The final monumental race of the calendar was the 240km Como to Bergamo cliffhanger. Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar outsprinted Italian Fausto Masnada to win his second monument race after Liege-Bastone-Liege and becomes the only the third rider to win the Tour and Il Lombardia in the same year. The Slovenian attacked with 35 km to go leaving behind star fellow break away riders which included world champ Alaphillipe and Adam Yates. The hairpin like corners on the descent at Passo Di Ganda climb were testy. Masnada’s handling of it was superb. He hardly reduced speed and rode the apex of the road, showing that he was familiar with the course.
It was little wonder that the Italian closed Pogacar down and caught the Slovenian, who had opened up a 40 second lead ,at the foot of the hill. However the difference maker was the final hill at 4km. Although Masnada briefly overtook Pagacar on that uphill , the Tour de France champ never lost his composure. He made sure that he was ahead of Masnada in the final 500 meters even by a meter so he could be in control. That way he could determine when to start the dash to the finish. Pagacar is only 23 years of age and won the Tour at 22. To put it into context Contador won it first time at 25 whilst Armstrong at 27. This may not be obvious but this is a major headache for UAE Team Emirates. One, like all sports, young players tend to peak off early so the Team needs to start looking for other great riders ASAP as long term successors. However there are exceptions to the old rider theory. Two, great young riders tend to demand more pay than older especially when they produce results like Taddy.