Stickybottle

Aggressive Dan Martin fights hard with repeated Lombardy attacks

Posted on: October 13th, 2018

Dan Martin rode his eyeballs out in an effort to take a podium place at the Tour of Lombardy today. He came up short but still took a top 10 (All photos: LaPresse-D’Alberto)

 

Dan Martin has taken a very strong result in Il Lombardia, placing 9th on a day when he went all out for the final podium.

In a very exciting finale that saw Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) take a classy win, Martin was very aggressive with repeated attacks.

At one point he was solo third on the road behind Pinot leading the race alone from Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida).

However, despite giving his all Dan Martin was caught by Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe) and others until the chase group grew to seven.

It would catch Nibali, though the defending champion jumped again almost instantly and rode away for 2nd place.

And while Dan Martin tried several times to get clear and grab a podium spot, he couldn’t shake the chase group.

Pinot won by 32 seconds from Nibali and then 11 seconds later came the sprint from the chasers, won by Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing).

It was with 50km remaining, when the riders reached the Wall of Sormano, that the race-winning action unfolded.

The early breakaway had been caught and as the climb wore on Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) was first to go off the front.

Close to the top of the climb Nibali went after him, catching him very quickly and with Pinot joining them.

Last year’s winner and Pinot went over the top of the climb first, with Roglic unable to follow them. However, Roglic would get back on going down the climb.

 

 

The chase group behind included Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) and world champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

Egan Bernal (Team Sky) was attacking that group to try and catch the three leaders.

But for Romain Bardet, a crash was the order of the day. The Ag2r-La Mondiale man tangled with a spectator and came down.

Bernal would eventually catch the leaders. And with 28km remaining the four up front had 40 seconds on the chasers; Dan Martin among them.

However about 10km further on Roglic was dropped again. And Bernal looked to be struggling, before being dropped.

With Pinot and Nibali now leading again alone, the French rider attacked his Italian rival and looked the strongest of the two.

With 15km remaining, Roglic had been caught by the chase group. However, Bernal was still battling.

The young Colombian was stuck exactly halfway in the 40-second gap between the two leaders and the chase group.

With the gaps still modest, Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac) attacked from the chase group as did Dan Martin.

While Uran was caught, Dan Martin’s effort was much stronger. Up front Pinot attacked Nibali again and this time got away from him.

That meant with just under 15km remaining, Pinot was leading solo, with Nibali next on the road. Then came Dan Martin and then the chasing group.

And in that chase group it was now the turn of Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe) to have a go.

The Pole soon got across to Martin. And with 10km to go Pinot had 25 seconds over Nibali, with another 20 seconds back to Martin and Majka.

 

 

From the chase group behind Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) attacked and caught Dan Martin and Majka.

And their three-man group would then swell to seven as more bridged across after the last climb, the Monte Olimpino.

They had Nibali in their sights, with the gap between him and Dan Martin’s group now just 10 seconds.

However, Pinot still had 30 seconds on Nibali as they raced into the last 5km. Martin and Majka both attacked, clearly determined to try and make the final podium.

With the finish almost in sight, the chase group caught Nibali, who attacked them again and got clear at the death in the 241km race into Como.

And that’s the way it stayed; Pinot winning by 32 seconds from Nibali, who incredibly managed to put 11 seconds into the chase group.

Teuns put in a strong sprint in the chase group to take the final spot on the podium some 43 seconds after the winner had crossed the line.

Then came Uran in 4th, Wellens 5th and Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) in 6th place. Majka took 7th with Domenico Pozzovivo (Bahrain-Merida) last man of the chase group in 8th.

Then came a gap of five seconds back to Dan Martin in 9th; the UAE Team Emirates man looking shattered after his efforts to break clear and grab a podium place.

There was then a big gap back to the man who rounded out the top 10; George Bennett. The LottoNL-Jumbo rider finished 34 seconds behind Martin and 1:22 off Pinot.

 

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