Vincenzo Nibali wins 111th edition of Il Lombardia
Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) soloed the last 10 kms ahead of Julian Alaphilippe and Gianni Moscon, to take his second victory at the race of the falling leaves. 50th win for Nibali.
The last monument of the season was 247 kilometres long between Bergamo and Como, in Lombardy.
Six riders established the breakaway consisting of Davide Ballerini (Androni Giocatolli), Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data), Lorenzo Rota (Bardiani CSF), Mathias Le Turnier (Cofidis), Pier Paolo De Negri (Nippo-Vini Fantini) and Lennard Hofstede (Sunweb) and created a gap of more than ten minutes to the peloton.
Behind team Sky and Bahrain-Merida set the pace and caught the breakaway with around 60 kilmetres to go. Several attacks took place.
Mikael Cherel (AG2R La Mondiale), Laurens De Plus (Quick-Step Floors) and Le Turnier created a one minute gap, Cherel dropped the two and pressed on, continuing the good performance he showed at Milano-Torino.
Laurens De Plus took a wide curve and ended up going over guardrail. Four doctors attended the Quick-Step Floors rider, and it was confirmed that he didn't suffer serious injuries while on was on his way to the hospital. He may have hurt one of his legs.
Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) attacked and was followed by Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) and was joined by Pello Bilbao (Astana).
The three caught Cherel was 25 kms to go.
Gianni Moscon (Sky) attacked from the peloton with 19 kms to go and Sunweb's Sam Oomen followed. The pair passed De Marchi and Gilbert, but were reeled in by the chasing peloton, "groupo compacto".
Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) attacked and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) bridged across, the pair rode away. On the descent of the penultimate climb, the Shark used his descending skills to create a gap on Pinot which he nevered closed.
Behind Rigoberto Uran chased the pair but couldn't close the gap and then was dropped on the final climb.
Julian Alaphillipe (Quick-Step Floors) attacked to try to catch Nibali on the final descent, but the gap of 40 seconds was enough for Nibali to solo across the finish line and win his second victory at Lombardia.
Behind, Alaphilippe finished second ahead of Gianni Moscon in third.
"It was a perfect day" , said Vincenzo "I was still better than two years ago and I think you have seen it. In the last flat part my speed was over 50 km / h and so it was not easy to come and catch me. For me, it was number 50 win and I wanted to point out at the finish line."
Speaking of the race, Vincenzo said, "I understand that I should have invented something. On the hardest part of Civiglio I started with a dry attack. I made a difference, I took Pinot and I have fallen down. It was nice to see so many people on the streets to fancy me, a really cool emotion. "
"I got a great support from my team - concludes - I had great physical condition from the end of the season, but everyone was looking to me as the favorite so it was not easy to win."
2017 Il Lombardia Results
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 6:15:29
2 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:28
3 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky 0:00:38
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ
5 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
6 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team
7 Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky 0:00:40
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:42
9 Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Astana Pro Team 0:00:47
10 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb