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Tadej Pogačar wins Il Lombardia second year in a row as 2 old stars retire

Tadej Pogačar collected another monument victory by retaining his Il Lombardia title from a year ago. He outsprinted the in-form Enric Mas of Movistar to the line in Como in a different, flatter finish compared to the Slovenian’s previous win. It was his 16th victory of the season and 46th of his young career. The race also marked the final races of Alejandro Valverde and Vincenzo Nibali, both monument and grand tour victors in previous years. It truly felt like the moving on of a generation.

The 253km race from Bergamo to Como was the final WorldTour race of the 2022 season and begins the slow bringing down of the curtain of this year’s racing. There are still some races left but the major players will now rest before next year. The route saw the peloton take on 9 climbs and Pogačar and Mas couldn’t be separated. Behind them, Mikel Landa repeatedly closed down the gap to the pair before not being able to go with the final big moves. He finished 10 seconds behind with Sergio Higuta and Carlos Rodriguez the only other riders within a minute of the front duo.

“It’s really amazing to come back and repeat the victory. I tried to attack on the Civiglio climb but Mas was clearly on the same level as me. I was still confident that I would beat him in the sprint.

At Giro dell’Emilia, I was still suffering from the trip back from Australia, but I have felt better and better since. This victory makes it an almost perfect 2022 season for me.”

Tadej Pogačar

The retiring Alejandro Valverde, 42 years old no less, was 6th and Vincenzo Nibali was 24th around 2 minutes behind Pogačar.

“I enjoyed the race and the fans, unfortunately, the legs only went so far. It has been a long, emotional road that started at the Giro d’Italia but I managed to unload some of the emotion during the year. I really thank everyone who greeted me and thanked me along the route.”

Vincenzo Nibali