Tadej Pogacar retained his Il Lombardia crown on Saturday as cycling icons Vincenzo Nibali and Alejandro Valverde both ended their careers in the final monument race of the season.
You can rewatch the full race HERE
Pogacar held off Enric Mas in a two-man duel to the line after a 253-kilometre run between Bergamo and Como to gain revenge for his recent loss to the Spaniard in the Giro dell’Emilia.
Mikel Landa completed the podium after failing to keep pace with the leading pair, who went after each other aggressively in an entertaining finale.
The win was the two-time Tour de France champion’s seventh major win of the season and closed off a campaign which Pogacar described as “almost perfect”.
“It’s really amazing to come back and to repeat the victory. The teamwork today, I can’t say how grateful I am for the team — they did such an amazing job,” said Pogacar. “To pull it for the last race of the season is amazing.”
There was no dream finish for Nibali, one of just seven riders to have won all three Grand Tours and also a two-time winner of Il Lombardia. The “Shark of Messina” finished back in 24th place after falling by the wayside on the Civiglo climb towards the end of the race.
Valverde closed out a career which brought one Grand Tour – the 2009 Vuelta a Espana – and a host of one-day titles including the 2018 World Championships, with a sixth place finish, over a minute behind Pogacar.