Last night the Giro Di Lombardia was held which signals the final race of the European season. Only 53 of the 199 starters managed to finish the race in the pouring rain and treacherous conditions with the winner being none other than Joaquim Rodriguez. Here's a summary of the race in photos.
The race started in the northern Italian city of Bergamo with a tribute to Felice Gimondi who celebrated his 70th birthday on the day. Gimondi won the Giro di Lombardia twice (1966, 1973). Gimondi also holds the record for the most podium finishes in the Giro d’Italia: nine total, consisting of three first place wins, two second place finishes and four third place finishes.
Pozzato is back racing after his three-month backdated suspension for working with the blacklisted doctor Michelle Ferrari.
Newly crowned world champion Philippe Gilbert gets all the attention today with it being his first race in the rainbow colours. Only seven other riders in history have won the Giro di Lombardia in the world championships jersey, and Gilbert was hoping to be the eighth
The peloton starting a rain-soaked edition of the Giro di Lombardia
The early breakaway included Romain Bardet (AG2R), Emanuele Sella (Androni), Steve Morabito (BMC), Stefano Locatelli (Colnago), Johan Esteban Chaves (Colombia), Alberto Losada (Katusha), Cristiano Salerno (Liquigas), Tom Jelte Slagter (Rabobank), Nicki Sörensen (Saxobank) and Federico Rocchetti (Utensilnord Named). By the time the Wall of Sormano approached only Bardet and Losada were the last ones left in contention.
Philippe Gilbert leads the peloton early in the race
From the early ten-man breakaway all that survived by the time the Wall of Sormano approached was Romain Bardet (AG2R) and Alberto Losada (Katusha)
Alberto Contador looking possessed as he leads the bunch up the Wall of Sormano
Rodriguez forces the pace on the Wall of Sormano
Former world champion Alessandro Ballan crashed on a rain-slickened descent and withdrew from the race.
Gilbert had his first outing as world road champion end when he and Ballan fell in separate crashes about 70 kilometers from the finish of the 251 kilometer race. BMC’s press release said that Gilbert had just regained contact with the front group when he crashed while going 60 kilometers an hour. “With the cold, I was feeling a bit paralyzed and, at the beginning, I was afraid because I couldn’t move for one or two minutes and I was fearing there was something broken,” Gilbert said. “Then I checked and saw everything was OK. So in the end, it’s a pity because I had good feelings and could have maybe done something. But I’m feeling lucky I crashed now and not one week ago. If it had been a stage race, I think I wouldn’t have abandoned. But today, after the crash, my race was over.” BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Dr. Max Testa said Gilbert has superficial abrasions on his right elbow, right shoulder and right knee but no major muscle problems, no broken bones and no concussion. “Right now it just looks he just has some bad road rash,” Testa said. “Alessandro also has superficial abrasions and a muscular bruise on the right side. But he also does not have a concussion.”
Rodriguez escapes on the day’s final climb of the Villa Vergano
The chase group of Montoya (Sky), Contador (Saxo), Uran (Sky), Santambrogio (BMC) and Rojas (Movistar)
Rodriguez crosses the line in the pouring rain for his first win at the Giro di Lombardia
On the podium: Sanchez (3rd), Rodriguez (1st) and Uran (2nd)