Astana Team did a very active and aggressive race, especially in the final. Close to the bottom of Civiglia it was Pello Bilbao who attacked from the bunch to join the leading break. With 25 km to go Bilbao’s group had around 40 seconds of advantage, but later the peloton neutralized this breakaway.
In Como, on the San Fermo della Battaglia Sergei Chernetckii did a strong move in front together with a few riders. There was a small gap, but finally the group of contenders came over them. Closer to the top Astana’s leader Fabio Aru went away to try to follow Vincenzo Nibali and Julian Alaphilippe, who attacked before. But, the rivals bridged to him on the top of San Fermo della Battaglia.
Finally, at the finish in Como Fabio Aru arrived in a chasing group, placing 7th. A bit later finished Sergei Chernetckii, who took 10th.
- In this race I did all I could, I gave my best. The team did a brilliant race, all guys were absolutely fantastic, especially Pello Bilbao and Sergei Chernetckii, who showed a very strong result at the finish. I had some difficult moments at penultimate climb, but on the last one I felt like I still had some energy to attack and I did it. Unfortunately, I could not get enough space. Anyway, I think, our team marked a strong performance today, - said Fabio Aru.
- Honestly, I am pretty happy with my result. I was motivated for this Il Lombardia, I wanted to do it at the high level. After the Vuelta and the Worlds, I feel very good and during the race I understood, I have a chance to show myself. Top-10 is a very good performance, which gives me additional confidence in myself ahead of the upcoming season, - explained Sergei Chernetckii.
Italian Vincenzo Nibali won the Il Lombardia 2017 after his powerful attack close to the top of Civiglia, taking some more advantage on the descent. French rider Julian Alaphilippe finished second, counterattacking from the favorite’s group at the final climb. Gianni Moscon won the sprint from the chasing group with Fabio Aru, completing the race podium.
Photo credit: © Bettiniphoto