Quick-Step Floors conclude European season at Il Lombardia
Florian Sénéchal spends 150 kilometers in the break, while Pieter Serry comes home as the team's top finisher.
Last Monument of the season, Il Lombardia (Bergamo – Como, 241km) got off to a furious start which prevented any breakaway attempt from going clear in the first 30 kilometers. It was just ahead of Colle Gallo, the day’s first climb, that a group snapped the elastic, and when it did, Quick-Step Floors were represented there by Florian Sénéchal, who got to spend a long spell at the front of the race, until Madonna del Ghisallo, in what was his final outing of the year.
The iconic hill – with its 17 hairpins and 6.2% average gradient over 8.5 kilometers – didn’t bring much to the race, only noteworthy event being the end of the breakaway. Attacks commenced a bit later, on the grueling 27% slopes of the excruciating Muro di Sormano (1 900 meters), an ascent so tough that in 1960, at its debut in the “Classic of the Falling Leaves”, some riders had to climb it by foot.
Youngest rider in 15 years to podium at Vuelta a España and a debutant at Il Lombardia, Enric Mas was part of the drastically reduced peloton, which numbered around 20 riders when Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) and Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) made their move just as the climb was starting to bite.
From this trio the day’s winner emerged on the penultimate hill, Civiglio, where Pinot dropped everyone else and soloed to victory on Lungo Lario Trento e Trieste, where Pieter Serry – who rode a strong race at his 11th presence in a Monument – rolled over the line in 24th place, as Quick-Step Floors’ best finisher.
With only one event remaining on the calendar, next week’s Tour of Guangxi, which will run its second edition, Quick-Step Floors has mathematically won the World Tour team classification for the first time in the squad’s history, more than 3 000 points separating our outfit – which has amassed the most victories for the seventh season running – from the nearest rival.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images