Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali of Astana Pro Team celebrates winning the Giro di Lombardia cycling race, over 245 km from Bergamo to Como, Italy. Angelo Carconi / EPA
Italian rider Vincenzo Nibali of Astana Pro Team celebrates winning the Giro di Lombardia cycling race, over 245 km from Bergamo to Como, Italy. Angelo Carconi / EPA

Abu Dhabi Tour-bound Vincenzo Nibali wins Il Lombardia for first Monument classic



Italy’s 2014 Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali won Il Lombardia in style on Sunday to claim his first Monument one-day classic victory.

Nibali, who will be competing in the Abu Dhabi Tour that starts Thursday, attacked on the penultimate descent and never looked back.

Spain’s Dani Moreno (Katusha) and Frenchman Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), who jumped away from the group of favourites in the last climb to lead the chase, finished second and third, 21 and 32 seconds back respectively after 245km from Bergamo.

“It was a fantastic day, the whole team worked very well,” said Nibali, who was sheltered by Diego Rosa in the last part of the race, one of five ‘Monument’ classics with Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

Nibali’s best results in the Monuments so far had been third place on Milan-San Remo and second in Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2012.

“I tried to attack on the climb but I realised I had to do it differently,” he added.

Nibali attacked in the ascent of the Civiglio but he was reined in by Pinot. He attacked again in the downhill and no rider was able to follow the Italian, one of the best descenders in the world.

Pinot and Moreno were stronger than the rest of the top riders in the final climb but they failed to close the gap, which rose again a little bit in the last downhill part of the race.

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