Slovenia’s Tadej Pogacar became the first man to win Il Lombardia on each of his first two appearances at the road cycling October classic in Italy with victory on Saturday (8 October) in the "Race of the Falling Leaves".
He out-sprinted Movistar’s Spanish rider Enric Mas in a two-man duel, with Mikel Landa claiming third place.
The 253-kilometre (157-mile) trek from Bergamo to Como, with its nine climbs, was the one-day classic with the most climbing on the 2022 calendar, featuring 4,852 metres (15,918 feet) of altitude gain.
A breakaway was released early in the race and were allowed to stay up the road until the Madonna del Ghisallo, when the peloton swallowed up the remainder of the breakaway stragglers with around 70 km to go.
Pogacar attacked on Civiglio, the penultimate climb, with Mas following on the Slovenian’s wheel. While they allowed Landa to regroup with them, Tour de France winner Jonas Vingegaard and Colombian national champion Sergio Higuita were distanced by the movement from Pogacar.
It meant the front three hit the final San Fermo della Battaglia climb together with 8km to the line – and it was Mas who moved first with 6km to go, the Slovenian following him as they distanced Landa. Both men crested the climb together, setting up a two-man sprint to the line.
Mas blinked first, launching with 150m to go, and ran out of legs going full gas in the sprint while Pogacar cruised over the line, having time to raise his arms in celebration."It’s really amazing […]