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LOMBARDIA’21: Pogačar Best in Bergamo!

Super Pogačar makes history

Lombardia Race Report: Double Tour de France winner, Tadej Pogačar (Jumbo-Visma) attacked with more than 30 kilometres to go, local boy, Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), joined him for the two to battle for the win. The chasers had no chance. In the sprint Pogačar had the edge over Masnada. Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) was third.

You can watch the most comprehensive live & ad-free coverage of Il Lombardia on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with live polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, results & more – plus stream original and exclusive cycling documentaries. Watch it all with GCN+ on any device.

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) won the 115th Il Lombardia presented by Eolo, raced over a 239km route from Como to Bergamo. The second finisher was Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), beaten by the Slovenian rider in the sprint. Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) sprinted from the chasing group to cross the line third.

Lombardia’21 map

After the start from Como towards Cantù, the riders will tackle the Ghisallo as the first climb of the race, ascending from the Asso side to then descend to Bellagio and reach Lecco along the shore of Lake Como. Upon entering the province of Bergamo, a series of climbs begins that leads to the finish line. This section of the race is characterised by a continuous succession of climbs and descents with almost no flat sections in between. The riders will climb the Roncola first (Valico di Valpiana, offering gradients of up to 17%), then the climbs of Berbenno, Dossena, Zambla Alta and Passo di Ganda for a total vertical elevation that surpasses 4400m. From Ganda, the route leads to the Selvino where the classic long descent with 19 hairpin bends begins. From there, the riders will cross 9km in their approach to the city (the only flat section of the final part of the route) and begin the iconic passage through the Città Alta before the finish in Bergamo.

lombardia21 profile
Lombardia’21 profile

The final kilometres
The last kilometres head through Bergamo’s upper town, going up to Porta Garibaldi and then (crossing 200m of cobblestone terrain) to Largo Aperto. In the first part the gradients are always in excess of 10% (max 12%). Downhill the roadway is wide on a smooth surface. At 1800m from the finish, there is a sharp turn with a short bottleneck to overcome the Porta Sant’Agostino. After the last kilometre, a wide curve to the left awaits the riders before they join the straight that leads to the finish. The final straight is 800m long and 7.5m wide on an asphalt surface, downhill in the first part and then flat.

World champion, Julian Alaphilippe waiting for the start

The start of the final Monument of the 2021 season

Il Lombardia, the last monument of the cycling year. Last year’s winner, Jakob Fuglsang was not at the start, but former winners Bauke Mollema, Vincenzo Nibali, Dan Martin and Thibaut Pinot were. However, they were not favourites for the victory in Bergamo. We were looking to Primož Roglič, Julian Alaphilippe, Tadej Pogačar or Remco Evenepoel. They would probably only get involved on the Passo di Ganda, the last big climb on the race with a length of 9.2 kilometres and an average gradient of 7.3%.

The peloton leaves Como

239 kilometres to go

Before that, a leading group of 10 riders escaped from the peloton. There were Jan Bakelants, Victor Campenaerts and Tim Wellens, plus Thomas Champion, Mattia Bais, Domen Novak, Chris Hamilton, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier, Andrea Garosio and Davide Orrico who also joined up. They managed to gain a lead of more than 5 minutes.

Primoz Roglič in the cars at the start

Victor Campenaerts wanted in the break today

This race situation stayed the same until the ascent of the Dossena. It was there that the race exploded for the first time – From the front and from behind. Andrea Bagioli and Eddie Dunbar attacked from the peloton, while Bakelants split thinks apart in the leading group. Riders were dropped from the front and the peloton.

Hamilton also made the split

The Madonna di Ghisallo was the first climb of Il Lombardia 2021

However, nobody managed to get away. In the peloton there were attacks from Neilson Powless, Michael Woods, George Bennett, Fausto Masnada and Pavel Sivakov, but the top favourites didn’t let this group go. A truce held to the Passo di Ganda.

Crash for Jaakko Haenninen, he had to abandon

The race leaves Lake Como

In the leading group, Bais, Bakelants, Ghebreigzabhier, Hamilton, Novak and Garosio remained together at the top of the Dossena, but their lead had now shrunk to 1:30. A regrouping was not long in coming. With 55 kilometres to go they were caught by the peloton and the finalé could really start.

The break wasn’t allowed too much time

Could it be a day for Remco?

Lorenzo Rota held out to before the foot of the Passo di Ganda, but he was unable to prevent a compact group from starting this climb, with Tiesj Benoot leading the pack. The Belgian of DSM was eager to keep the pace high for Romain Bardet, who apparently had good legs.

Into the hills

Israel Start-Up Nation did a lot of work in the peloton

Bardet jumping with attacks from Nibali and then Pogačar and was able to follow the Slovenian for a while, but eventually had to let him go. The Tour winner was then going solo. With a lead of 30 seconds he came over the top.

Another year for Valverde

As the race went up, the lead of the break came down

Roglič was not having his best day. When Pogačar attacked, the Jumbo-Visma rider didn’t, or couldn’t react. Just before the top, Roglič was able to hang on and but he was struggling.

When the break was caught, the attacks started

Tao Geoghegan Hart put in a failed attack

On the descent it was Fausto Masnada who counter-attacked. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step Italian managed to close the gap with Pogačar after a long chase. We now had two contenders for victory in Il Lombardia with 15 kilometres to go.

Pogačar went solo with just over 30K to go

Masnada managed to cross to Pogačar

The pursuers failed to close the gap behind Masnada and Pogačar due to poor co-operation. Every time Roglič, Vingegaard, Adam Yates, Woods, Bardet, Alejandro Valverde and Alaphilippe worked together, the lead of the front riders quickly dropped. But just as quickly the co-operation stopped again and the gap rose to 50 seconds. In Bergamo they would be sprinting for the last place on the podium.

Masnada wasn’t going to help

The chase was not organised

In the final kilometres both Pogačar and Masnada attacked once, but both riders couldn’t shake each other off. After more than 239 kilometres a sprint would decide the winner. Without too much effort, the Slovenian Tour winner was able to hold Masnada’s jump at 150 metres from the finish, winning his second monument of the year after Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Almost a minute later, Yates won the sprint for third place.

Pogačar had his home fans on the climb

Pogačar couldn’t drop Masnada on the final climb

Tadej Pogačar makes history

Il Lombardia 2021 winner, Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates): “It’s crazy to finish the season like this. I’m a man without words. I knew Masada knew these roads pretty well. Today was a good day. For me, every victory is important, but this one is a special one because I’ve been dreaming to race and win Il Lombardia for a long time.”

Tadej Pogačar had the sprint

Two Monuments and the Tour in one year… Not bad

Il Lombardia Result:
1. Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates in 6:01:39
2. Fausto Masnada (Ita) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
3. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:50
4. Primoz Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar
6. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
7. David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
8. Romain Bardet (Fra) DSM
9. Michael Woods (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
10. Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo at 2:25
11. Nairo Quintana (Col) Arkea-Samsic
12. Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ
13. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
14. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
15. Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) eolo-Kometa
16. Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar
17. Pavel Sivakov (Rus) INEOS Grenadiers at 2:35
18. Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) BikeExchange at 2:49
19. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 3:13
20. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 3:23
21. Ben Tulett (GB) Alpecin-Fenix
22. Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar at 3:33
23. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
24. Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates
25. Michael Storer (Aus) DSM.

You can watch the most comprehensive live & ad-free coverage of Il Lombardia on GCN+. Go deeper and get interactive with live polls & quizzes, plus rider profiles, race updates, results & more – plus stream original and exclusive cycling documentaries. Watch it all with GCN+ on any device.

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