The fifth Monument of the season is played out on a route with an elevation gain of approximately 4,000 metres, scattered through the Alps-region between Bergamo and Como. The Tour of Lombardy amounts to 243 kilometres, while the race ends Nibali-style with a drop to the line.
The 2015 and 2017 editions of the Il Lombardia were played out on the same course. On both occasions Vincenzo Nibali accepted the gift of the organisation and he won those editions. He attacked after cresting the penultimate climb, Civiglio, and powered to victory with a 16 kilometres solo. Julian Alaphilippe and Gianni Moscon rounded out the podium in 2017, Daniel Moreno and Thibaut Pinot in 2015.
Primoz Roglic is on stellar form. Last month he won the Vuelta before he continued his winning streak in the Giro dell’Emilia and Tre Valli Varesine. The Slovene is backed-up by a strong squad, so arguably he is the man to beat. All the more since he is a fast descender.
Il Lombardia is a war of attrition of almost 250 kilometres. The race is expected to ignite when the riders tackle the Madonna del Ghisallo with 65 kilometres remaining. The race continues over the Muro di Sormano (1.9 kilometres at 15.8) before a technical drop and rolling section usher in the finale. In the last 20 kilometres the riders tackle the Civiglio (4.2 kilometres at 9.7%) and San Fermo della Battaglia (2.7 kilometres at 7.2%), while the last 5.3 kilometres are a downhill into Como.
Former winners at the start of Il Lombardia are Vincenzo Nibali (2017, 2015), Esteban Chaves (2016), Dan Martin (2014) and Philippe Gilbert (2010, 2009).
Favourites 2019 Tour of Lombardy
***** Vincenzo Nibali, Primoz Roglic, Adam Yates
**** Philippe Gilbert, Gianni Moscon, Dylan Teuns
*** Alejandro Valverde, Michael Woods, Egan Bernal
** David Gaudu, Wilco Kelderman, Jakob Fuglsang, Tim Wellens
* Bauke Mollema, Pierre Latour, Giulio Ciccone, Marc Hirschi