When the pundits picked their favourite to win the last Monument of the year, the choices were names like Egan Bernal, Primoz Roglic, perhaps Jakob Fuglsang or finally Alejandro Valverde. But no one picked – or even probably thought about – the Il Lombardia 2019 champion. The Trek-Segafredo team were active throughout the race, from Tom Skujins in the break of the day to Giulio Ciccone punching up the climbs, but one wouldn’t have expected an attack by Bauke Mollema on the Civiglio to stick. But stick it did, winning the Dutch rider his first Monument and Trek’s second big win in the past few weeks. Valverde and Bernal were 16sec off the pace to take second and third respectively.
Rider of the Race
The final Monument is one of the most beautiful races of the season and autumn on Lake Como couldn’t have been prettier today. Especially for the winner, Bauke Mollema, who saw the favourites looking around and took his chance on the Civiglio to get a gap … and never looked back. If the riders in the group of favourites – Bernal, Roglic, Valverde, Woods, Fuglsang, Latour, Gaudu – had worked together, this review would possibly have looked very different. But the fact that they didn’t, that they let a rider go whose MO is that on a good day, he’ll go off the front and have no fear of riding himself to victory.Embed from Getty Images
And the rest
We’ve seen it so many times before. The favourites get caught napping, a rider goes off and gets a fair few seconds, and the favourites never get themselves organised enough to give chase. They lose. And a less-sung rider gets the victory of his career. Which is pretty much exactly what happened today.
Alejandro Valverde takes yet another second place in this race. This is his third second – 2013, 2014 and 2019.
And Egan Bernal‘s accomplishment. But rider of the year? No.
A celebratory dinner
Il Lombardia was the last professional race from Laurens Ten Dam today … and he had a dinner booked with a good friend.
1 Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) 5:52:59
2 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +0:16
3 Egan Bernal (INEOS) same time
4 Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) s/t
5 Michael Woods (EF Education First) +0:34
6 Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) same time
7 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) s/t
8 Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-hansgrohe) +0:52
9 Pierre Latour (Ag2r La Mondiale) same time
10 Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) s/t
For a full race review, go to cyclingnews
Header image: GETTY/AFP/ Marco Bertorello