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Two monuments and the Tour de France – Tadej Pogačar (UAE-Team Emirates) will call that a successful season.
Pogačar outsprinted local rider Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) to win the final monument of the season Saturday and become the first rider since Fausto Coppi and Eddy Merckx to win two monuments and the Tour in one year.
“It’s crazy. After all this season it’s so crazy to finish the season like this,” Pogačar said at the finish. “I’m without words.”
Pogačar’s second monument win after winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège this April confirms the 23-year-old as one of the most dominant all-rounders of recent years, and affirms his intention to do more than just ride grand tours. Saturday’s ride was his first-ever appearance at Il Lombardia, and just the fifth monument of his short career.
“For me every victory is important,” he said. “Especially this one – I’ve been dreaming to start Lombardia and to race with the best in Italy for a long time. Now I’m here and I took the victory, it’s just crazy.”
— Il Lombardia (@Il_Lombardia) October 9, 2021
Pogačar lit up the final of the Italian classic with a solo move at 35km to go.
The Tour de France champ attacked out of an all-star lead group and powered his way to a strong lead over the final climb of the day.mMasnada had been the first chaser out of the group and blazed down the long perilous descent, joining Pogačar with just 15km to go.
After making contact, Masnada sat squarely on Pogačar’s wheel and looked reluctant to take the wind in the final run to the line.
Behind, a heavy-hitting chase group malfunctioned and failed to co-ordinate a pursuit. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) all tried to up the pace in the eight-rider move, only for Masnada’s teammate Julian Alaphilippe to sit second-wheel and slow progress.
Pogačar piled on the pressure up the one-kilometer hill inside the final five kilometers but Masnada resisted, clinging to the Slovenian’s wheel and marking him into the final Bergamo sprint.
Pogačar opened the sprint at 100 meters to go and Masnada was unable to challenge, crossing the line a half-wheel back.
“I thought when I attacked that somebody would come with me. I knew Masnada knows this road pretty well so he’d be coming back in the technical part of the descent because it’s my first time here. but I didn’t know he was not going to work with me,” Pogačar said.
“Luckily we had enough of an advantage for the final climb and the finish. In this second part of the season I have been one day good, one day not. Today was a good day.”
— Deceuninck-QuickStep (@deceuninck_qst) October 9, 2021
Yates won the sprint for third, 51 seconds back.
Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) wasn’t able to live up to the hype that had swirled around him in his return to the scene of his horrific crash last summer at this race. The young Belgian was distanced in the flurries of attacks that forced the final selection at around 40km to go and finished 19th.
Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) finished 38th in his final race before retirement.
Powless pushes in early flurries
Neilson Powless (EF Education Nippo) had been relentless through the long double climb in the back half of the race.
After stating his intention to try a long-ranger before the race had rolled out Saturday morning, the young American tried attacking four times through 20km of total climbing only to see the Deceuninck-Quick-Step-bossed bunch pull him back.
🎙️@NPowless: "Hopefully I can get ahead of the race and try something not waiting for the last few climbs and hopefully try something further out so that I can play a card later in the race, maybe when the favourites come up from behind."#ILombardia pic.twitter.com/CiftckVj21
— Il Lombardia (@Il_Lombardia) October 9, 2021
Ineos Grenadiers was also aggressive with Tao Geoghegan Hart, Pavel Sivakov, and Eddie Dunbar, but the race stayed together through to the long sinuous descent off the Zambla Alta.
The peloton split of the super-fast, technical drop as the surging pace finally reeled in the remains of the 10-rider break.
Evenepoel pops, Pogačar pounces on the Passo di Ganda
The fuse was eventually lit on the final nine-kilometer climb of the Passo di Ganda after so many short-lived skirmishes in the hours before.
Evenepoel was one of the first casualties of the pressure applied at the front by DSM and Ineos Grenadiers and lost the wheels at around 40km to go.
Pogačar made his move at 35km to go. The Tour de France champ countered a move from Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo) along with Sivakov and Romain Bardet (DSM). After sitting in the move for a kilometer, Pogačar went again, pushing away from his three fellow escapees.
— Il Lombardia (@Il_Lombardia) October 9, 2021
With Evenepoel dropped and the Pogačar up the road, Quick-Step was on the back foot after controlling the opening of the race.
Masnada was quick to go on the chase as Yates and Alaphilippe began kicking off in the much-reduced peloton, but Pogačar was on a mission, pulling 30 seconds ahead.
Roglič wavered toward the back of the pack at the top half of the climb but managed to claw his way back just before Alaphilippe and Masnada rocketed into the narrow, extra-tricky descent from the Passo di Ganda to set up the final.
Il Lombardia Results
|1||POGAČAR Tadej||UAE-Team Emirates||6:01:39|
|2||MASNADA Fausto||Deceuninck - Quick Step||0:00|
|3||YATES Adam||INEOS Grenadiers||0:51|
|4||ROGLIČ Primož||Team Jumbo-Visma||0:51|
|5||VALVERDE Alejandro||Movistar Team||0:51|
|6||ALAPHILIPPE Julian||Deceuninck - Quick Step||0:51|
|7||GAUDU David||Groupama - FDJ||0:51|
|8||BARDET Romain||Team DSM||0:51|
|9||WOODS Michael||Israel Start-Up Nation||0:51|
|10||HIGUITA Sergio||EF Education - Nippo||2:25|
|11||QUINTANA Nairo||Team Arkéa Samsic||2:25|
|12||VALTER Attila||Groupama - FDJ||2:25|
|13||NIBALI Vincenzo||Trek - Segafredo||2:25|
|14||VINGEGAARD Jonas||Team Jumbo-Visma||2:25|
|16||OLIVEIRA Nelson||Movistar Team||2:25|
|17||SIVAKOV Pavel||INEOS Grenadiers||2:35|
|18||NIEVE Mikel||Team BikeExchange||2:49|
|19||EVENEPOEL Remco||Deceuninck - Quick Step||3:13|
|20||MOLLEMA Bauke||Trek - Segafredo||3:23|
|22||VILLELLA Davide||Movistar Team||3:33|
|23||ULISSI Diego||UAE-Team Emirates||3:33|
|24||MAJKA Rafał||UAE-Team Emirates||3:33|
|25||STORER Michael||Team DSM||3:33|
|26||GHEBREIGZABHIER Amanuel||Trek - Segafredo||4:28|
|27||SKUJIŅŠ Toms||Trek - Segafredo||5:22|
|28||ROTA Lorenzo||Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux||5:22|
|29||BENOOT Tiesj||Team DSM||5:22|
|30||POZZOVIVO Domenico||Team Qhubeka NextHash||5:22|
|31||WARBASSE Larry||AG2R Citroën Team||5:22|
|32||BOUCHARD Geoffrey||AG2R Citroën Team||5:36|
|33||VANHOUCKE Harm||Lotto Soudal||5:36|
|34||PARET-PEINTRE Aurélien||AG2R Citroën Team||5:36|
|35||BADILATTI Matteo||Groupama - FDJ||5:36|
|36||HIRSCHI Marc||UAE-Team Emirates||5:36|
|37||TEUNS Dylan||Bahrain - Victorious||5:36|
|38||MARTIN Dan||Israel Start-Up Nation||5:36|
|39||VLASOV Aleksandr||Astana - Premier Tech||5:56|
|40||ALMEIDA João||Deceuninck - Quick Step||6:56|
|41||GROßSCHARTNER Felix||BORA - hansgrohe||7:05|
|42||PETILLI Simone||Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux||8:18|
|43||KRUIJSWIJK Steven||Team Jumbo-Visma||8:23|
|44||MARTIN Guillaume||Cofidis, Solutions Crédits||8:23|
|45||CATALDO Dario||Movistar Team||8:23|
|46||BERTHET Clément||AG2R Citroën Team||8:37|
|48||ZEITS Andrey||Team BikeExchange||8:37|
|50||PINOT Thibaut||Groupama - FDJ||8:37|
|51||POWLESS Neilson||EF Education - Nippo||11:06|
|52||ROJAS José Joaquín||Movistar Team||11:06|
|53||EIKING Odd Christian||Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux||11:06|
|54||BAKELANTS Jan||Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux||11:06|
|55||KONRAD Patrick||BORA - hansgrohe||11:09|
|56||URÁN Rigoberto||EF Education - Nippo||11:09|
|57||GEOGHEGAN HART Tao||INEOS Grenadiers||11:09|
|58||BOUET Maxime||Team Arkéa Samsic||11:09|
|59||SCHULTZ Nick||Team BikeExchange||11:09|
|60||REICHENBACH Sébastien||Groupama - FDJ||11:09|
|62||CHAMPOUSSIN Clément||AG2R Citroën Team||11:09|
|63||CASTROVIEJO Jonathan||INEOS Grenadiers||11:09|
|64||HAMILTON Chris||Team DSM||11:09|
|65||MCNULTY Brandon||UAE-Team Emirates||11:44|
|66||RAVANELLI Simone||Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec||14:19|
|67||BAIS Mattia||Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec||14:36|
|68||FABBRO Matteo||BORA - hansgrohe||14:36|
|69||FORMOLO Davide||UAE-Team Emirates||14:36|
|70||BAGIOLI Andrea||Deceuninck - Quick Step||14:42|
|71||ORRICO Davide||Vini Zabù||15:33|
|72||ZARDINI Edoardo||Vini Zabù||16:24|
|73||HOLLENSTEIN Reto||Israel Start-Up Nation||17:13|
|75||TAARAMÄE Rein||Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux||17:13|
|76||QUINTANA Dayer||Team Arkéa Samsic||17:13|
|77||NOVAK Domen||Bahrain - Victorious||17:13|
|78||CRAS Steff||Lotto Soudal||17:13|
|80||OOMEN Sam||Team Jumbo-Visma||19:06|
|82||WELLENS Tim||Lotto Soudal||19:38|
|83||TIBERI Antonio||Trek - Segafredo||19:58|
|84||COLLEONI Kevin||Team BikeExchange||20:21|
|85||BENNETT George||Team Jumbo-Visma||20:47|
|86||YATES Simon||Team BikeExchange||20:47|
|87||DUNBAR Eddie||INEOS Grenadiers||20:47|
|88||ARENSMAN Thymen||Team DSM||21:38|
|89||DONOVAN Mark||Team DSM||21:38|
|90||CHAMPION Thomas||Cofidis, Solutions Crédits||21:38|
|91||BOUWMAN Koen||Team Jumbo-Visma||21:38|
|92||FERNÁNDEZ Rubén||Cofidis, Solutions Crédits||21:38|
|93||GESCHKE Simon||Cofidis, Solutions Crédits||21:38|
|94||SEPÚLVEDA Eduardo||Androni Giocattoli - Sidermec||21:38|
|97||PERNSTEINER Hermann||Bahrain - Victorious||21:38|
|98||SWIFT Ben||INEOS Grenadiers||21:38|
|99||CAMPENAERTS Victor||Team Qhubeka NextHash||21:38|
|100||HOWSON Damien||Team BikeExchange||27:59|
|101||BUITRAGO Santiago||Bahrain - Victorious||27:59|
|102||SERRANO Gonzalo||Movistar Team||27:59|
|103||MARCZYŃSKI Tomasz||Lotto Soudal||28:37|
|104||JUUL-JENSEN Christopher||Team BikeExchange||28:37|
|106||BARTA Will||EF Education - Nippo||28:37|
|107||LEKNESSUND Andreas||Team DSM||28:37|
Results provided by ProCyclingStats.