Today, the final World Tour one-day classic, the 251 kilometer long Giro di Lombardia was launched and a front quartet consisting of Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale), Reto Hollenstein (IAM Cycling), Carlos Quintero (Colombia), and Willem Wauters (Vacansoleil-DCM) formed the first breakaway of the race.
But several riders wanted to bridge and on the highly undulating stretch Saxo-Tinkoff’s Nicolas Roche and Sergio Paulinho crossed over with 21 other riders to form a new big break. But apparently, the new front group was too dangerous to let go and once again, the race was neutralized.
On the next climb, Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana (Movistar) created a gap but Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) bridged the gap on his own and thundered past the group to launch a bold solo adventure while the Movistar riders were swept up by a chase group. In the front of the chase group, Saxo-Tinkoff’s Michael Rogers was pulling hard and he succeeded in reeling in the tenacious Frenchman.
With 11.5 kilometers to go, only the favorites were left in the front of the race and Rafal Majka represented Saxo-Tinkoff. However, Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) launched a lethal attack and even though Rafal Majka was trying to bridge with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) but the Spaniard stayed away and took a superb win.
“This is a great result for Rafal and for us. He was not the only leader in our line-up but eventually, he was the guy to support and the team did a terrific job protecting him. Rodriguez launched a very strong attack and Rafal did the smart move by waiting a bit to try and bridge with Valverde and Martin. Finishing third after 250 kilometers of hard racing at his age is extremely promising and this is a race, he should be focusing on in the future,” said Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Fabrizio Guidi after the race.