Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider Pieter Serry rode strong in 242km Giro di Lombardia on Sunday, staying with a select group of top riders including Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha Team), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Robert Gesink (Belkin), and others despite a brutal course that includes climbs such as Muro di Sormano (1.92km, 15.8% average gradient, 25/27% max ramp) and Madonna del Ghisallo (8.58km, 6.2% average gradient, 14% max ramp).
As the peloton headed toward the final climb, Villa Vergano, which was 3.28km in length and averaged 11.75% with a maximum of 15%, Serry continued to stick with the group. The peloton dwindled from 40 riders inside 50km to go, to just a few riders by that point. The pace was high as the group caught Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) with 11.5km to go. Voeckler launched his attack inside the 50km to go mark.
Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R – La Mondiale) were the first riders to attack in the final kilometers out of the select group, but were reeled in. Serry did his best to hang on with the high pace. However, the race winning attack by Rodriguez (Katusha) with 10km remaining caused enough acceleration for Serry to lose contact with the chasers behind.
Rodriguez went on to win solo. Valverde was the only rider trying to chase him in the final kilometers and finished 2nd. Rafal Majka (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) was 3rd. Serry finished 7th, 55″ back.
“I am really happy about my performance,” Serry said. “I am happy because after the Vuelta I worked hard. I did a lot of training to try and be there at Lombardia and try my best for a good result. The hard work paid off, so I am happy — even because it was my first time at this race. I didn’t really know the parcours. I had great help from Davide Bramati. He knows the parcours really well, so he told me where to stay in the front and what wheels to follow to try to do my best. But in the final when the attacks happened, I really couldn’t follow. They were too strong. I am missing a little bit of power to stay with them, but that is something I will work on in the future. But, anyway, I am happy. This is my second top 10 finish in a WorldTour race after Clasica San Sebastian. I love this kind of one-day race with a lot of climbs. I am really satisfied about this and it gives me great motivation to keep working hard.”