - Hansgrohe||0:03:33|
|19||Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec|
|20||Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team|
|21||Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Astana Pro Team|
|22||Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe|
|23||Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora - Hansgrohe|
|24||Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick - Step Floors||0:03:54|
|25||Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|26||Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic|
|27||Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb|
|28||Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo||0:03:59|
|29||Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton - Scott||0:04:01|
|30||Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain - Merida||0:04:04|
|31||Simone Ponzi (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini||0:04:55|
|32||Mathias Frank (Swi) Ag2R La Mondiale||0:04:57|
|33||Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Bmc Racing Team|
|34||Davide Villella (Ita) Astana Pro Team||0:06:02|
|35||Simone Velasco (Ita) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia||0:06:40|
|36||Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Cycling Academy|
|37||Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek - Segafredo||0:07:02|
|38||Rui Costa (Por) Uae Team Emirates|
|39||Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick - Step Floors|
|40||Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Team Katusha Alpecin|
|41||Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani Csf|
|42||Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team|
|43||Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Mitchelton - Scott|
|44||Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek - Segafredo|
|45||Robert Gesink (Ned) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo|
|46||Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani Csf|
|47||Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb|
|48||Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb|
|49||Daniel Felipe Martinez Poveda (Col) Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale||0:07:07|
|50||Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini|
|51||Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Quick - Step Floors|
|52||Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Team Sky|
|53||Jose Manuel Diaz Gallego (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy||0:08:10|
|54||Fabio Aru (Ita) Uae Team Emirates||0:08:40|
|55||Manuel Senni (Ita) Bardiani Csf|
|56||Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain - Merida||0:08:57|
|57||Luca Wackermann (Ita) Bardiani Csf||0:09:51|
|58||Sebastian Schönberger (Aut) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia||0:10:36|
|59||Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek - Segafredo|
|60||Simon Špilak (Slo) Team Katusha Alpecin|
|61||Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic|
|62||Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team||0:10:39|
|63||David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Team Sky|
|64||Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek - Segafredo|
|65||Floris De Tier (Bel) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo||0:12:28|
|66||Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|67||Jérémy Maison (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic|
|68||Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb|
|69||Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|70||Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Team Dimension Data|
|71||Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro Team|
|72||Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bmc Racing Team|
|73||Simon Clarke (Aus) Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale|
|74||Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb||0:14:27|
|75||Matteo Montaguti (Ita) Ag2R La Mondiale||0:15:01|
|76||Mikael Cherel (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale|
|77||Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia|
|78||Rob Power (Aus) Mitchelton - Scott|
|79||David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama - Fdj||0:15:05|
|80||Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team||0:17:02|
|81||Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Bahrain - Merida|
|82||Carlos Verona (Spa) Mitchelton - Scott|
|83||Daan Olivier (Ned) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo|
|84||Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani Csf|
|85||Stephen Cummings (GBr) Team Dimension Data|
|86||Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Sky|
|87||Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky|
|88||Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo||0:19:21|
|89||Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Team Katusha Alpecin||0:23:36|
|90||Willem Jakobus Smit (RSA) Team Katusha Alpecin|
|91||Joan Bou Company (Spa) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini|
|92||Marco Tizza (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini|
|93||Ilia Koshevoy (Blr) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia|
|94||Guy Niv (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy||0:24:56|
|95||Franck Bonnamour (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic||0:25:08|
|96||Matteo Spreafico (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec||0:25:10|
|97||Miguel Eduardo Florez Lopez (Col) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia|
|98||Ruben Plaza (Spa) Israel Cycling Academy|
|DNF||Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain - Merida|
|DNF||Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Nans Peters (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||François Bidard (Fra) Ag2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Ben Gastauer (Lux) Ag2R La Mondiale|
|DNF||Davide Ballerini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec|
|DNF||Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec|
|DNF||Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec|
|DNF||Mattia Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec|
|DNF||Ivan Ramiro Sosa Cuervo (Col) Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec|
|DNF||Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team|
|DNF||Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team|
|DNF||Umberto Orsini (Ita) Bardiani Csf|
|DNF||Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani Csf|
|DNF||Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Bmc Racing Team|
|DNF||Loïc Vliegen (Bel) Bmc Racing Team|
|DNF||Simon Gerrans (Aus) Bmc Racing Team|
|DNF||Joseph Rosskopf (USA) Bmc Racing Team|
|DNF||Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora - Hansgrohe|
|DNF||Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora - Hansgrohe|
|DNF||Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora - Hansgrohe|
|DNF||William Bonnet (Fra) Groupama - Fdj|
|DNF||Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama - Fdj|
|DNF||Jérémy Roy (Fra) Groupama - Fdj|
|DNF||Léo Vincent (Fra) Groupama - Fdj|
|DNF||Awet Andemeskel (Eri) Israel Cycling Academy|
|DNF||Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy|
|DNF||Omer Goldshtein (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy|
|DNF||Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|DNF||Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal|
|DNF||James Shaw (GBr) Lotto Soudal|
|DNF||Michael Albasini (Swi) Mitchelton - Scott|
|DNF||Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton - Scott|
|DNF||Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team|
|DNF||Jaime Castrillo Zapater (Spa) Movistar Team|
|DNF||José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team|
|DNF||Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini|
|DNF||Nicola Bagioli (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini|
|DNF||Filippo Zaccanti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini - Europa Ovini|
|DNF||Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick - Step Floors|
|DNF||Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick - Step Floors|
|DNF||Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick - Step Floors|
|DNF||Florian Senechal (Fra) Quick - Step Floors|
|DNF||Lachlan Morton (Aus) Team Dimension Data|
|DNF||Ben O'connor (Aus) Team Dimension Data|
|DNF||Serge Pauwels (Bel) Team Dimension Data|
|DNF||Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Team Dimension Data|
|DNF||Julien Vermote (Bel) Team Dimension Data|
|DNF||Matti Breschel (Den) Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale|
|DNF||Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA) Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale|
|DNF||Sacha Modolo (Ita) Team Ef Education First - Drapac P/B Cannondale|
|DNF||Brice Feillu (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic|
|DNF||Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic|
|DNF||Romain Le Roux (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Samsic|
|DNF||Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha Alpecin|
|DNF||Robert Kišerlovski (Cro) Team Katusha Alpecin|
|DNF||Jhonatan Restrepo Valencia (Col) Team Katusha Alpecin|
|DNF||Michal Golas (Pol) Team Sky|
|DNF||Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky|
|DNF||Lennard Kämna (Ger) Team Sunweb|
|DNF||Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb|
|DNF||Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek - Segafredo|
|DNF||Niklas Eg (Den) Trek - Segafredo|
|DNF||Peter Stetina (USA) Trek - Segafredo|
|DNF||Marco Marcato (Ita) Uae Team Emirates|
|DNF||Manuele Mori (Ita) Uae Team Emirates|
|DNF||Edward Ravasi (Ita) Uae Team Emirates|
|DNF||Rory Sutherland (Aus) Uae Team Emirates|
|DNF||Matteo Busato (Ita) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia|
|DNF||Luca Raggio (Ita) Wilier Triestina - Selle Italia|
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