Pogačar wins Il Lombardia a third time as Roglič joins him on podium
Slovenia's star rider Tadej Pogačar won Il Lombardia, the last of the cycling season's five one-day races known as Monuments, for the third consecutive time on 7 October as his compatriot Primož Roglič came in third in his last race for the Jumbo Visma team.
Pogačar (UAE Tam Emirates) is only the third cyclist in history to win the race known as the classic of the falling leaves three times in a row and the first rider to achieve this since 1949. This was the 117th edition of the race.
The 25-year-old attacked first on the penultimate climb, the Passo di Ganda, but was unable to completely distance a strong group. However, just ahead of the descent Pogačar eased himself away from the rest.
He carved out an advantage of 30 seconds and then continued to widen the gap from his pursuants until the finish line despite cramping in both thighs.
He said after the race that he eased off a bit due to the cramps and tried to be as aerodynamic as possible to save the strength for the last climb, to Bergamo old town.
The gap between him and the group behind widened largely due to the riders' failure to work together.
They reached the finish line 51 seconds behind Pogačar, with Roglič launching an all-out sprint but was outridden by Italian Andrea Bagioli (Soudal-QuickStep) in the final few metres.
This was the last race for Roglič on the Dutch Team Jumbo Visma. After weeks of speculation, it was made official on 6 October that he will be moving to Bora-Hansgrohe of Germany next year.
For Pogačar this was the fifth Monument race under his belt: in addition to the three Il Lombardia victories, he also won the Tour the Flanders earlier this year and the Liege-Bastogne-Liege two years ago.
Only a week ago, the two Slovenian rivals took the first two places in the Giro d'Emilia, a one-day classic taking place in and around Bologna. That time Roglič won the race and Pogačar came in second.