Slovenian ends 2021 in perfect fashion
On his debut at the famous ‘Il Lombardia’, 23 year-old Tadej Pogačar added another chapter to his ever-expanding palmares taking a memorable victory in a two-man sprint with Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck-Quickstep) on the trip from Como to Bergamo, 239 km.
For the second time this season UAE Team Emirates once again dominated a Classic Monument, thus closing a dazzling 2021 which is marked by Liège-Bastogne-Liège in the spring, the Tour de France in the summer and the success at Il Lombardia in the autumn.
Pogačar set out his intent in trademark fashion, attacking 36.6 km from the finish while the select group of big names was facing the Ganda Pass. No opponent was able to hold the wheel of the Slovenian, who was joined by Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck-Quickstep) on the descent.
The duo, led by Pogačar built up an advantage of more than 1 minute ahead of the harsh ascent of Colle Aperto. A couple of digs from the UAE Team Emirates rider failed to drop Masnada, who, however, could do nothing in the two-man sprint against Pogačar’s quick turn of pace.
Today’s is the 13th success of the season for the Slovenian, and the 32nd win for the Emirati team in 2021.
Pogačar: “I’m speechless, it’s crazy to be here to celebrate this success at the end of a season like this.
The race was very tough, even before I made my move. When I attacked, I was sure someone would come with me. Downhill Masnada joined me, I knew he would gain on me in the technical part of the descent from Passo Ganda, since he knows these roads very well, and I knew that he would not collaborate with me when he reached me, but I still had the legs and the drive to beat him in the sprint.
In this second part of the season, my form was fluctuating, with some good days and others less brilliant days : but luckily my condition was very good today.
Every victory is important to me, I particularly like today’s win because being at the start of Lombardia alongside the best cyclists in the world was a dream, and now winning on my debut was incredible ”.
1. Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) 6h01’39 “
2. Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck-Quickstep) s.t.
3. Adam Yates (Ineos-Grenadiers) +51 “