Vincenzo Nibali won Il Lombardia for the second time on Saturday – and Velon had a device on his bike tracking his power data.
Here’s exactly how the Bahrain Merida rider claimed victory.
The race profile
Following first attacks on Civiglio climb
Although the Muro Di Sormano was the toughest climb on the course, the race was always more likely to be decided on the climbs of Civiglio, with 21km to go, and San Fermo Della Battaglia, with 8km to go.
Nibali was positioned close to the head of the peloton at the foot of the Civiglio, just as the pace increased when a handful of riders went on the attack.
Nibali decided not to counter-attack and instead waited, staying in the main group for the time being.
This required him to ride for four minutes at an average of 418W in power and 16.1kmh.
The decisive attack
With about 500m to go to the Civiglio summit and with the gradient hovering between six and nine per cent, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) was leading solo and Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) was giving chase.
This was Nibali’s moment. He attacked out of the main group of favourites, quickly caught and passed Pozzovivo, and then made the junction with Pinot. He accelerated again to try to distance Pinot, but the Frenchman was able to follow.
Nibali’s attack lasted 91 seconds in total, with averages of 21.9kmh and 462W in power. He reached a maximum of 31kmh.
The descent from Civiglio
Nibali is one of the finest descenders of his generation and opened up a seven-second gap over Pinot on the 5.7km descent from Civiglio. The main chase group drifted to 45 seconds back.
The final climb
The gaps held firm on the short section of flat leading into the final climb, but Pinot then cracked on the final climb to San Fermo Della Battaglia and was soon caught by the chase group.
Nibali stayed over his threshold but did not falter and maintained his 45-second advantage over the chasers by ascending the San Fermo Della Battaglia in 2’31”, at an average of 20.9kmh and 418W in power.
The descent to the line
The San Fermo Della Battaglia summit arrived with 5.3km to go and such was Nibali’s lead, he could afford to take the descent to the finish in Como relatively steadily.
He negotiated it in 5’55” at an average of 49.8kmh and 291W. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) was on a charge behind, but Nibali wasn't worried and started celebrating well before the line, eventually winning by 28 seconds.
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain Merida, 6h15'29"
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors, +28"
3. Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky, +38"
4. Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale, same time
5. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ, same time
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale, same time
7. Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team, same time
8. Mikel Nieve (Esp) Team Sky, +40"
9. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team, +42"
10. Sergei Chernetckii (Rus) Astana Pro Team, +47"