Thibaut Pinot solos to Il Lombardia classic win
Frenchman Tibault Pinot dropped breakaway companion Vincenzo Nibal to win his first Monument
This year's race was brutal, with the Muro di Sormano, Civiglio and the Monte Olimpino all in the final 40 kms of racing. The race saw a breakaway of 8 riders build up a maximum lead of over 4 minutes.
With 75 kms to go teams inlcuding Bahrain Merida, AG2R lifted the pace and cut the breakaway's lead to 2 minutes.
3 riders from the breakaway Bonnamour, Orsini and Storer attacked on the slopes of the Madonna del Ghisallo climb.
It was the next climb, the brutal Muro di Sormano where the action really began.Lotto NL Jumbo came to the front and lifted the pace, reelin in the breakaway and then Primoz Roglic attacked. The peloton imploded on the steep slopes of the Muro di Sormano with the main group reduced to just 20 riders.
Nibali was next to attack taking Pinot with him and opened up a gap on the very technical descent with Roglic chasing.
Egan Bernal attacked out of the chasing group of some 15 riders and eventually caught Pinot, Nibali, and Roglic on the lower slopes.
The four leaders pressed on to the penultimte climg of the Civiglio whereby the Pinot and Nibali dropped ther other two.
Behind EF Drapac's Martinez buried himself for teammate Uran, but it was Dan Martin who attacked with Rafal Majka following.
Pinot crested the penultimate climb of the Civiglio with just 13 kms to go as Nibali continued to chase.
Pinot hits the lower slopes of the Monte Olimpino looking strong while behind Nibali faded and the matoin group caugt him.
Nibali was having non eof it and counter atatcked and opend up another gap.
Pinot crossed the line to win his first classic Monument as Nibali hung onto second place.
It was Dylan Teuns who won the sprint to take third place ahead of Uran and Wellens.
Pinot said that he was happy to win. “I’m in one of the best conditions of my career, it’s great.", he added that, among the Monuments, Il Lombardia was the nicest in his mind. “I’ve always wanted to win it. I’m in the best shape of my career but to win ahead of Nibali is something very special.”
Nibali said “I still managed to get this good second place with the grit which is important to me as an athlete. It’s a kind of redemption for all that happened – a good success.”
"I gave my best and did everything I could to be on the podium," said Dan Martin, who had to settle for ninth place.
VIDEO: 2018 Il Lombardia Finish
2018 Il Lombardia Top 10 Results
1 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 5:53:22
2 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:32
3 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:43
4 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
5 Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
7 Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
8 Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
9 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:48
10 George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:01:22