Pogacar wins Lombardia Monument classic

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Tadej Pogacar has put the seal on a memorable season by becoming the first rider in 42 years to achieve a Tour de France-Giro di Lombardia double as the Slovenian claimed victory in the last Monument race of the season.

The UAE-Emirates rider, who won his second Tour title in July after also prevailing in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege Monument classic in the Spring, is the first to add the 'Lombardia" to the Tour in the same year since Frenchman Bernard Hinault in 1979.

Pogacar is also only the fourth man to do so after Fausto Coppi, Eddy Merckx and Hinault. At only 23, he's already making room for himself alongside the greatest ever to grace the sport.

Pogacar made his move on Saturday in the Passo di Ganda, more than 30km from the finish line, and barely looked back, easily beating the Bergamo-born Fausto Masnada in a two-man sprint after the Deceuninck-Quick Step rider had joined him in the descent.

Twice winner Vincenzo Nibali was the first to attack among the favourites in the Passo di Ganda but could not make it stick and the Italian was quickly caught and dropped by Pogacar.

The Slovenian opened a 35-second gap before Masnada powered away from the big guns' group in the descent and flew down to join Pogacar at the bottom.

Behind them, a stellar seven-man group featuring world champion Julian Alaphilippe, Vuelta winner Primoz Roglic, Adam Yates, Michael Woods, Romain Bardet, David Gaudu and Alejandro Valverde could not organise a proper chase.

With his team leader Alaphilippe behind, Masnada refused to collaborate with Pogacar and the duo's lead first shrank from 45 to 30 seconds before the chasers paid for their lack of organisation.

Masnada, though, was not equipped to cause Pogacar any problem in the final straight as Yates pipped Roglic to the line for third place, 51 seconds off the pace.

Alaphilippe took sixth place behind Valverde after more than six hours in the saddle over the 239km trek from Como.

Team DSM's Michael Storer, who finished 25th, and BikeExchange's Nicholas Schultz, 59th, led the Aussie challenge.

Chris Hamilton (Team DSM) in 64th place and BikeExchange's Damien Howson (100th) were the other Australian finishers.

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