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Cunego wins the Giro di Lombardia for the third time

Damiano Cunego won the 102nd Giro di Lombardia, the season’s final one-day classic, for the third time in his career on Saturday. Cunego – winner in 2004 and 2007 – scored the win after taking a gamble and attacking 15 kilometers from the finish at lake front of Lake Como in northern Italy. Cunego won the famed “race of the falling leaves” ahead of a hard chasing Janez Brajkovic (Astana), who reached the line 20 seconds later. [nid:84391]Cunego earned the victor’s laurels at the end of the 242-kilometer race that had been largely controlled by his Lampre team.

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By Agence France Presse

Cunego wins Lombardia for the third time.

Cunego wins Lombardia for the third time.

Photo: Graham Watson

Damiano Cunego won the 102nd Giro di Lombardia, the season’s final one-day classic, for the third time in his career on Saturday.

Cunego – winner in 2004 and 2007 – scored the win after taking a gamble and attacking 15 kilometers from the finish at lake front of Lake Como in northern Italy.

Cunego won the famed “race of the falling leaves” ahead of a hard chasing Janez Brajkovic (Astana), who reached the line 20 seconds later.

Cunego makes his move.

Cunego makes his move.

Photo: Graham Watson

Cunego earned the victor’s laurels at the end of the 242-kilometer race that had been largely controlled by his Lampre team.

The man from Verona, known as “the little prince” since his surprising 2004 win at the Giro d’Italia, marked the close of an up-and-down season on a high note.

Cunego won the Amstel Gold Race early in the season, but struggled through this year’s Tour de France – his major goal of the season – and withdrew has concluded and withdrew a day after a painful crash in the 18th stage.

Lake Como serves as the perfect backdrop.

Lake Como serves as the perfect backdrop.

Photo: Graham Watson

Cunego, however, returned to form for the end of the season and finished second in last month’s road race world championship behind Lampre teammate Alessandro Ballan.

Well aware that he was a targeted rider, Cunego said at the start that this year’s edition of the Giro di Lombardia might be his toughest.

“This will be much more difficult than the two times I’ve won here before,” he said. “I know that riders and teams will be watching me here.”

But Cunego attacked hard on the descent of the Civiglo, some 15km from the finish, and stayed away all the way to the finish.

Rogers joined the day's early break.

Rogers joined the day’s early break.

Photo: Graham Watson

The race started at a blistering pace but even so a breakaway group of 11 riders managed to eke out a lead of almost nine and a half minutes at one point. That group included Mauro Santambrogio (Lampre), Michael Rogers (Columbia), Pablo Lastras (Caisse d’Epargne), Chris Anker Sørensen (CSC Saxo Bank), Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas), Luca Paolini (Acqua Sapone-Caffè Mokambo), Francesco Bellotti (Barloworld), Enrico Gasparotto (Barloworld), Matteo Bono and Davide Viganò (Quick Step).

The group stayed together until the route neared the legendary slopes of the 11-kilometer climb to Madonna del Ghisallo. Santambrogio, Rogers, Lastras and Agnoli managed to hit the climb first as the remnants of the break were eventually pulled back on the climb and the ensuing descent. Former twice Giro champion Gilberto Simoni counter-attacked on the Madonna del Ghisallo and helped bring the main group back up to the escapees.

The four escapees, too, were pulled back before the Civiglo, a 2.6km climb, and the pace heated up as a variety of contenders took their chances on the ascent. Both the Lampre and CSC teams, however, kept tight rein on escape attempts.

Horner gives chase.

Horner gives chase.

Photo: Graham Watson

Astana’s Chris Horner made an attack soon after the summit, but Cunego countered with what turned out to be the winning move.

With a chase group on his heels, Cunego took the last climb to San Fermo della Battaglia, overlooking Lake Como, with a lead of only about 12 seconds.

Cunego extended his advantage over the ensuing 5.7km, finishing the day with an average speed of 43.077kph).

By winning his third, Cunego joins an elite group of cycling greats achieving a mark reached by legendary cyclists Costante Girardengo, Gino Bartali and Sean Kelly.

In the history of the race, only two riders have earned more victories at the Giro di Lombardia. Only the legendary Campionissimi Alfredo Binda (4 victories) and Fausto Coppi (5), did better.

Photo Gallery

Results

102nd Giro di Lombardia
1. Damiano Cunego (ITA), Lampre, 5:37:04
2. Janez Brajkovic (SLO), Astana, at 24
3. Rigoberto Uran (COL), Caisse D’epargne, at 24
4. Giovanni Visconti (ITA), Quick Step, at 33
5. Karsten Kroon (NED), Team CSC Saxo Bank, at 33
6. Mauro Finetto (ITA), CSF Group – Navigare, at 33
7. Christopher Horner (USA), Astana, at 33
8. Stefano Garzelli (ITA), Acqua & Sapone – Caffe’ Mokambo, at 33
9. Morris Possoni (ITA), Team Columbia, at 33
10. Francesco Failli (ITA), Acqua & Sapone – Caffe’ Mokambo, at 33
11. Craig Lewis (USA), Team Columbia, at 33
12. Christian Pfannberger (AUT), Barloworld, at 33
13. Alexandr Kolobnev (RUS), Team CSC Saxo Bank, at 33
14. Alessandro Ballan (ITA), Lampre, at 33
15. Matteo Tosatto (ITA), Quick Step, at 33
16. Federico Canuti (ITA), CSF Group – Navigare, at 33
17. Andrea Noe’ (ITA), Liquigas, at 33
18. Matthew Lloyd (AUS), Silence – Lotto, at 33
19. Luca Mazzanti (ITA), Tinkoff Credit Systems, at 33
20. Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA), Ag2r La Mondiale, at 33
21. Pieter Weening (NED), Rabobank, at 33
22. Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA), CSF Group – Navigare, at 1:04
23. Roger Beuchat (SUI), S. Diquigiovanni – Androni G., at 1:34
24. Sylvester Szmyd (POL), Lampre, at 1:34
25. Manuele Mori (ITA), Scott American Beef, at 1:34
26. Cadel Evans (AUS), Silence – Lotto, at 1:34
27. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (ESP), Euskaltel – Euskadi, at 1:34
28. Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (ESP), Caisse D’epargne, at 1:34
29. Jurgen Van Goolen (BEL), Team CSC Saxo Bank, at 2:20
30. Serguei Klimov (RUS), Tinkoff Credit Systems, at 2:20
31. Maxime Monfort (BEL), Cofidis, Le Credit P. Telephone, at 2:20
32. Francesco Masciarelli (ITA), Acqua & Sapone – Caffe’ Mokambo, at 2:20
33. Juan M. Soler Hernandez (COL), Barloworld, at 2:20
34. Daniel Moreno Fernandez (ESP), Caisse D’epargne, at 2:20
35. Gilberto Simoni (ITA), S. Diquigiovanni – Androni G., at 2:20
36. Vladimir Miholjevic (CRO), Liquigas, at 2:20
37. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA), Liquigas, at 2:20
38. Kanstantsin Siutsou (BLR), Team Columbia, at 2:20
39. Leonardo Bertagnolli (ITA), Liquigas, at 2:20
40. Massimo Codol (ITA), Acqua & Sapone – Caffe’ Mokambo, at 2:26
41. Niklas Axelsson (SWE), S. Diquigiovanni – Androni G., at 3:04
42. Ivan Velasco Murillo (ESP), Euskaltel – Euskadi, at 3:17
43. John Gadret (FRA), Ag2r La Mondiale, at 3:17
44. Alberto Losada Alguacil (ESP), Caisse D’epargne, at 3:17
45. Marco Pinotti (ITA), Team Columbia, at 4:10
46. Francesco Gavazzi (ITA), Lampre, at 4:10
47. Martin Velits (SVK), Team Milram, at 5:52
48. Andriy Grivko (UKR), Team Milram, at 5:52
49. Walter Ferna Pedraza Morales (COL), Tinkoff Credit Systems, at 5:52
50. Alan Perez Lezaun (ESP), Euskaltel – Euskadi, at 5:52
51. Inigo Landaluze Intxaurraga (ESP), Euskaltel – Euskadi, at 5:52
52. Michael Barry (CAN), Team Columbia, at 5:52
53. Gorazd Stangelj (SLO), Liquigas, at 5:52
54. Gustav Erik Larsson (SWE), Team CSC Saxo Bank, at 5:52
55. Francesco Bellotti (ITA), Barloworld, at 5:52
56. Danilo Hondo (GER), S. Diquigiovanni – Androni G., at 7:37
57. Michele Scarponi (ITA), S. Diquigiovanni – Androni G., at 7:37
58. Pablo Lastras Garcia (ESP), Caisse D’epargne, at 7:37
59. Robert Gesink (NED), Rabobank, at 9:27
60. Grischa Niermann (GER), Rabobank, at 9:27
61. Ermanno Capelli (ITA), Scott American Beef, at 9:27
62. Rene Mandri (EST), Ag2r La Mondiale, at 9:27
63. Wim Van Huffel (BEL), Silence – Lotto, at 9:27
64. Kjell Carlström (FIN), Liquigas, at 9:27
65. Andrea Tonti (ITA), Quick Step, at 9:27
66. Sébastien Minard (FRA), Cofidis, Le Credit P. Telephone, at 9:27
67. Roberto Traficante (ITA), S. Diquigiovanni – Androni G., at 9:27
68. Gabriele Missaglia (ITA), S. Diquigiovanni – Androni G., at 9:27
69. Evgeni Petrov (RUS), Tinkoff Credit Systems, at 9:27
70. Chris Sörensen (DEN), Team CSC Saxo Bank, at 9:27
71. Volodymir Gustov (UKR), Team CSC Saxo Bank, at 9:27
72. Valerio Agnoli (ITA), Liquigas, at 9:27
73. Pavel Brutt (RUS), Tinkoff Credit Systems, at 9:27
74. Steven Cummings (GBR), Barloworld, at 9:27
75. Jean Eudes Demaret (FRA), Cofidis, Le Credit P. Telephone, at 9:27
76. Imanol Erviti (ESP), Caisse D’epargne, at 9:27
77. Michael Rogers (AUS), Team Columbia, at 9:27
78. Davide Vigano’ (ITA), Quick Step, at 9:27
79. Nicolas Hartmann (FRA), Cofidis, Le Credit P. Telephone, at 10:17
80. Andrea Masciarelli (ITA), Acqua & Sapone – Caffe’ Mokambo, at 10:27
81. Michael Schär (SUI), Astana, at 11:19
82. Matej Mugerli (SLO), Liquigas, at 11:19
83. Marlon Alirio Perez Arango (COL), Caisse D’epargne, at 11:19
84. Javier Aramendia Llorente (ESP), Euskaltel – Euskadi, at 11:19
85. Olivier Bonnaire (FRA), Bouygues Telecom, at 11:19
86. Roman Kireyev (KAZ), Astana, at 11:19
87. Benoit Joachim (LUX), Astana, at 11:19
88. John Lee Augustyn (RSA), Barloworld, at 11:19
89. Mathieu Ladagnous (FRA), Française Des Jeux, at 11:19
90. Giuseppe Palumbo (ITA), Acqua & Sapone – Caffe’ Mokambo, at 11:19
91. Florent Brard (FRA), Cofidis, Le Credit P. Telephone, at 11:19
92. Lucas Euser (USA), Garmin Chipotle H30, at 11:19
93. Kevin Hulsmans (BEL), Quick Step, at 16:20
94. Tom Danielson (USA), Garmin Chipotle H30, at 16:20

Did not finish
Paolo Tiralongo (ITA), Lampre
Matteo Bono (ITA), Lampre
Marco Marzano (ITA), Lampre
Mauro Santambrogio (ITA), Lampre
Simone Masciarelli (ITA), Acqua & Sapone – Caffe’ Mokambo
Luca Paolini (ITA), Acqua & Sapone – Caffe’ Mokambo
Philip Deignan (IRL), Ag2r La Mondiale
Julien Loubet (FRA), Ag2r La Mondiale
Alexandre Usov (BLR), Ag2r La Mondiale
Jean Charles Senac (FRA), Ag2r La Mondiale
Ludovic Turpin (FRA), Ag2r La Mondiale
Berik Kupeshov (KAZ), Astana
Grégory Rast (SUI), Astana
Andrey Zeits (KAZ), Astana
Diego Caccia (ITA), Barloworld
Giampaolo Cheula (ITA), Barloworld
Enrico Gasparotto (ITA), Barloworld
Giovanni Bernaudeau (FRA), Bouygues Telecom
Yohann Gene (FRA), Bouygues Telecom
Erki Pütsep (EST), Bouygues Telecom
Perrig Quemeneur (FRA), Bouygues Telecom
Thomas Voeckler (FRA), Bouygues Telecom
Anthony Charteau (FRA), Caisse D’epargne
Yann Huguet (FRA), Cofidis, Le Credit P. Telephone
Staf Scheirlinckx (BEL), Cofidis, Le Credit P. Telephone
Alexandre Blain (FRA), Cofidis, Le Credit P. Telephone
Francesco Tomei (ITA), CSF Group – Navigare
Fortunato Baliani (ITA), CSF Group – Navigare
Filippo Savini (ITA), CSF Group – Navigare
Marco Frapporti (ITA), CSF Group – Navigare
Ariel Maximiliano Richeze (ARG), CSF Group – Navigare
Josu Agirre Aseginolaza (ESP), Euskaltel – Euskadi
Aitor Hernandez Gutierrez (ESP), Euskaltel – Euskadi
Markel Irizar Aranburu (ESP), Euskaltel – Euskadi
Mikael Cherel (FRA), Française Des Jeux
Timothy Gudsell (NZL), Française Des Jeux
Anthony Roux (FRA), Française Des Jeux
Jelle Vanendert (BEL), Française Des Jeux
Steven Cozza (USA), Garmin Chipotle H30
Huub Duyn (NED), Garmin Chipotle H30
Michael Friedman (USA), Garmin Chipotle H30
Daniel Martin (IRL), Garmin Chipotle H30
David Zabriskie (USA), Garmin Chipotle H30
Mauro Facci (ITA), Quick Step
Alessandro Proni (ITA), Quick Step
Leonardo Scarselli (ITA), Quick Step
Bram De Groot (NED), Rabobank
Rick Flens (NED), Rabobank
Koos Moerenhout (NED), Rabobank
Bauke Mollema (NED), Rabobank
Paul Martens (GER), Rabobank
Rubens Bertogliati (SUI), Scott American Beef
Raivis Belohvosciks (LAT), Scott American Beef
Angel Gomez Gomez (ESP), Scott American Beef
Hector Gonzalez Baeza (ESP), Scott American Beef
Josep Jufre Pou (ESP), Scott American Beef
Nazareno Rossi (SUI), S. Diquigiovanni – Androni G.
Mario Aerts (BEL), Silence – Lotto
Christophe Brandt (BEL), Silence – Lotto
Dario David Cioni (ITA), Silence – Lotto
Yaroslav Popovych (UKR), Silence – Lotto
Johan Van Summeren (BEL), Silence – Lotto
Scott Davis (AUS), Team Columbia
Jason Mccartney (USA), Team CSC Saxo Bank
Luca Barla (ITA), Team Milram
Sergio Ghisalberti (ITA), Team Milram
Brett Lancaster (AUS), Team Milram
Matej Jurco (SVK), Team Milram
Sebastian Schwager (GER), Team Milram
Fabio Sabatini (ITA), Team Milram
Nikita Eskov (RUS), Tinkoff Credit Systems
Mikhail Ignatiev (RUS), Tinkoff Credit Systems
Alexander Serov (RUS), Tinkoff Credit Systems