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Formidable Jakob Fuglsang storms to glory at Il Lombardia.

After 231 demanding kilometers out in the heat at the race of the falling leaves, Astana's leader Jakob Fuglsang powered to an amazing Monument victory in Como, the second of his career after Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2019.

The second Monument of the season, Il Lombardia took the peloton from Bergamo to Como today on a course that covered more than 230 demanding kilometers and offered six tough climbs, like the Colle Gallo, Muro di Sormano or Civiglio. All of the climbs were around seven kilometers long with pitches of over 9% and, on top of this tough course, the weather forecast expected temperatures of around 30 degrees. 

It took quite a long time until a group of 11 riders formed the breakaway of the day and opened up a gap of more than three minutes. As expected the peloton paid attention and, on the way up to the third climb of the day, the Madonna del Ghisallo, the breakaway fell apart. Astana Pro Team took control over the reduced bunch and especially Aleksandr Vlasov and Harold Tejada showed excellent form supporting their leader Jakob Fuglsang. 

On the descent, the leading group of the race was diminished to seven riders, with Jakob Fuglsang and Aleksandr Vlasov setting the pace.

Heading towards Como, Jakob Fuglsang made the final decisive move and was able to distance himself. Over the last 5 kilometers the Danish rider had quite a big gap and arrived in Como alone almost a minute ahead of George Bennett, who took second. Teammate Aleksandr Vlasov, who did an amazing job for Jakob in the closing kilometers, finished the perfect day for the team off with a strong third place.

- I am super happy to win here today and to add another Monument to my palmarès. It’s amazing. I knew I was coming into this race in good shape and I felt like I could win the race but it is always easier to say that than it is to actually do it. The team was super today and they did a great job for me all day especially Vlasov, who was really strong and with me right until the final kilometers. It was great to have him there with me. I knew that in the final I could win the sprint against Bennett but on that last climb, I decided to speed up and try to see if I could distance him earlier and that worked out perfectly so, like I said before, I am really happy. I was just watching the race now and saw that he [Evenepoel] was not behind us after that bridge. I heard he had crashed but I thought he was still racing. I hope that he is okay. That’s not the way you want anyone to finish a race.Jakob Fuglsang 

-  Today was a good day for us, we were working the whole day together and set the pace. I think, we showed a great teamwork and I am also happy with my third place, I supported Jakob and at the end as he went on, I rode my own rhythm. It was a tough and long race but he took the control over the race. I just want to say that I hope Remco is well and I wish him a speedy recovery. Aleksandr Vlasov

- We are more than happy, Jakob took his second Monument win of his career. The team did an amazing job today. Everyone gave his all to support Jakob and at the end he made the right move. It was just a great display of teamwork. But beside that, we hope that Remco is okay and we wish him speedy recovery. Stefano Zanini

 

Photo credit: GettyImages 

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