Giro di Lombardia: Oliver Zaugg springs a surprise to win his first ever pro race

Dan Martin second and Joaquin Rodriguez third as the big guns miss out

by Simon_MacMichael   October 15, 2011  

Giro di Lombardia 2011 poster

Oliver Zaugg of Leopard Trek this afternoon won his first ever professional race, and what a race it was to win - the year's last Monument, the Giro di Lombardia. The 30-year-old Swiss rider had attacked on the day's final climb from a select group of riders that were preparing to contest the finale, and managed to hang on during the descent and run in to Lecco to win by 8 seconds from Garmin-Cervelo's Dan Martin, with Joaquin Rodriguez of Katusha third.

You’d have got very short odds at the beginning of this season on a Swiss rider from Leopard Trek winning a Monument, but not on it being Zaugg, rather than team mate and compatriot Fabian Cancellara. The latter was destined to be the nearly-man of 2011, coming second in Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix and third in the Tour of Flanders, and also lost his world time trial championship crown to Tony Martin.

Today, in the closest of the classics to his homeland, often visible as the race headed up into the mountains that loom over Lake Como, Zaugg had sprinted away from a select group approaching the summit of the final climb, the Salita di Ello, and at one point on the twisting descent had built a lead of 20 seconds.

With the road levelling out in the final 3 kilometres to the finish in Lecco, however, and the riders behind him working well together to try and reel him in, the 30-year-old’s advantage had been halved to 10 seconds as he passed under the flamme rouge.

Somehow, though, Zaugg managed to dig in and maintain his advantage to win the 105th edition of the Italian classic, which will be moved forward in the calendar by a fortnight next season and thereby lose some of the mystique attached to its nickname of the race of the falling leaves.

Some 40 kilometres into the 241 kilometre race which began this morning in Milan, a group of six riders managed to get away from the peloton, including Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Van Summeren of Garmin-Cervelo, Europcar’s Yukiya Arashiro, Euskaltel-Euskadi’s Mikel Astarloza.

By the time the escapees crested the day’s second big climb, the Colma di Sormano with around 80 kilometres left, those three had dropped their companions in the break, a trio of riders from Italian teams, Androni Giocattoli’s Omar Bertazzo, Andrea Pasqualon of Colnago-CSF Inox and Acqua & Sapone’s Claudio Corioni.

The three remaining escapees were caught however ahead of the climb to the Madonna del Ghisallo as a series of attacks caused the peloton to splinter behind them, with Philippe Gilbert, winner of the last two editions of the race, and Italian champion Giovanni Visconti, both prominent.

It was another of the pre race favourites, Liquigas Cannondale’s Vincenzo Nibali, who managed to break clear to lead the race past the famous chapel and over the summit of the climb.

At one point, the 2010 Vuelta winner, who has had a difficult season, had a lead of nearly two minutes, but with Team Sky leading the chase, the Sicilian was caught ahead of the final climb, the Salita di Ello.

Approaching the top of the ascent, with the front of the race whittled down to a select group including Gilbert, Ivan Basso and Dan Martin, it was  Zaugg went on the attack in what proved to be the day's decisive move, cresting the summit with a clear advantage as the riders behind him got strung out down the road, his margin of victory meaning he had plenty of time to savour the biggest moment in his eight years as a professional.

Giro di Lombardia 2011 result

1  ZAUGG Oliver         LEOPARD TREK                    6:20:02
2  MARTIN Daniel        TEAM GARMIN-CERVELO                  +8
3  RODRIGUEZ Joaquin    KATUSHA TEAM                         +8
4  BASSO Ivan           LIQUIGAS-CANNONDALE                  +8
5  NIEMIEC Przemyslaw   LAMPRE - ISD                         +8
6  POZZOVIVO Domenico   COLNAGO - CSF INOX                   +8
7  VISCONTI Giovanni    FARNESE VINI - NERI SOTTOLI         +15
8  GILBERT Philippe     OMEGA PHARMA-LOTTO                  +15
9  BETANCUR Carlos      ACQUA & SAPONE                      +15
10 CHIARINI Riccardo    ANDRONI GIOCATTOLI - C.I.P.I        +15
11 PAOLINI Luca         KATUSHA                             +27
12 VAN AVERMAET Greg    BMC RACING                          +27
13 CATALDO Dario        QUICKSTEP                           +27
14 STETINA Peter        GARMIN - CERVELO                    +27
15 ANTON Igor           EUSKALETL – EUSKADI                 +27
16 ROCHE Nicholas       AG2R LA MONDIALE                    +27
17 MORENO Daniel        KATUSHA                             +27
18 PAURIOL Rémi         FDJ                                 +27
19 URAN Rigoberto       SKY PROCYCLING                      +27
20 LOVKVIST Thomas      SKY PROCYCLING                      +27

 

14 user comments

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No NO NO NO no, I switch out Martin and J-Rod because i wanted a couple of others Devil Just as well its not counting towards anything and Lidl's have cheap winter socks Wink Wink

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [8825 posts]
15th October 2011 - 16:36

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More importantly, whats the score in the ladies tennis....?

Benjamin Hall's picture

posted by Benjamin Hall [64 posts]
15th October 2011 - 16:39

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Can somebody explain to me WTF Sky were doing chasing down Nibali and in the end having nobody in the top 10 ?

It's their lack of tactical sense that makes me worry for Cavendish next year. It could all end in tears.

Genius though Brailsford is on the track, riding a road race isn't the same as going around in circles slightly faster than everyone else.

abudhabiChris's picture

posted by abudhabiChris [517 posts]
15th October 2011 - 16:57

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Think the title should win "Zaugg's first pro race win". Not "wins first pro race". Remarkable result, but not quite that remarkable.

posted by cowspassage [43 posts]
15th October 2011 - 17:13

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abudhabiChris wrote:
Can somebody explain to me WTF Sky were doing chasing down Nibali and in the end having nobody in the top 10 ?

Reading this report I wondered the same - what was Sky's purpose? Oh well...

Thanks road.cc for getting a report up so promptly.

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posted by Simon E [1947 posts]
15th October 2011 - 17:48

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abudhabiChris wrote:
Can somebody explain to me WTF Sky were doing chasing down Nibali and in the end having nobody in the top 10 ?

It's their lack of tactical sense that makes me worry for Cavendish next year. It could all end in tears.

Genius though Brailsford is on the track, riding a road race isn't the same as going around in circles slightly faster than everyone else.


+1

posted by fred22 [207 posts]
15th October 2011 - 17:54

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What about results 11 to 20? Can't find them anywhere.

Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades. (Merckx)

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posted by obutterwick [528 posts]
15th October 2011 - 18:12

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abudhabiChris wrote:
Can somebody explain to me WTF Sky were doing chasing down Nibali and in the end having nobody in the top 10 ?

It's their lack of tactical sense that makes me worry for Cavendish next year. It could all end in tears.

Genius though Brailsford is on the track, riding a road race isn't the same as going around in circles slightly faster than everyone else.

....securing 2nd place in UCI World Tour Rankings.

Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades. (Merckx)

obutterwick's picture

posted by obutterwick [528 posts]
15th October 2011 - 18:37

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....need some points.

Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades. (Merckx)

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posted by obutterwick [528 posts]
15th October 2011 - 18:37

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Zaugg was due a win

Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades. (Merckx)

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posted by obutterwick [528 posts]
15th October 2011 - 18:39

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abudhabiChris wrote:
Can somebody explain to me WTF Sky were doing chasing down Nibali and in the end having nobody in the top 10 ?

It's their lack of tactical sense that makes me worry for Cavendish next year. It could all end in tears.

Genius though Brailsford is on the track, riding a road race isn't the same as going around in circles slightly faster than everyone else.

Chasing down Nibali was absolutely the right thing for Sky to do. The mistake they made was having Uran as their protected rider when Lofkvist probably would have been a better choice. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

posted by Wig_Billy [575 posts]
15th October 2011 - 18:46

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Top 20's up now.

Full list of finishers (63 out of 195, in other words just less than one in three who started) can be found here:

http://www.gazzetta.it/Speciali/GiroLombardia/2010/it/download/Ordine_di...

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [8034 posts]
15th October 2011 - 20:58

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When are results of lombardia fantasy league printed?

posted by The Terrible To... [40 posts]
15th October 2011 - 21:20

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The Terrible Tourists wrote:
When are results of lombardia fantasy league printed?

I got 29, I reckon. How depressing.

Don't buy upgrades. Ride up grades. (Merckx)

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posted by obutterwick [528 posts]
15th October 2011 - 21:30

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