Esteban Chaves becomes first non-European to win Giro di Lombardia
Oct 01 2016 11:30 pm CET

Esteban Chaves becomes first non-European to win Giro di Lombardia

Esteban Chaves of Orica-BikeExchange is the first non-European cyclist to win the Giro di Lombardia, the fifth and final momument of the season.

The first serious breakaway in the 241km monument consisted of Damiano Caruso (BMC Racing Team), Stefan Denifl (IAM Cycling), Mikael Cherel (AG2R La Mondiale) and Rudy Molard (Team Cofidis).

The four built a lead of around 4'30" after which the peloton slowly began to reduce the gap in order to stay in control of the race.

The lead group was reduced to a duo when Denifl and Cherel were dropped, leaving only Caruso and Molard at the front of the race. On the climb to Sant'Antonio Abbandonato, Caruso also dropped his last remaining companion.

Caruso was caught at around 45 kilometers from the finish and the new lead group of 16 included many big names including Esteban Chaves, Robert Gesink and Fabio Aru.

Chaves, third in the recent Vuelta a España, attacked on the Selvino climb with about 35 kilometers to go. The Colombian was joined by compatriot Rigoberto Uran and Frenchman Romain Bardet. Diego Rosa was the fourth and final rider to join the front group.

The leaders created a significant gap of over a minute as it began to become clear that the chase group was out of contention for the victory.

On the final short but steep climb in Bergamo, the pace set by Chaves was too much for Bardet to keep up with. Rosa struggled as well but the Astana rider did manage to stay with the two Colombians.

Rosa initiated the final sprint and initially seemed to hold on for the win, but Chaves had the higher speed in the final meters and surpassed the Italian at the very last moment. Uran finished third.

Chaves, who lived in Bergamo for two years, is the first Colombian to win the Italian momument and in fact the first non-European to do so in the race's 110 editions.

Photo of Esteban Chaves by CyclingPub / Mary Cardenas