Bauke Mollema produced a solo ride to victory at the end of the Il Lombardia on Saturday to claim one of the most important wins of his career.
The Trek-Segafredo rider attacked 20 km from the finish and never looked back, holding off former world champion Alejandro Valverde who finished second ahead Tour de France champion Egan Bernal.
”To win a Monument, to win this race…,” said Mollema, who also struggled to hold back tears of joy on the top step of the podium as his national anthem was played.
”This is my 11th Lombardia and I only once before finished in the top 10.’ I wasn’t the favorite so maybe the other riders underestimated me a bit,” Mollema said. ”I found the right moment to attack. I just went full gas in the last 10 kilometers. It’s unreal.”
Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) finished seventh after being the first rider to launch a committed chase of Mollema when the Trek-Segafredo rider started building a solid gap.
No-one could pull the Dutchman back, though, as he stayed strong to cross the finish line in first. Behind, Valverde fought off Bernal in the sprint finish to take second, with Jakob Fuglsang finishing fourth.
Il Lombardia 2019 results:
|1||Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)|
|2||Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)|
|3||Egan Bernal (Team Ineos)|
|4||Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)|
|5||Michael Woods (EF Education First)|
|6||Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|7||Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)|
|8||Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|9||Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale)|
|10||Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ)|
|11||David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ)|
|12||Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|13||Enric Mas (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|14||Ivan Sosa (Team Ineos)|
|15||Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|16||Gorka Izagirre (Astana)|
|17||Giovanni Visconti (Neri Sottoli Selle Italia)|
|18||Daniel Martin (UAE Team Emirates)|
|19||Gianni Moscon (Team Ineos)|
|20||Pierre Rolland (Vital Concept-B&B Hotels)|