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Il Lombardia 2019 - Live coverage

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The gruppo is assembling in Bergamo for the final Monument of the season. Il Lombardia follows a 243km route to the finish in Como, by way of the climbs of the Colle Gallo, Colle Brianza, Madonna del Ghisallo, Muro del Sormano, Civiglio and San Fermo della Battaglia. The peloton rolls out of Bergamo at 10.30 local time.

Bergamo is bathed in pleasant Autumn sunshine as the peloton navigates the short neutralised zone before the official start. The temperature is currently 14 degrees but will rise into the high teens before the finish on the shores of Lake Como.

Before the race, a tribute was paid to the late Felice Gimondi. A native of Sedrina in the province of Bergamo, Gimondi was twice a winner of his home Classic, beating Eddy Merckx, Raymond Poulidor and Jacques Anquetil to the line in Como in 1966. In 1973, Gimondi out-kicked Roger De Vlaeminck to claim the spoils.

Before the race, a tribute was paid to the late Felice Gimondi. A native of Sedrina in the province of Bergamo, Gimondi was twice a winner of his home Classic, beating Eddy Merckx, Raymond Poulidor and Jacques Anquetil to the line in Como in 1966. In 1973, Gimondi out-kicked Roger De Vlaeminck to claim the spoils. (Image credit: Stephen Farrand)

The riders are through kilometre zero and the 113th edition of Il Lombardia is underway.

-240km

-230km

The escapees have established a lead of a minute over the peloton. 

-220

As the break's lead stretches to three minutes, Jumbo-Visma have taken the reins in the peloton on behalf of Primoz Roglic.

Roglic was an emphatic winner at the Giro dell'Emilia last week, and Milano-Torino winner Michael Woods has identified the Slovenian as the favourite on the road to Como this afternoon. "If Roglic is on form on Saturday, he's the guy to beat," said Woods, who added: "I feel after my result at Milano-Torino that I have to be considered one of the favourites for Lombardia." Stephen Farrand has the full story here.

-210km

There is plenty of quality in this early move, including local rider Fausto Masnada (Androni-Sidermec). The Bergamo native won Il Piccolo Lombardia in 2015, beating Giulio Ciccone to the line. He enjoyed a sparkling run of form in April and May, when he claimed two stage wins at the Tour of the Alps and a stage at the Giro d'Italia in San Giovanni Rotondo. He signs off on his tenure at Gianni Savio's Androni squad today before his move to CCC for the 2020 season.

Situation

This past week has seen some Lombardia contenders highlight their credentials with victories, namely Roglic, Woods and Gran Piemonte winner Egan Bernal (Ineos). Adam Yates had to settle for third behind Woods atop Superga, but the Briton arrived in Italy buoyed by victory at the CRO Race in Croatia, and he will form a dangerous double act with Jack Haig, who was among the most impressive performers in the finale of Milano-Torino. "It’s usually my last race on the calendar and after a long season it’s sometimes hard to really hit this part of the season in top shape," Yates told Cyclingnews. "But after my last couple of races I feel like the condition is there and hopefully this is the year I can play a part in the finale. I just have to put it out on the day. Stephen Farrand has the full story here.

-200km

Egan Bernal soloed to victory atop Oropa to win Gran Piemonte on Thursday, but the Tour de France winner immediately downplayed his prospects in Il Lombardia, suggesting that he might pay for his midweek efforts.  "Of course I want to do well but I'm happy to have won here. I spent a lot of energy for sure, but it was worth it all when I could celebrate winning with my so many Italian friends," Bernal said. Read more here.

The escapees covered a brisk 47km in the opening hour of racing. They are now on the lower slops of the Colle Gallo (7.4km at 6%), still with a buffer of 5 minutes on the peloton.

Situation

After the Colle Gallo, the race descends back towards Bergamo before heading for the shores of Lake Como by way of the Colle Brianza.

-188km

Ten years ago, Philippe Gilbert scored the first Monument victory of his career at Il Lombardia. The Belgian would win again the following year, dropping the late Michele Scarponi in the finale, but his record in the race has been underwhelming since. In 2011, fatigued at the end of his year of years, he had to settle for 8th behind surprise winner Oliver Zaugg. A year later, he crashed out while wearing the rainbow jersey and Gilbert's only top 10 finish since was his 7th place behind Dan Martin in 2014. He will hope to make a greater impression this afternoon as he signs off on a very successful term at Deceuninck-QuickStep. Next stop, a return to Lotto Soudal, where his cycle of Monument wins began.

Oliver Zaugg's 2011 Il Lombardia victory is, by some distance, the most surprising in the WorldTour era. The then-30-year-old punched clear on the climb of Villa Vergano  and held his advantage to the finish in Lecco to claim what would prove to be the one and only win of his career, with Dan Martin taking second. The Swiss rode for Saunier Duval, Gerolsteiner, Liquigas, Leopard Trek, Saxo-Tinkoff and IAM Cycling before calling time on his career at the end of the 2016 season.

-174km

Latvian champion Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) is part of the early break at Il Lombardia.

Latvian champion Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) is part of the early break at Il Lombardia. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Adam Yates and Jack Haig headline the Mitchelton-Scott challenge at this edition of Il Lombardia, but 2016 winner Esteban Chaves is also in the line-up. After two years ruined by injury and illness, the Colombian scored something of a comeback win at San Martino di Castrozza on the Giro d'Italia but had to settle for 20th overall at the Vuelta a Espana. Yesterday, Mitchelton-Scott announced that Chaves will remain with the team for the next two years.

-155km

Remi Cavagna may not be the most adroit uncorker of champagne, but the Frenchman has enjoyed a fine 2019 season, which he garlanded with stage victory at the Vuelta a Espana last month. He recently signed a two-year extension with Deceuninck-QuickStep and is among the chief drivers of this eight-man break at Il Lombardia.

-142km

Situation:

Two-time Il Lombardia winner Vincenzo Nibali is in action today in his final race in the colours of Bahrain-Merida ahead of his transfer to Trek-Segafredo. After riding the Giro and Tour, the Sicilian has admitted to fatigue in these final weeks of the season, but he is always a threat on the big occasion. "To win Il Lombardia you need the endurance to go all the way and the strength to make the winning move. I'm not sure if I've got both of those this year and so I'm keeping my expectations under control," Nibali said this week. Read more here.

-132km

-128km

2018 winner Thibaut Pinot is an absentee this year, but David Gaudu - so impressive at Milano-Torino on Wednesday - steps in as leader for Groupama-FDJ this afternoon. Last year, Gaudu played a key role in teeing up Pinot's win. This time out, he must approach the race differently. “It’s from the Civiglio onwards that I have to be present,” Gaudu told L’Équipe.

Just three Frenchmen have won Il Lombardia in the last thirty years - Pinot last year, Laurent Jalabert in 1997 and Gilles Delion in 1990. Delion recounted that win, as well as his career and his philosophy of cycling, in this interview with Cyclingnews. "Cycling," Delion said, "is an ecosystem that works better without doping."

-111km

Situation:

The escapees are traversing the province of Lecco, though in its current iteration, Il Lombardia pays only a fleeting visit to the branch of Lake Como immortalised by Alessandro Manzoni in I promessi sposi.

-105km

-100km

EF Education First have joined the flotilla of teams controlling affairs at the head of the peloton. In the break, meanwhile, Ballerini falls victim to a puncture, but he gets a quick wheel change and should rejoin his companions presently.

Ballerini's mechanical issue proves more complicated that initially thought. The Italian wasn't able to make it back to the break, and seems to have sat up to await the peloton, leaving six riders at the head of the race: Fausto Masnada (Androni-Sidermec), Davide Ballerini (Astana), Enrico Barbin (Bardiani-CSF), Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe), Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Toms Skuijns (Trek-Segafredo) and Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates).

-81km

This edition of Il Lombardia, incidentally, is Laurens De Plus'  final race as a professional. The CCC rider brings the curtain down on a career that began with BankGiroLoterij in 2004.

-71km

Team Ineos set the tempo in the peloton on the lower slopes of the Madonna del Ghisallo, 2:40 down on the leading trio of Masnada, Cavagna and Skujins.

Masnada continues to pile on the pressure at the head of the race. First Skujins loses contact and now Cavagna is unable to hold the wheel of the Androni-Sidermec rider, who is alone at the head of the race on the Madonna del Ghisallo.

The Tour of Lombardy scaled the Ghisallo for the first time in 1919 and the ascent immediately became a fixture on a route that wound its way around the branches of Lake Como. During a post-World War II edition of Il Lombardia, parish priest Ermelindo Viganò noticed riders making the sign of the cross as they crested the summit, prompting him to ask Pope Pius XII to place the protection of cyclists under the patronage of the Madonna, and the chapel was re-dedicated accordingly. These days, the chapel incorporates a museum, which poignantly displays the crushed bike of the late Fabio Casartelli.

-69km 

Ineos, meanwhile, are sweeping up the remnants of the early break, with Enrico Barbin dropping back into the bunch. Plenty of riders are being jettisoned out the back of this redeuced peloton as the Madonna del Ghisallo continues to bite.

-65km

Masnada looks over his shoulder, sees Skujins approaching and accelerates viciously. He seems eager to get a photograph of himself alone cresting the summit near the chapel before waiting for the Latvian. A bemused Skujins waves an arm in mild annoyance at Masnada's acceleration.

-64km

Cesare Benedetti (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-QuickStep) will have to work a little more to get back up to the front of the race. They cross the summit a little over 30 seconds down.

There are frissons, meanwhile, in the main peloton. Giovanni Carboni (Bardiani-CSF) attacks and is followed immediately by Bob Jungels (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and they have opened a decent gap on the bunch. They crest the summit 2:05 down on Masnada.

-62km

Mikel Landa has always been a man with a sense of theatre. The Basque brings an end to his Movistar career by climbing off near the top of the Madonna del Ghisallo.

Skujins and Carboni have two minutes on the peloton, with Cavagna, Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates) and Bob Jungels all in between the front duo and the bunch.

-57km

Situation:

Another attack from the peloton, as Simon Geschke (CCC), Pierre Rolland (Vital Concept) and Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) forge ahead and open a small gap on the Colma di Sormano.

-53km

Jungels is cruising across this gap to Masnada and Skujins, and he will catch the two leaders before they hit the Muro di Sormano. The Geschke group, meanwhile, has been pegged back by the Ineos-led peloton.

-52.5km

Situation:

-52km

Rafal Majka (Bora-Hangrohe) presses on the pedals at the head of the peloton and the Pole is bringing a small group with him. Pierre Latour (AG2R La MOndiale), Michael Woods (EF Education First) and Ivan Sosa (Ineos) come with him.

Majka, Sosa, Woods and Latour catch and pass a flagging Jungels before joining Skujins at the head of the race, but the reduced peloton is not far behind them.

Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) has also bridged across to the this small advance party that has formed on the Muro di Sormano, but the gaps are still small. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) are also on the point of forging across.

David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) senses the danger near the top of the Muro di Sormano, and he accelerates in lone pursuit of this small leading group. 

Gaudu makes it across to this front group on the Muro, which contains Ciccone, Sosa, Majka, Woods, Latour and Fuglsang. They have 10 seconds or so in hand on the reduced peloton of favourites behind them.

-50km

Ciccone pushes on the pace on the sinuous descent off the Sormano, with the race strung out in a long line behind him. The descent to Nesso is a long one, and we'll get a better idea of who is and isn't still in contention once the road flattens out. For now, Jack Haig is prominent for Mitchelton-Scott, but it is unclear if Adam Yates is still alongside Roglic, Nibali and company.

Some gaps opened on the climb and others are developing on the descent, but there are still 30 or so riders still in contention, including 2014 winner Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates).

-45km

-43km

-40km

Formolo makes it back on as the road levels out. There are 16km or so to the base of Civiglio, and 30 riders remain in contention to win Il Lombardia.

-35km

-34km

Buchmann and Wellens are exchanging turns smoothly, eager to take advantage of any hesitation behind. The race is in a state of flux and not many teams have the strength in numbers to mount a chase.

-32

-30km

We're heading towards the terrain where Primoz Roglic's Giro d'Italia challenge suffered a telling setback in May. The Slovenian was unable to take his spare bike after a mechanical incident when the Jumbo-Visma car stopped for a natural break on the approach to the Civiglio, and then, riding an unfamiliar machine, he crashed on the descent as he frantically tried to chase down Vincenzo Nibali and maglia rosa Richard Carapaz. He'll hope for no such alarms or surprises this afternoon.

-28km

Situation:

Wellens and Buchmann are fully committed to their effort as they build a lead of just under half a minute with 5km to go to the base of the Civiglio (4.2km at 9.7%).

-25km

After doing his bit in the day's early break, Toms Skujins is now marshalling his Trek-Segafredo companions Giulio Ciccone and Bauke Mollema into position ahead of the Civiglio.

-22km

-21km

-20km

Vincenzo Nibali narrowly avoids calamity at the foot of the Civiglio. He is forced to put a foot down after a touch of wheels, but he manages to right himself and get going again. He is badly positioned, however, as the gradient begins to bite...

Ruben Fernandez launches a supersonic acceleration at the head of the chasers on behalf of Valverde, and that immediately shreds the group to 20 or so riders. Nibali is among those dropped.

Wellens has been caught by the Fernandez-led chase group, while Buchmann is just 9 seconds ahead and won't last long...

-19.5km

Milano-Torino all over again. Gaudu and Woods accelerate out of the chasing group but they are brought to heel by Bernal.

-18.5km

-18.2km

-18km

Latour, Woods, Roglic and Valverde are active at the head of this chasing group. Sosa and Haig are also tracking the moves, with Fuglsang, Gaudu, Enric Mas and Bernal also still in contact. Adam Yates has been distanced but is trying to get back on.

-17km

Latour attacks again and sets out in lone pursuit of Mollema. The Frenchman has tired of the stop-start rhythm of the chasing group, where men like Roglic and Valverde eye one another warily.

-16.5km

Situation:

-13km

The impasse in the chasing group is giving Mollema more than a fighting chance of claiming the biggest win of his career. The Dutchman has 33 seconds in hand on the chasers.

-11km

-10km

-9km

-8km

-7.5km

-7km

Valverde belatedly takes up the reins of pursuit in the chasing group, but they are still 53 seconds down on Mollema. 

Michael Woods takes over on the climb of San Fermo della Battaglia, but it might be forlorn effort. Mollema has 31 seconds on Roglic and 48 on Woods et al.

Woods' effort has split the chasing group. Only Fuglsang, Bernal and Valverde can come with him, and this quartet is closing in rapidly on Roglic...

-6km

-5.5km

Egan Bernal accelerates viciously atop San Fermo della Battaglia. Valverde, Roglic, Fuglsang and Woods follow, but there is no cohesion to their pursuit. 

-5km

-4km

-3km

-2km

-1km

Mollema clenches a fist as he enters the finishing straight. He can sense the win...

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) wins Il Lombardia.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) out-sprints Egan Bernal (Ineos) for second, while Jakob Fulgsang (Astana) takes fourth just behind them.

Mollema is the first Dutchman to win Il Lombardia since Hennie Kuiper soloed home ahead of Moreno Argentin in 1981.

Result

Bauke Mollema speaks: "I can’t believe it. I knew I had to go because when the guys were attacking on the Civiglio they were more explosive than me. when they slowed down, I knew it was my moment to go and I can always keep going. When I knew I had 20 seconds I knew I had a good chance. I knew the downhill very well and I knew they were not going faster than me over there. The last 10k was just full gas all the time. To win this race was unbelievable."

Bauke Mollema

Bauke Mollema en route to victory at Il Lombardia (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Bauke Mollema, Il Lombardia 2019

Bauke Mollema descends the Civiglio with a winning gap at Il Lombardia. (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

After placing 12th and 13th at Il Lombardia in the past two years, Egan Bernal gets his first podium finish in a Monument: “This morning I was thinking to do my best but to be on the podium is something big for me, in my first monument. I’m really happy with this and I should be happy with my performance. [Mollema] was really strong. When he went on the climb, he got a big gap. And behind we were going really hard. Yates was pulling, then Roglic attacked, so I think in the final he was the strongest. I think the most important thing is that I’m on the podium and have finished the season well. I’d like to win a monument one day but it’s difficult for me to stay in the front on these races. I’m still only 22 years old so this is already something big for me.”

Il Lombardia

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Il Lombardia 2019

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

For the first time since 1990, no Italian rider finished in the top 10 of Il Lombardia.

Bauke Mollema

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Il Lombradia

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Il Lombradia

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Alejandro Valverde: "It was a very hard race, you can only compliment Mollema, who did very well to seize the right moment. He made the difference on the climb and we never got back to him. I tried, on the climb and the descent, but I couldn’t get back up to him. Il Lombardia remains a thorn in my side because it’s a race I love but it always escapes me.”

Spare a thought for Rory Sutherland (UAE Team Emirates), who is making his way to the airport for a flight to Paris and a start in tomorrow's Paris-Tours. Stephen Farrand has the story here.

Result

Thanks for following our live coverage of Il Lombardia this afternoon. You can find a full report, results and pictures here, and our man in Como, Stephen Farrand, will have all the news and reaction from the finish. We'll be back with live coverage of Paris-Tours tomorrow.

Il Lombradia

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

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