Julian Alaphilippe will bring his season to a conclusion Saturday afternoon.
Il Lombardia – the race won by some of cycling’s biggest names – runs its 116th episode this weekend on a different course than the one of last year, when the Wolfpack came close to victory with Fausto Masnada, who took second.
After they will leave behind Bergamo, the home town of last season’s runner-up, the peloton will tackle a series of five climbs – Forcellino di Bianzano, Ganda, Passo della Crocetta, Forcella di Bura and Colle di Berbenno – all stacked up in the space of 90 kilometers, but these aren’t expected to have a big impact on the race.
Instead, things promise to heat up once the riders will hit the slopes of Madonna del Ghisallo, from where they’ll head to Como for a first ascent of San Fermo della Battaglia. A short descent will then lead them onto the demanding climb of Civiglio, but this won’t be the last hurdle of the day, as just a couple of kilometers later they will tackle again Battaglia, from whose top only five kilometers remain until the finish.
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s line-up for the last World Tour appointment of the season will consist of double World Champion Julian Alaphilippe, former Piccolo Giro di Lombardia winner Andrea Bagioli, Dries Devenyns – who will make his tenth outing at the Italian Monument – Mikkel Honoré, Ilan Van Wilder, Mauri Vansevenant and Louis Vervaeke.
“It’s the last Monument of the season and our penultimate race, we come here after solid outings at Bernocchi and Piemonte, so the motivation is huge and we want to do well. The riders are ready to give everything on what will be a hard course, with a different final part than last year that could have a significant impact on the outcome. Julian is our leader and he will have a strong team around him, so we are confident”, explained sports director Davide Bramati.
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