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2012 Giro di Lombardia
By Bart Hazen
Date: 9/29/2012
2012 Giro di Lombardia

2012 Giro di Lombardia
Joaquin Rodriguez wins Giro di Lombardia as first Spaniard. Katusha captain solo's to an impressive win and the final win in the World Tour ranking. Samuel Sanchez and Rigoberto Uran complete Spanish speaking podium.

In the pouring rain Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) soloed to the victory in the Giro di Lombardia. "Purito" became the first Spaniard to win this classic. Rodriguez escaped on the day's final climb the Salite di Ello to win with a 9 seconds lead over the chasing group led home by Samuel Sanchez. Rigoberto Uran completed the Spanish speaking podium. Due to his win Rodriguez passed Wiggins in to win his second consecutive World Tour overall win. For Rodriguez it was a perfect season. Earlier this eyear he won a.o. the Fleche Wallonne and finished second in the Giro D'Italia and third in the Vuelta D'Espana.

The race was animated by a large break including Romain Bardet (AG2R), Emanuele Sella (Androni), Steve Morabito (BMC), Stefano Locatelli (Colnago), Johan Esteban Chaves (Colombia), Alberto Losada (Katusha), Cristiano Salerno (Liquigas), Tom Jelte Slagter (Rabobank), Nicki Sörensen (Saxobank) and Federico Rocchetti (Utensilnord Named). The break got a maximum of about 5 minutes. Inside the final 100 km of the race only 60 riders were left in the race due to the epic weather conditions.

On the Mur of Sormano Romain Bardet attacked and reached the top in first position followed about 30 seconds later by a group including Contador, Rodriguez, Sanchez, Uran and the other contenders for the win. World Champion Philippe Gilbert couldn't follow and tried to bridge up in the descent. Due to the risks and the slippery conditions Gilbert crashed and had to leave the race. but no serious injuries. Also Alessandro Ballan and Luca Paolini left the race after a crash.

After the descent Bardain gained a lead of about 1 minute again as there was a general regrouping. The lead of Bardet came down again after a counter-attack from Ryder Hesjedal which was neutralised very quick. Immediately after Kevin de Weert attacked. The Belgian caught Bardet and dropped him straight away but on the slopes of the Madonna del Ghisallo De Weert was caught too.

In the descent of the Ghisallo Nibali, Tiralongo and Ten Dam also crashed but managed to regain contact. With 25 km to go Rui Costa attacked but was chased down by Sky and Lampre. On the last climb Rodriguez attacked and quickly gathered a lead of 10 seconds. On top he still had a 7 seconds lead on Contador, Uran, Henao and the others. In the remaining 6 km the chasing group was unable to chase down Rodriguez. Inside the final corner Rodriguez had time to celebrate his most beautiful victory to date as he mentioned it in a post-race interview.

1 Joaquím Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 6:36:27
2 Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:09
3 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Sky Procycling
4 Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team
5 Sergio Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling
6 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
8 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Radioshack-Nissan
9 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank
10 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana

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