New podium to say goodbye to 2019
Alejandro Valverde’s season concluded on Saturday in Italy in the same way that it started many months ago in Mallorca: fighting for the victory. The 2018 world champion fought for another high success in the decisive kilometers of Il Lombardia, fifth and last Monument of the season.
Alejandro rolled attentively on the climb to the Muro di Sormano, the first climb where the favorites began to look for the victory. The Movistar Team attacked in the final meters to close a cut with Rubén Fernández, supporting his leader.
The race, however, would be decided in Civiglio where, just after an attack by Valverde, Bauke Mollema surprised the already small group of favorites to leave alone taking advantage of the rest and keeping their distance to the finish. El Bala, who tried again on the streets of Como, finished second to add his third podium in the classic of the fallen leaves.
Statements: “I’m satisfied with this econd place, but knowing that I had the legs to win, I’m left with a bittersweet taste. This is an important race, a Monument, one that I really love, and hence the feeling I’ve got at the end. There was a lot of everyone looking at each other near the end, and that makes it easier for a solo rider, with less vigilance, to go away and stick at the front until the end. Bauke took advantage to attack, make a big move and use his energy well to succeed. Hats off to him – he’s a deserved winner. I tried to attack again at San Fermo – I had jumped before at Civiglio, but once caught, I didn’t want to keep the pace because there was still one tough climb left – and even gave it a try at the summit, but seeing that they were just behind, I waited for them to push together and see if we could gain some time on Bauke. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, that’s cycling. I’ll be 40 next year and it’ll be hard to aim for a victory again here, but you can see that I’m still here after so, so long, doing even better than in previous seasons, so there might be some room for surprise left!”
Photo: BettiniPhoto / Movistar Team