Jacob Fuglsang proves to be the strongest at Il Lombardia
Fuglsang proved he was the strongest rider as he rode away from a small group of rivals after the brutal climb of the Muro di Sormano
A group of 11 riders went way in the days breakaway; Joey Rosskopf (CCC Team), Davide Gaburro (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec), James Piccoli (Israel Start-Up Nation), Petr Vakoc (Alpecin-Fenix), Florian Stork (Team Sunweb), Alexander Riabushenko (UAE Team Emirates). Andrea Pasqualon (Circus-Wanty Gobert), Daniel Savini (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè), Denis Nekrasov (Gazprom-RusVelo), Emmanuel Morin (Cofidis) and Marco Frapporti (Vini Zabù – KTM).
They built up a lead of max lead of 3m 30s lead with 171 kms to go.
However as the race reached the shores of Lake Como, the speed ratcheted up in the bunch and the break's lead dropped to 1m 24s.
The breakaway hit the Madonna del Ghisallo (8.6km at 6.2%), which was closed to the public, began to fragment.
Astana and Deceuninck-QuickStep set a fast pace on the lower slopes of the Madonna del Ghiasallo. James Piccoli was the last man standing from the early break but he too was swallowed up as the bunch was reduced to some 50 riders.
Deceuninck-QuickStep set a high pace, and only Devenyns was left to pace pre-race favorite Remco Evenepoel.
Dries Devenyns put in a fine shift on the front on the Madonna del Ghisallo, whittling the peloton down to 30 or 40 riders. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) was seen still hanging in there, but the real cull was to come on the following brutal climb of the legendary Muro di Sormano, one of the hardest climbs in professional cycling.
Evenepoel and Devenyns exchanged a few words at the head of the leading group of perhaps just 25 riders. The riders behind were braced for an onslaught on the Sormano, but it was notable that Trek-Segafredo had five riders in this group - Nibali, Mollema, Conci, Brambilla and Ciccone.
The front group reached the Muro di Sormano and Astana set a furious pace, so much so, there were only a dozen riders in this front group nearing the top of the Muro di Sormano: Vlasov, Fuglsang, Evenepoel, Nibali, Mollema, Ciccone, Woods, Bennett, Majka, Carapaz, Ulissi and Van der Poel.
Just George Bennett, Fuglsang, Vlasov, Evenepoel, Ciccone, Nibali and Mollema were left at the top of the Sormano.
Behind Makja, Van der Poel were trying to chase back on.
It was here that local rider Vincenzo Nibali descended at full sped, with his rivals struggling to keep up with him on the technical descent.
In horrifying scenes, Remco Evenpoel crashed and went over a side of a bridge into a deep raveen.
Back in the race, it was just George Bennett, Fuglsang, Vlasov, Ciccone, Nibali and Mollema with 20 kms to go.
Behind Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix), Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), Max Schachmann, Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Richard Carapaz (Team Ineos) chased but failed to close the 1m 44s gap.
On the Civiglio, Nibali was dropped and Fuglsang attacked taking Bennett and teammate Vlasov with him, all three Trek-Segafredo riders were distanced.
On the final climb of the Battaglia, Fuglsang dropped Bennett to solo to a huge Monument victory!
Behind Max Schachmann was run off the road by an old lady coming back from the shops.
VIDEO: 2020 Il Lombardia Highlights
2020 Il Lombardia Top 10
1 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 5:32:54
2 George Bennett (NZl) Team Jumbo-Visma 00:00:31
3 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana Pro Team 00:00:51
4 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 00:01:19
5 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 00:01:40
6 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 00:03:31
7 Max Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:04:31
8 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 00:05:20
9 Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-Up Nation 00:06:00
10 Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Alpecin-Fenix 00:06:28