Thanks to one of our Guest Voices, Nathalie Novembrini, who provided the narrative after having persuaded her friend Paolo Gianfrate to come along to his first cycling event and take some photographs for us. We didn’t ask Nathalie how she managed to do this, she is after all a sports psychologist!
After an intense week at the World Championships in Tuscany, I had the opportunity to watch another great race this time in my home town – Il Lombardia. As always, the departure was crowded with family, friends and fans.
The first teams to be presented were the ProContinental ones, such as MTN-Qhubeka, for whom Gerard Ciolek won Milan-San Remo.
And local team Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela, packed full of Latin-American climbers.
Plenty of applause too for the man with the most recognizable tongue in the peloton. Would it see some action today?
I wonder if Marcus Burghardt has ever thought about becoming a model. His hair looks just great.
Only a few more races before we say a fond farewell to one of the longest-serving teams in the peloton – Euskaltel-Euskadi. Bye-bye, Carrots.
Of course, the start is always a good time to grab a photo opportunity with the riders.
Chapeau to Marco Pinotti and David Zabriskie, taking part in their last Lombardia as professionals. We’ll miss you!
Making a late entrance, some of the main contenders including the recently crowned World Champion Rui Costa, looking oh so good in his blinding white kit. That won’t stay clean for long!
Here’s Giro d’Italia winner – and even more popular with the locals after his heroic ride to fourth place in the World Championships – Vincenzo Nibali.
Would we be seeing celebratory wheelies from this man at the end of the race?
The winner of the recent Milano-Torino, Diego Ulissi, will be joined by Costa next season at Lampre-Merida. Have you noticed how many Carrots keep creeping into the shots, this one’s the younger of the Izagirre brothers, Ion. They’ll both be Moviestarlets next season.
I love the way that compatriots on different teams take time to chat before the race. Here we have Basques Iker Camano and Benat Intxausti catching up on their respective news before facing the long road to Lecco, with the Muro di Sormano and the Ghisallo climbs.
Just like last year, the rain didn’t stop Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodriguez from taking a magnificent solo win on the Lungo Lario Isonzo.
Everyone was delighted to see Purito smiling again after the bitter tears of regret at the Worlds.
His joy spread around just like the
He may have finished 34th, but Thomas Voeckler had his moment of glory thanks to his long breakaway which earned him the Todisco trophy for being first over the top of the Ghisallo.
While Nairo Quintana took home the Torriani trophy for being the first up the Muro di Sormano (I still can’t believe he’s only 23!)
Tears mingle with the rain because Il Lombardia is the last race of the year for Nathalie who’s already turning her thoughts to next year’s Milan-San Remo and Giro d’Italia. If you enjoyed Paolo’s photographs, you can see more of his work here. A big thanks to both of them for sharing their day at Il Lombardia with us.