Pogačar completes historic hat-trick at Il Lombardia with epic solo attack

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Il Lombardia 2023: Title Image

Tadej Pogačar of UAE Team Emirates made history by securing his third consecutive Giro di Lombardia victory with a remarkable solo performance.

Il Lombardia is the final opportunity for riders to make their mark before the season concludes, and Pogačar did just that, beating a stellar field of experienced riders.

In a highly anticipated showdown featuring key rials Remco Evenepoel and Primož Roglič, it was Pogačar who reigned supreme.

Pogačar’s winning move came 31 kilometers from the finish line in Bergamo, showcasing his exceptional descending skills on the roads of the Passo di Ganda – a descent that proved rather tricky 2 years ago.

Andrea Bagioli from Soudal-QuickStep clinched a brilliant second place, securing his best finish at a Monument race, while Roglič settled for third after letting Pogačar’s wheel go during the descent and facing difficulties in the final 10 kilometers.

Il Lombardia was Roglič’s final outing for Jumbo-Visma, having confirmed his transfer to BORA-hansgrohe for the 2024 season before the race.

Slovenian Sensation: Pogačar Soars to Lombardia Victory

Pogačar adds Il Lombardia to a spectacular list of one-day race triumphs in 2023, which already includes wins at the Tour of Flanders, Amstel Gold Race, and La Flèche Wallone.

This 238-kilometer race, running from Como to Bergamo, witnessed a spirited start with a larger-than-usual breakaway group escaping the peloton. A large crash involving Remco Evenepoel doused any further attacks for a little while.

As the race approached the Passo Della Crocetta, the breakaway’s advantage was at around two minutes.

However, Scotsman Oscar Onley from DSM-Firmenich wanted to inject some pace, making a decisive move, and he was closely shadowed by Ben Healy of EF Education EasyPost. Over the course of 10 kilometers, these two riders bridged the gap to the leaders.

No rest for the wicked, though, with Healy then surging ahead, increasing the tempo in a valiant effort to keep the rapidly approaching peloton at bay. For a brief moment, Healy led the race as a solo rider, but the determined peloton soon reeled them in.

In the closing stages of this thrilling race, it was Adam Yates of UAE Team Emirates who kicked up the challenging Passo di Ganda climb.

His explosive attack left several riders struggling to stay in contention, ultimately resulting in a final selection of just ten contenders, including riders like Primoz Roglič, Aleksandr Vlasov (BORA-hansgrohe), and Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates).

It was here that the 25-year-old Slovenian initiated his attack but was slowly reeled back in by a strong chasing group.

However, Pogačar managed to slip away on the descent and maintained his lead all the way into Bergamo, reaffirming his dominance at Il Lombardia.

Despite battling cramps in the final 10 kilometers, Pogačar’s lead remained insurmountable.

“I was thinking that’s it, but I pushed through”

“When I got cramp I was thinking that’s it, but I pushed through,” said Pogačar after the finish.

“I lowered down the power and focussed on being as aero as possible to save myself for the final kick. I hoped that behind there would not be such a good collaboration, which there probably wasn’t because I was gaining, but I was not going so fast.

“To win [for] the third time, [and the] second time here in Bergamo, it’s a dream. I was enjoying the last few kilometers, even if it was so, so painful. It’s incredible.”

Merci, Tibo…

The loudest cheers of the day, however, were reserved for Thibaut Pinot.

The crowds were overflowing on the final climb, with thousands of fans bidding farewell to a legend of cycling in his final race. Although he may not have been able to bag a podium spot, the support shown was quite outstanding.

Thibaut Pinot’s brilliant cycling career has left an unforgettable legacy. His victories, resilience in the face of challenges, and sportsmanship have made him an enduring figure in the world of cycling.

As he moves into a new phase of life, his impact on the sport will always be celebrated and cherished.

The joy of that final ascent, with Pinot soaking in the adoration of the fans, felt a fitting conclusion to a wonderful career.

Il Lombardia 2023 Results

  1. POGACAR Tadej (UAE Team Emirates): 5:55:33
  2. BAGIOLI Andrea (Soudal Quick-Step): + 0:52
  3. ROGLIC Primoz (Jumbo-Visma): Same time
  4. VLASOV Aleksandr (BORA-hansgrohe):
  5. YATES Simon (Team Jayco-AlUla):
  6. YATES Adam (UAE Team Emirates):
  7. RODRIGUEZ Carlos (INEOS Grenadiers):
  8. CARAPAZ Richard (EF Education-EasyPost): + 1:06
  9. EVENEPOEL Remco (Soudal Quick-Step): + 1:26
  10. KRON Andreas (Lotto Dstny): Same time
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As a qualified sports massage therapist and personal trainer with eight years' experience in the field, Ben plays a leading role in BikeTips' injury and recovery content. Alongside his professional experience, Ben is an avid cyclist, splitting his time between his road and mountain bike. He is a particular fan of XC ultra-endurance biking, but nothing beats bikepacking with his mates. Ben has toured extensively throughout the United Kingdom, French Alps, and the Pyrenees ticking off as many iconic cycling mountains as he can find. He currently lives in the Picos de Europa of Spain's Asturias region, a stone's throw from the legendary Altu de 'Angliru - a spot that allows him to watch the Vuelta a España roll past his doorstep each summer.

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