In an action-packed edition of the 117th Il Lombardia race, set against the stunning backdrop of Italy’s Lombardy region. The race kicked off in Como with a frenetic pace, as multiple riders sought to form the day’s breakaway group. However, an unfortunate crash involving Remco Evenepoel caused the peloton to halt its chase. This temporary pause allowed six more riders to join the ten who had already broken away. Despite the breakaway’s advantage, it never exceeded a four-minute lead, owing to vigilant efforts by the main group.
The climbing challenge of Passo della Crocetta proved decisive. Team dsm-firmenich came to the forefront, whittling down the lead of the breakaway. Oscar Onley and Ben Healy emerged as surprise attackers, though Onley eventually lost touch with Healy. As the race continued, Bardet started to shine, positioning himself well for the final climb, Passo di Ganda.
Primoz Roglic, racing for Team Jumbo-Visma for the last time before joining Bora-Hansgrohe, earned a podium spot, finishing third behind winner Tadej Pogacar. “It was a fantastic time with Team Jumbo-Visma,” reflected Roglic, as he bid farewell to his team after eight years and 74 victories, including four grand tour titles.
Pogacar, the two-time defending champion, once again dominated, finishing 51 seconds ahead of his closest competitor. He faced down leg cramps and rivals alike to join the ranks of legends like Fausto Coppi with a hat-trick of Il Lombardia victories. “I gave it my all. It was a super hard race on every climb,” Pogacar shared.
Britain’s Simon Yates and Adam Yates also put on a commendable performance, finishing fifth and sixth respectively, with Adam playing a pivotal role in Pogacar’s triumph. “Tadej did what he does best,” Adam Yates stated, elaborating on how their team had to adapt when one of their teammates crashed early in the race.
Thus, the 117th Il Lombardia not only concluded the cycling season but also marked the end of eras for some, and the solidification of legacies for others. It was a day replete with strategic plays and unexpected turns.
2023 Il Lombardia result
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