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Milano-Torino 2018

Hello there. The autumn Italian classics are coming thick and fast, and it's brilliant, isn't it? 

 

Milano-Torino today, the focal point being the double ascent of the Superga, with its picturesque finish in the shadow of the Basilica. 

100km remaining from 200km

As we pick up the action, approaching the half-way mark, we have a breakaway of four riders with a lead of six minutes.

 

 

 

Here's the race profile

 

 

As you can see, the route is largely flat, but the twin ascents of Superga in the final 25km will make for a really tough race. It's 4.9km long with an average gradient of 9.1% and a maximum pitch of 14%. The first time up is slightly shorter as the riders peel off and descend before coming up again and turning up the final road to the Basilica. 

 

The new world champ is here. 

 

 

This is the latest in a series of autumn Italian one-day races, which started with the Giro dell'Emilia last Saturday and will end with Il Lombardia this coming Saturday. And then that's it for the European season, with the Tour of Guangxi the only thing left after that. Enjoy it while you can - cyclo-cross is coming. 

 

We did a full preview/run-down of these one-days, by the way, and you can find it at the following link.


From Giro dell'Emilia to Il Lombardia: The final act of the European road season

 

Here's the break

 

 

The route now is rolling across the Po Valley along flat roads | Il percorso si snoda al momento sulle strade pianeggianti della Pianura Padana #MilanoTorino pic.twitter.com/Ur5FVLwn7Y

Valverde, Pinot, Yates, Moscon, Lopez, Fuglsang, Zakarin, Martin, Aru, Wellens, Mollema, Kelderman, Jungels, Mas, Majka, Sosa...

 

Another stacked field, and I'm sure I've missed someone out, so head over and check out the full start list here

 

70km remaining from 200km

The pace has picked up in the peloton and the gap to the four leaders is down to 2:20.

 

It's the FDJ and Mitchelton-Scott teams - of Thibaut Pinot and Adam Yates, respectively - doing the bulk of the work at the head of the peloton. 

Yesterday we were in Varese for the Tre Valli Varesine. It was a great race, it was won by Toms Skujins, and you can read all about it in our race report, which also contains full results and a gallery of photos. 

 

Skujins wins Tre Valli Varesine

 

63km remaining from 200km

The peloton is strung out almost completely in single file as FDJ and Mitchelton continue to collaborate in chasing the break. The gap stands at two minutes.

 

Nice postcards from #MilanoTorino! pic.twitter.com/1K7WxdIS48

55km remaining from 200km

The peloton is lined out but, perhaps not wanting to make the catch too early, or risk counter-attacks, they are losing ground to the breakaway quartet. The gap is up at 2:40

 

Thomas De Gendt breakaway klaxon

 

The break is the Belgian's second home. He's one of the best in the business and earlier this year he told us how he does it. We tend to roll this piece out in our live blog every time he gets up the road, and today will be no different. 

 

De Gendt: The art of the breakaway specialist

 

48km remaining from 200km

Less than 50km to go now and the gap has stabilised at 2:30 as we continue the flat approach to Superga. 

 

Our top story today concerns Jan Ullrich, who has written an open letter in which he opens up about his troubled past few months. 

 

The former Tour de France winner has struggled with substance abuse and has twice been arrested recently, but he now appears to have halted his downward spiral and set down the path to recovery, recently returning from a rehabilitation centre in Miami. 

 

"I have built the foundation for my new life with detoxification," he writes. "I will be the old, new Jan, who will do everything and will fight to defeat his demons and to rediscover the light with new energy and zest for life."

 

Click here for the full story

Mitchelton-Scott still taking responsibility in the peloton. We grabbed a word with Adam Yates this morning, and here's what he had to say. 

 

"It’s a race I like, I’m motivated and feel good, we’ll see at the end. It’s a pretty easy race until the last 30km and then it’s about if you have the legs. There’s a lot of strong riders here, there’s big long list, with guys likes Pinot and Lopez going well. Hopefully I can compete for the win."

35km remaining from 200km

35km to go and the gap is falling once again. It's down to 1:52. 

 

A reminder that the first ascent of Superga begins with 24 kilometres to go (so in around 10km time). The pace will only increase between now and then. 

 

Our second top story - and an altogether more bizarre one - concerns Geraint Thomas and his Tour de France trophy. Well, it's not his anymore - someone has nicked it from a bike show in the UK. Yes, really. 

 

Geraint Thomas' Tour de France trophy stolen
 

 

More teams are moving up now. They says thanks to FDJ and Mitchelton for doing the heavy lifting before moving their leaders up into a better position. 

While FDJ have moved back to the middle of the bunch, Mitchelton are holding firm on the left-hand side of the front of the bunch. It's spread across the road now with multiple teams setting up mini trains - Lotto Soudal, BMC, and Bora chief among them. 

 

29km remaining from 200km

The gap is down to one minute as the breakaway riders head into town. 

 

Want to see the Superga climb in more detail? Of course you do

 

 

25km remaining from 200km

The pace is really high in the peloton now. Domestiques are almost sprinting, and the gap is plummeting. 30 seconds. 

 

Lotto Soudal are on the nose. They have Tim Wellens and Tiesj Benoot as two quality Belgian cards to play today. 

 

It's all breaking up in the break. Orsini and Smit have gone clear. De Gendt drops Nielands and jumps across. Neilands is cooked and almost comes to a standstill. 

The climb begins!

 

Smit kicks on and drops Orsini as the gradients immediately bite. 

 

De Gendt is caught now.

Attack from Bardiani, who essentially swap out Orsini for a fresh face. It's Luca Wackermann who breezes past his teammate. 

 

Wackermann makes his way over to Smit but they're only 10 seconds clear of the peloton. 

 

Wackermann drops Smit. 

 

Smits is reabsorbed into the peloton. 

 

Astana take it up as a few riders start to drop out of the back.

 

Mas comes to the front for Quick-Step before peeling off. Wackermann is only a few seconds ahead.

 

22km remaining from 200km

Wackermann is caught. All together.

 

Kreuziger is dropped for Mitchelton. 

 

World champion Valverde is climbing third wheel, behind two Astanas. Yates is on his wheel. 

 

Valverde attacks!

 

An early move from the new world champion, who's providing some spectacle in his rainbow bands.

 

Wellens springs away to track Valverde down. 

 

The rest of the riders look around, and Hugh Carthy decides to go after it. 

 

Valverde, Wellens, and Carthy are moving clear. 

 

Pinot and FDJ respond now and the trio is brought to heel, though the bunch has split up massively. 

 

Formolo, Pinot, Gaudu, and Pozzovivo are in a front split of around a dozen riders. 

 

Aru is right at the back of the bunch. His miserable season seems to be continuing. 

 

The gap is plugged at the front of the race but there are only around 30 riders in the mix here. 

 

Majka accelerates, and the FDJ dup of Pinot and Gaudu go with it. Valverde is alive to it as well and those four go clear. 

 

Dan Martin sets off now and drags it back. 

 

Moscon dropped. That's a surprise. 

 

Valverde attacks again

 

Gaudu is straight onto it, with teammate Pinot in the wheel.

 

They're almost at the top now, and Majka and Lopez have made it up. Another group coming across now. 

 

Egan Bernal is there for Sky and now Moscon is out of the picture the responsibility lies squarely on his shoulders. 

 

19km remaining from 200km

Valverde leads the race over the top of the climb and straight onto the descent. 

 

Valverde, Pinot, Gaudu, and Majka are out front in a leading quartet as they fly downhill. 

 

Yates, Bernal, Martin, Carthy, Lopez, Fuglsang, Formolo, Sosa are among a small chasing group.

 

Lopez has made it over to the lead group and more are doing the same now. 

 

There has been a regrouping and we have 14 riders out front. 

 

It's Mattia Cattaneo for Androni - not Sosa. Reichenbach is in there to make it three for FDJ. 

 

Full list:

 

Valverde

Pinot

Gaudu

Reichenbach

Majka

Formolo

Lopez

Fuglsang

Bernal

Yates

Martin

Kelderman

Carthy

Cattaneo

 

But more riders are getting back in now as we come to the foot of the descent. 

 

10km remaining from 200km

Wellens is among them and he has shot straight out of the front as the road flattens out. 

 

As well as Wellens, the riders to make it back in are:

 

Martinez and Fernandes (EF)

Carboni and Ciccone (Bardiani)

Mollema and Stetina (Trek)

Hermans (Israel)

Barguil (Fortuneo)

Pozzovivo (Bahrain)

 

 

It's kicking off on the approach to the climb and Fuglsang, Gaudu, and Martinez have snipped off the front of that group of 23. 

 

Martinez won't contribute, much to Fuglsang's disgust. 

 

5km remaining from 200km

600m to the foot of the climb.

 

 

FDJ do a brief bit of work before remembering Gaudu is up the road. They then let Trek close it down. 

 

4km remaining from 200km

Here we go then!

 

The climb begins and we're heading for the basilica.

 

Stetina is on the front of that group but Martinez, Fuglsang and Gaudu have a lead of 15 seconds. 

 

Stetina is forced to chase and Pinot is poised on the American's wheel. 

 

Valverde and Yates are biding their time in the middle of the group but the trio are moving clear. 20 seconds. 

 

Wellens attacks.

 

Hermans drags the Belgian back. 

 

The gradients ease and still it's Fuglsang on the front. Gaudu takes his gloves off. 

 

Barguil accelerates from the group behind now, and they're making their way back. 

 

Gaudu comes through now and bashes out a steady tempo.

 

Yates attacks!

 

The Yates twins don't know any other way, and Adam fires out of the front of the group. Like his brother at the Vuelta, it's immediately effective as he leaves the rest behind. 

 

Yates makes it across to make it a lead group of four.

 

Pinot sets off now! And also makes it across. The Frenchman is looking so strong. 

 

So a front group of five, with Pinot, Gaudu, Yates, Martinez, Fuglsang. 

 

3km remaining from 200km

3km to go and Gaudu sacrifices himself for his teammate. Mollema accelerates behind. 

 

Valverde attacks now!

 

And Mollema is shot out of the back almost immediately. 

 

Valverde makes it up as Martinez falls away. 

 

Barguil is dropped. 

 

Lopez is coming across now.

 

We're talking about Pinot, but how good is young David Gaudu looking this week. He's still leading the way and piling on the pressure.

 

Gaudu is shredding the race! He's dropped Yates and almost everyone else.

 

Valverde, Fulglsang and Lopez are the only ones who can follow Gaudu and Pinot. 

 

This could well be the final selection. Bernal is chasing behind but swings over. Carthy is next up. 

 

2km remaining from 200km

2km to go and it's a lead group of five: Gaudu, Pinot, Valverde, Lopez, Fuglsang. 

 

The gap is 11 seconds back to a thinning chase group. 

 

Kelderman, Formolo, Reichenbach, Carthy, Bernal, Martinez, Pozzovivo Yates are among the chasers. Aru clawed his way back but is now losing contact again. 

 

Carthy attacks the chase and is in lone pursuit of the five leaders. 

 

But still Gaudu continues his charge. He's out of the saddle and giving it everything. 

 

1km remaining from 200km

And Gaudu drops Fuglsang. 

 

Crash!

 

Gaudu and Lopez are on the deck! Drama!

 

Gaudu was pulling off and looking over the other shoulder, and as he slows he goes clattering into Lopez. Both of them are out of the equation, surely. 

 

No waiting around now. Pinot is on the attack.

 

1km remaining from 200km

Pinot leads the race solo into the final kilometre. 

 

Lopez is back up and on the move. He reaches Valverde and drops him!

 

Pinot has a handy margin but Lopez is close at hand. 

 

Pinot turns left onto the final haul to the Basilica. 600m to go. 

 

Lopez knows all about chasing down a leader on this finish. He beat Michael Woods here two years ago. 

 

Pinot comes into the final 250m and he has a sufficient advantage. 

 

Pinot zips up the jersey and raises his arms. 

 

Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) wins the 2018 Milano-Torino

 

Lopez takes second, 10 seconds down.

 

Here comes Valverde for the final podium place, 28 seconds down. 

 

Great win for Pinot. Talks of his chances at Il Lombardia on Saturday have already been bubbling away quietly but now there's no hiding it - the Frenchman will be considered one of the very top favourites for the final monument of the season. 

1 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 04:43:36
2 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 00:00:10
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:00:28
4 Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 00:00:36
5 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ 00:00:38
6 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb
7 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 00:00:41
8 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
9 Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 00:00:43
10 Egan Bernal (Col) Team Sky 00:00:45

 

"It's a great victory for me" says Pinot. "Milano-Torino is a race I really like. I really like the classics so to finally win one is very important for me."

"I came here to enjoy it," says Valverde. "I knew it would be very difficult to win and what I wanted to do was break up the race. In order to win, I'd have had to save more energy, but today the important thing for me was to enjoy it and provide some spectacle."

 

Here's our report page

 

Pinot wins Milano-Torino

 

Gaudu before the crash

 

 

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