Tadej Pogacar won Saturday a third consecutive Tour of Lombardy, when Thibaut Pinot bows out. A look back at a day full of emotions.
For the third year in a row, Tadej Pogacar wins the last Monument of the year and puts his stamp on the final page of the cycling season. The Slovenian will once again have registered his name on the list. each chapter of the year. In the spring, winner of Paris-Nice, the Amstel Gold Race, the Flè Wallonne and the Tour of Flanders. This summer, second in the Tour de France with two stage victories and medalist. bronze at the world championships. Finally this fall, winner of his fifth Monument à; 25 years on this Tour of Lombardy. He is the first to won the Classic of Dead Leaves three times in a row since Fausto Coppi (1946, 1947, 1948), winner five times.
A monumental descent
Without being airborne on Saturday, Tadej Pogacar was the most enterprising and the legs responded well to the challenge. his appetite still intact. At the start of the afternoon, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) first fell. à 110 kilometers from the finish and came back pretty banged up. in the peloton. He failed to achieve this goal. follow the best when they broke away, like Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) who didn't have the legs and who probably also had his mind elsewhere for his last race at professionals.
Meanwhile, the UAE Team Emirates launched hostilities in the Passo di Ganda (9.2km at 7.3%), the last real pass of the day. First by Adam Yates, who attacked first while Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma) scored. Then, when the Briton is taken over, by Pogacar himself. But the two-time winner of the Tour was not much stronger than his competitors, and no one had managed to beat him. make a difference at the top of Passo di Ganda, where there were still six of them left. able to win: the two Slovenes, Vlasov, Bagioli, Simon Yates and Carlos Rodriguez.
From the rocker, at 30 kilometers from the finish, "Pogi" threw himself à body lost in the descent, catching his Slovenian rival by surprise at less than comfortable in exercise. Launched drum beating, it quickly took twenty seconds already. decisive, taking advantage of a slight marking between his opponents, and has never been reviewed despite legs that almost gave him away with cramps 12 kilometers from the goal. But Pogacar was perhaps the strongest in the end, and he won with more than 50 seconds ahead of Andrea Bagioli (Soudal Quick-Step) who ruled the group. pursuers in the sprint ahead of Primoz Roglic, third.
A dream twilight
When fall arrives, some leaves fall earlier than others. Thibaut Pinot chose to retire the end of a successful 2023 season, to end his career on a high note. and well before being fenestrated. For his last year, he notably raced a fantastic Tour of Italy at 18:00. at the end of which he won the azzurro jersey of the best climber and finished at; 5th place in the General Ranking, moving up to twice very close to stage victory. This weekend, he bowed out of the race that gave him the greatest success of his career, his only Monument, in 2018.
Honoré by his peers at the start, celebrated by his supporters Upon arrival, Thibaut Pinot experienced farewells like few others do, with hundreds of fans gathered in the Colle Aperto to form the "Curva Pinot", and thank him for the emotions which he offered to cycling enthusiasts throughout his career. Arrival with his teammates almost nine minutes after the winner, Pinot can leave the professional world serene and proud of a career which will not be forgotten in the great history of the little queen.
The complete classification of the race:
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