Friday Feature: Il Lombardia gallery

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.

An Argonaut Fan Club

An Argonaut Fan Club

The first teams to be presented were the ProContinental ones, such as MTN-Qhubeka, for whom Gerard Ciolek won Milan-San Remo.

Great reception for South African team

Great reception for the South African team

And local team Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela, packed full of Latin-American climbers.

Androni flanked by their suave team manager Gianni Savio

Androni flanked by their suave team manager Gianni Savio

Plenty of applause too for the man with the most recognizable tongue in the peloton. Would it see some action today?

Thomas Voeckler who subsequently animated the race with a long break

Thomas Voeckler, who subsequently animated the race with a long break

I wonder if Marcus Burghardt has ever thought about becoming a model. His hair looks just great.

BMC's Marcus Burghardt sporting an impressive quiff

BMC’s Marcus Burghardt sporting an impressive quiff

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.

We're going to miss their distinctive orange kit

We’re going to miss their distinctive orange kit

Of course, the start is always a good time to grab a photo opportunity with the riders.

Cheeeeeeese!

Cheeeeeeese!

Chapeau to Marco Pinotti and David Zabriskie, taking part in their last Lombardia as professionals. We’ll miss you!

Dave Z

Dave Z

Marco Pinotti hanging up his cleats but staying with BMC

Marco Pinotti – hanging up his cleats but staying with BMC

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!

Looking good!

Looking good!

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.

All smiles for the man they call "The Shark"

All smiles for the man they call “The Shark”

Would we be seeing celebratory wheelies from this man at the end of the race?

Super Peter Sagan

Super Peter Sagan

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.

Ulissi

Is it only me who thinks Lampre-Merida’s kit was designed by someone who’s colour blind?

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.

Do you think it's going to rain? You bet!

Do you think it’s going to rain? You bet!

Just like last year, the rain didn’t stop Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodriguez from taking a magnificent solo win on the Lungo Lario Isonzo.

Look, no water wings!

Look, no water wings!

Everyone was delighted to see Purito smiling again after the bitter tears of regret at the Worlds.

Podium l to r Rafal Majka, Purito, Alejandro Valverde

Podium (l to r) Rafal Majka, Purito, Alejandro Valverde

His joy spread around just like the Champagne  Prosecco……

Spraying it over the press corps in time-honoured fashion

Spraying it over the press corps in time-honoured fashion

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.

Another one for the trophy cabinet

Another one for the trophy cabinet

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!)

All smiles from Nairo who's had a magnificent 2013 season

All smiles from Nairo, who’s had a magnificent 2013 season

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.

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3 thoughts on “Friday Feature: Il Lombardia gallery

  1. Pingback: Giro di Lombardia 2013 | Samuraipaolo's Blog

  2. What a great shot of Purito crossing the line…fantastic!

    And yes, Lampre-Merida is truly a shocker – the lime green trim just tips it over the edge. I’m not a fan of flouro but at least Vini- Fantini pick a colour…turn it up to 11…and stick with it!

  3. Sheree says:

    Yes, Paolo took some great shots. We’re very fortunate to have so many skilled VeloEyes who are kind enough to share their work with us.

    I agree with your sentiments about the kit colours. Personally, I’m going to be missing the tangerine orange of Euskaltel next season and it’ll be interesting to see how Vini Fantini’s kit morphs after the team’s merger with another.

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