Unstoppable Rodríguez (KAT) keeps Alejandro Valverde away from victory at Il Lombardia after offensive tactics from Movistar Team, which witnessed Rui Costa’s first outing in the rainbow jersey
The potential and courage from the Movistar Team in the 107th edition of Il Lombardia was really close to taking Alejandro Valverde onto the highest step of the podium. The Spaniard came across the finish of the ‘Foglie Morte’ in 2nd place after 242km full of climbs and attacks from Bergamo to Lecco, again under bad weather. The telephone squad was offensive from the very beginning: with no attacks sticking for the early break of the day, the Blue team put two of their members -Beñat Intxausti and Spanish road champion Jesús Herrada- into a 21-man breakaway reached down by the main favourites in the first ramps of the Colma di Sormano, with its summit on top of the famous ‘Wall’ (1,900 meters at 16% average.)
Nairo Quintana picked up the pace into the climb and, after cresting, with more than 80k remaining, launched himself alongside Alejandro Valverde into the attack, putting the favourites’ group under pressure at the descent. With the attack caught, Voeckler (EUC) went apart and opened a gap of almost three minutes, which Saxo, Katusha and even Rui Costa -in his first race in the rainbow colours- reeled back slowly but steadily. Giovanni Visconti -who suffered a crash with no consequences into the Sormano descent- finished the job with 10k remaining, just before an unstoppable attack by Rodríguez (KAT). His move was followed in the distance by Valverde, who unsuccessfully tried to bring him back together with Majka (TST) and Martin (GRS), before going on his own for 2nd place.