Options for late in the race at Il Lombardia for Mitchelton-SCOTTThu 10 Oct 2019
Mitchelton-SCOTT will line-up with several key players for late in the race when they take on the final monument of the season, Il Lombardia, on Saturday.
Podium finishes from Adam Yates at Milan-Torino and Jack Haig at GP Bruno Beghelli has the pair as the team’s in-form riders, whilst the duo will be supported by two fellow climbers with a strong history in the Italian one-day race; 2016 champion Esteban Chaves and three-time top-10 finisher Mikel Nieve.
World championship silver medallist Matteo Trentin, 2017 Herald Sun Tour champion and reliable domestique Damien Howson and aggressor Ethiopian Tsgabu Grmay round-up a motivated and strong squad for the 243km race.
Mitchelton-SCOTT at Il Lombardia (Saturday, 12 October):
Esteban Chaves (COL, 29)
Tsgabu Grmay (ETH, 28)
Jack Haig (AUS, 26)
Damien Howson (AUS, 27)
Mikel Nieve (SPA, 35)
Matteo Trentin (ITA, 30)
Adam Yates (GBR, 27)
Il Lombardia is the final of cycling’s five monuments, of biggest one-day races, of the year.
The 241km Autumn Classic features a tough parcours and is known to favour the strong climbers who have a kick to their finish.
Mitchelton-SCOTT won Il Lombardia in 2016 with Chaves. Of the team lining up in 2018, Nieve has finish in the top-10 on three occasions.
“Lombardia is a race I’ve struggled to find my best condition for in the past. It’s usually my last race on the calendar and after a long season it’s sometimes hard to really hit this part of the season in top shape. But, after my last couple of races I feel like the condition is there and hopefully this is the year I can play a part in the final.
“We’ve also got other cards to play in the team, especially with Haigy who I reckon can be up there if he’s got good legs, and also with Esteban who won this race a few of years ago.”
“I really want to have a strong race, and Adam and I can use the numbers we have to be a little bit aggressive in the final.
“In Milano-Torino there was no one who had a teammate when it got difficult halfway up the climb, so if both of us can be there, we have a good opportunity to attack off each other.
“The last two or three kilometres of the Sormano is really steep and that’s where the first selection is made. The next selection happens on Civiglo and that’s where the race starts for the big favourites. If not there, there’s only one last opportunity on the final climb.
“With Nieve and Chaves, we can use them to be aggressive. Hopefully they make it over the Sormano and then we will have four riders there for the final two climbs and hopefully with the numbers we can get a good result.”
“We have multiple options on Saturday. I expect Adam and Jack to be there in the final, they have runs on the board and they’ve shown their form in the recent races.
“It all comes down to the last two climbs. We have a strong team and it does look like a perfect day weather-wise which does make a difference here.
“Judging by recent races (Primoz) Roglic and (Alejandro) Valverde will line-up as the favourites, but we do have a very competitive team, we just have to play our cards right and hopefully the boys have good legs on Saturday.”
Photos courtesy of Kramon.