Il Lombardia: Caruso Goes Solo, De Marchi Finishes Ninth1. October 2016, Bergamo (ITA) — Road Team
The last monument of the season and the toughest one-day race this year, Il Lombardia, didn’t disappoint with 241km of thrilling racing playing out from Como to Bergamo.
With the race billed as one of the toughest editions in recent years it was a fight to get into the breakaway with many riders knowing that it would be their only chance for victory.
After almost two hours of racing Damiano Caruso found himself in a 4-rider move that eventually gained a 7-minute advantage over the already-reduced bunch. One by one Caruso’s breakaway companions dropped and Caruso was left as the sole rider in front with 62km remaining.
The chase behind Caruso picked up and a small group of favorites, including Alessandro De Marchi, caught Caruso with around 45km to go.
De Marchi fought well to stay with the group until a four-man move broke clear, which included eventual winner Estaben Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange).
While the battle for the podium played out in front, De Marchi was part of the sprint for fifth place and crossed the line in ninth place in what was his best career result in a monument.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Alessandro De Marchi:
"Today I tried to do the best race possible and i'm really happy. I was looking to do something today to finsih the season well and give a signal of what I can do becuase it hasn't been the best season for me. I wasnted to get into the breakaway but it was really like roulette out there and there were so many guys trying to jump in. Eventually we had Damiano Caruso in the breakaway so we were ok. Once they had gone clear I said to myself that I had 200km to go forward and stay right up there. When the four guys went on the last climb I knew they would go for the win so I tried to do my best result in the small group and save my energy for this last climb. There wasn't too much cooperation so I'm happy with my sprint and the way I anticipated the final 2km of racing. It was a good race and very hard but I'm happy."
“It was a really hard and fast start to the race. We rode the first 70km full gas and it was then that I was trying to ride a good tempo to get into the breakaway. Eventually I was one of four riders who went. We wanted a big group to go and with only four riders going clear it wasn’t good conditions. With only 4 riders it was more difficult to stay away, but I still did a nice ride and I think for me it was a great Il Lombardia. I played my chanced and I’m happy for that.”
“It’s always nice to ride in Italy, especially at Il Lombardia which is such a beautiful race. With our team I do a lot of race outside of Italy so it’s normal that I enjoy racing here when I have the chance.”
Como > Bergamo (241km)
Top 3: 1. Estaban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange), 2. Diego Rosa (Team Sky), 3. Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team).