Team News: Podium in Il Lombardia for Cannondale Drapac


Rigoberto Uran third and Davide Villella fifth for Cannondale-Drapac as the road season winds down in Lombardia

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Team News: Podium in Il Lombardia for Cannondale Drapac

Cannondale-Drapac lined-up for Il Lombardia hungry for a win to close out the season and with the form to match the motivation. While the victory proved evasive, the tactics in Italy on Saturday were textbook and put Rigoberto Uran into a race-winning position. In the end, the Colombian recorded the third Il Lombardia podium of his career as he sprinted to third place in Bergamo.


photo: Graham Watson

Minutes after the finish, Uran said: “I made a little mistake in the downhill and I paid for it. At the end, things went pretty well. I’m on the podium. I was going well too, but all day I was struggling a bit in the descents. I was a bit scared so I lost some time at every corner. But this is a beautiful race. I’m proud to have contested it for the win.”

The final Monument unfolded according to plan initially. A non-threatening early breakaway escaped following a fast and frenzied start. Davide Formolo and Moreno Moser took to the front to control the chase. With the unrelenting finale approaching and the gap tumbling, an elite peloton began to take shape after the Sant-Antonio Abbandonato. Fifty kilometers from the finish, a group of 16 emerged, including Uran and Davide Villella.

Esteban Chaves (ORICA-BikeExchange) surged on the lower slopes of the Selvino, fracturing the leading group. Only Uran and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) could follow initially. Diego Rosa (Astana) dug deep to bridge across to the leading trio before the top of the penultimate climb. The quartet reached Bergamo with a 58-second lead on 10 chasers.

Uran and Chaves gapped Rosa and Bardet when Chaves accelerated on the Bergamo Alta. Rosa clawed his way back to the leading duo with the flamme rouge in sight and then launched an attack of his own. Chaves marked the move, setting the scene for a three-up sprint.

“We arrived for a sprint and the fastest won,” said Uran. “Esteban had the best legs of all of us in the front group.” Villella, who has quietly but consistently shown steady improvement throughout the entire season, was best of the rest, leading home the chase group in fifth place.

Cannondale-Drapac leaves Italy with four podiums and an additional three top ten finishes from six one-day Italian races. “We rode already for two weeks in Italy,” said sport director Fabrizio Guidi. “Maybe we were not the strongest team with the strongest riders but were consistently strong in every single race we did. We missed winning one of the races, but I can say nothing to the group I had here except ‘great job’ because they did all the right things. I’m very happy”.

“From my point of view, I think now we get where we’ve been looking forward to arriving since last year,” Guidi added. “Things have changed a lot but we’re getting the confidence finally. Finally we are there. We need to keep working like this. We’re in the right direction.”

As the team looks toward next season, the recent results in Italy are something to build upon, according to Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “It’s a great way to end the season,” Vaughters said. “I think the hilly one day classics can be something we take a deeper focus on for 2017.”

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