Fuglsang wins Il Lombardia; Evenepoel fractures pelvis after crash

Olympic silver medallist wins race but concern for Belgian cyclist who went over the edge into ravine during Sormano descent.

By ZK Goh

Jakob Fuglsang won the Giro di Lombardia in a race marred by the crash of Remco Evenepoel on the descent of the Muro di Sormano. It was the Danish rider's second career Monument win, after last year's Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

Belgium's Evenepoel, one of the favourites to medal at Tokyo 2020 next year, crashed over the side of a bridge into a ravine on the downhill of the climb with around 40 kilometres to go.

He had been part of a group of seven riders at the head of the race that went clear of the peloton on the steep climb of the Sormano, but found himself slightly distanced by an attack from Vincenzo Nibali as the leaders descended.

It was a crash reminiscent of those of Jan Bakelants and Simone Petilli at the 2017 Lombardia on a similar section of the Sormano.

Evenepoel was transported to hospital in a conscious state. It was later reported that he sustained a fractured pelvis and right lung contusion.

"Falling Leaves" in August

Il Lombardia, normally held in October and known as the "Classic of the Falling Leaves", had been moved forward to August as part of the forced re-scheduling of this year's cycling calendar due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

This year's field included regular one-day race challengers like Evenepoel, Nibali, Rio 2016 Olympic road race silver medallist Fuglsang, and Mathieu van der Poel. However, the testing Muro di Sormano – with its average gradient of nearly 16% – left the select group of seven at the front, with van der Poel dropped.

Final attacks

On the final climb, the Civiglio, Fuglsang attacked, bringing George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) with him.

Fuglsang's Astana teammate Aleksandr Vlasov managed to catch up, but their breakaway companions – Nibali, Bauke Mollema, and Giulio Ciccone (all Trek-Segafredo) – fell back.

As the riders entered the finishing town of Como, New Zealander Bennett attacked, dropping Vlasov – only to have Fuglsang successfully counter-attack a few hundred metres later, opening a gap of 20 seconds with 5 km to the line.

That lead only grew in the final kilometres around the streets of Como, with the Dane's margin of victory from Bennett around half a minute.

Russian national champion Vlasov came in third, a further 20 seconds behind.