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Tadej Pogačar scores second monument win with blazing Il Lombardia ride

Pogačar outsprints Fausto Masnada after attacking solo at 35km to go, scores second monument of the year after also winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

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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.”

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.”

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

Il Lombardia 2021

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.

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.

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

1POGAČAR TadejUAE-Team Emirates6:01:39
2MASNADA FaustoDeceuninck - Quick Step0:00
3YATES AdamINEOS Grenadiers0:51
4ROGLIČ PrimožTeam Jumbo-Visma0:51
5VALVERDE AlejandroMovistar Team0:51
6ALAPHILIPPE JulianDeceuninck - Quick Step0:51
7GAUDU DavidGroupama - FDJ0:51
8BARDET RomainTeam DSM0:51
9WOODS MichaelIsrael Start-Up Nation0:51
10HIGUITA SergioEF Education - Nippo2:25
11QUINTANA NairoTeam Arkéa Samsic2:25
12VALTER AttilaGroupama - FDJ2:25
13NIBALI VincenzoTrek - Segafredo2:25
14VINGEGAARD JonasTeam Jumbo-Visma2:25
15FORTUNATO LorenzoEOLO-Kometa2:25
16OLIVEIRA NelsonMovistar Team2:25
17SIVAKOV PavelINEOS Grenadiers2:35
18NIEVE MikelTeam BikeExchange2:49
19EVENEPOEL RemcoDeceuninck - Quick Step3:13
20MOLLEMA BaukeTrek - Segafredo3:23
21TULETT BenAlpecin-Fenix3:23
22VILLELLA DavideMovistar Team3:33
23ULISSI DiegoUAE-Team Emirates3:33
24MAJKA RafałUAE-Team Emirates3:33
25STORER MichaelTeam DSM3:33
26GHEBREIGZABHIER AmanuelTrek - Segafredo4:28
27SKUJIŅŠ TomsTrek - Segafredo5:22
28ROTA LorenzoIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux5:22
29BENOOT TiesjTeam DSM5:22
30POZZOVIVO DomenicoTeam Qhubeka NextHash5:22
31WARBASSE LarryAG2R Citroën Team5:22
32BOUCHARD GeoffreyAG2R Citroën Team5:36
33VANHOUCKE HarmLotto Soudal5:36
34PARET-PEINTRE AurélienAG2R Citroën Team5:36
35BADILATTI MatteoGroupama - FDJ5:36
36HIRSCHI MarcUAE-Team Emirates5:36
37TEUNS DylanBahrain - Victorious5:36
38MARTIN DanIsrael Start-Up Nation5:36
39VLASOV AleksandrAstana - Premier Tech5:56
40ALMEIDA JoãoDeceuninck - Quick Step6:56
41GROßSCHARTNER FelixBORA - hansgrohe7:05
42PETILLI SimoneIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux8:18
43KRUIJSWIJK StevenTeam Jumbo-Visma8:23
44MARTIN GuillaumeCofidis, Solutions Crédits8:23
45CATALDO DarioMovistar Team8:23
46BERTHET ClémentAG2R Citroën Team8:37
47SBARAGLI KristianAlpecin-Fenix8:37
48ZEITS AndreyTeam BikeExchange8:37
49GAROSIO AndreaBardiani-CSF-Faizanè8:37
50PINOT ThibautGroupama - FDJ8:37
51POWLESS NeilsonEF Education - Nippo11:06
52ROJAS José JoaquínMovistar Team11:06
53EIKING Odd ChristianIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux11:06
54BAKELANTS JanIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux11:06
55KONRAD PatrickBORA - hansgrohe11:09
56URÁN RigobertoEF Education - Nippo11:09
57GEOGHEGAN HART TaoINEOS Grenadiers11:09
58BOUET MaximeTeam Arkéa Samsic11:09
59SCHULTZ NickTeam BikeExchange11:09
60REICHENBACH SébastienGroupama - FDJ11:09
61CHRISTIAN MarkEOLO-Kometa11:09
62CHAMPOUSSIN ClémentAG2R Citroën Team11:09
63CASTROVIEJO JonathanINEOS Grenadiers11:09
64HAMILTON ChrisTeam DSM11:09
65MCNULTY BrandonUAE-Team Emirates11:44
66RAVANELLI SimoneAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermec14:19
67BAIS MattiaAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermec14:36
68FABBRO MatteoBORA - hansgrohe14:36
69FORMOLO DavideUAE-Team Emirates14:36
70BAGIOLI AndreaDeceuninck - Quick Step14:42
71ORRICO DavideVini Zabù15:33
72ZARDINI EdoardoVini Zabù16:24
73HOLLENSTEIN RetoIsrael Start-Up Nation17:13
74VERVAEKE LouisAlpecin-Fenix17:13
75TAARAMÄE ReinIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux17:13
76QUINTANA DayerTeam Arkéa Samsic17:13
77NOVAK DomenBahrain - Victorious17:13
78CRAS SteffLotto Soudal17:13
79COVILI LucaBardiani-CSF-Faizanè19:02
80OOMEN SamTeam Jumbo-Visma19:06
81RAVASI EdwardEOLO-Kometa19:28
82WELLENS TimLotto Soudal19:38
83TIBERI AntonioTrek - Segafredo19:58
84COLLEONI KevinTeam BikeExchange20:21
85BENNETT GeorgeTeam Jumbo-Visma20:47
86YATES SimonTeam BikeExchange20:47
87DUNBAR EddieINEOS Grenadiers20:47
88ARENSMAN ThymenTeam DSM21:38
89DONOVAN MarkTeam DSM21:38
90CHAMPION ThomasCofidis, Solutions Crédits21:38
91BOUWMAN KoenTeam Jumbo-Visma21:38
92FERNÁNDEZ RubénCofidis, Solutions Crédits21:38
93GESCHKE SimonCofidis, Solutions Crédits21:38
94SEPÚLVEDA EduardoAndroni Giocattoli - Sidermec21:38
95GABBURO DavideBardiani-CSF-Faizanè21:38
96SAVINI DanielBardiani-CSF-Faizanè21:38
97PERNSTEINER HermannBahrain - Victorious21:38
98SWIFT BenINEOS Grenadiers21:38
99CAMPENAERTS VictorTeam Qhubeka NextHash21:38
100HOWSON DamienTeam BikeExchange27:59
101BUITRAGO SantiagoBahrain - Victorious27:59
102SERRANO GonzaloMovistar Team27:59
103MARCZYŃSKI TomaszLotto Soudal28:37
104JUUL-JENSEN ChristopherTeam BikeExchange28:37
105MONACO AlessandroBardiani-CSF-Faizanè28:37
106BARTA WillEF Education - Nippo28:37
107LEKNESSUND AndreasTeam DSM28:37

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.