Velon dissects key data from Il Lombardia - including Davide Ballerini's intense breakaway efforts, Philippe Gilbert's late attacks and Nairo Quintana's climbing - showing how the 247km Monument Classic unfolded:
Ballerini in the break
In the early stages of the race, there is huge contrast between Davide Ballerini (Androni Sidermec Bottecchia), in the breakaway, and eventual race winner Vincenzo Nibali (Team Bahrain Merida). Ballerini and Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data) attacked early, soon joined by four others to form a six-man break.
Riding in the peloton and conserving energy for the decisive climbs later, Nibali produces half the power of Ballerini. Nibali makes a hard one-minute effort after 15km at 355W, but doesn't spend long in the red. Nevertheless, a tougher start than Milano-Torino:
Pace picks up on first climb
The effort of Steve Cummings (Team Dimension Data) on the first climb of Colle Gallo shows how the racing intensifies, and the fitness and conditioning it takes for a rider just to stay with the bunch at a Monument like Il Lombardia.
The peloton accelerates, especially towards the top of the ascent, and Cummings must ride at 100 per cent effort to stay with the group.
Chasing down the escapees
Despite the heroic efforts of the five-man break they were never likely to stay away.
In the fourth hour of racing, the peloton gets two kilometres an hour faster, and it shows in the intensity for riders like Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal). He has a higher average power with one effort for 1'27" at a 437W average after 150km.
Alaphilippe's podium performance
Talented 25-year-old Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) secures a third Monument podium of the season with a spirited attempt to chase down winner Nibali.
Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors)
On the attack
- Time: 10'23"
- Speed: 41.3km/h
- Power: 348W
- Normalized Power: 375W
The Classics specialist attacks on the Muro di Sordano descent with Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing Team). They work together on the flat section, Gilbert riding at 85-90 per cent of his maximum sustained power, saving some energy for the coming climbs.
On the Civiglio climb
- Time: 4'23"
- Speed: 16.5km/h
- Power: 418W
Gilbert gives everything, but even this impressive effort isn’t enough to keep away the charging race favourites.
Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team)
The final climb
- Time: 6’01’’
- Speed: 20.9km/h
- Power: 396W
- 1min peak power: 433W
The Colombian is among the most active and strongest riders on the last climb. He produces huge power for a rider who weighs under 60kg and rides to one of the best Classics results of his career - although no-one in the world-class peloton could match Nibali, whose stunning solo attack allows him to win the season's final Monument by 28 seconds from Alaphilippe.