Bernal calm ahead of Lombardia

11 Oct 2019

Bernal calm ahead of Lombardia

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Team INEOS head into Il Lombardia with a strong lineup ahead of Saturday’s final Monument Classic of the year.

The ‘Race of the Falling Leaves’ is one of the most prestigious one-day races on the calendar, and is a late-season target for a number of top riders.
Lombardia has been the scene of some strong performances from the team down the years, with podium finishes from Rigoberto Uran in 2012 and, most recently, Gianni Moscon in 2017.
Moscon is part of the seven-man lineup this year, and is joined by Egan Bernal and Ivan Sosa, hot off the heels of the pair’s 1-2 finish at Thursday’s Gran Piemonte.
Diego Rosa is another former podium finisher in the race, coming home as runner-up in 2016. Jonathan Castroviejo, Tao Geoghegan Hart and Salvatore Puccio round out the team, having all demonstrated great form in October. 
Bernal and Sosa took a 1-2 finish in the final build-up race, Gran Piemonte

Bernal and Sosa took a 1-2 finish in the final build-up race, Gran Piemonte

Bernal is hoping to make it back to back victories in Como on Saturday, but insists he comes into the race without pressure following a momentous season.
The Tour de France winner explained: “I feel good and confident ahead of the race. I can be calm going into Lombardia without any pressure, knowing that I did a good season. 
“We’ve got a strong team for tomorrow. The main thing for me is to enjoy my last race of the year.”
The Muro di Sormano has been a brutal addition to the parcours

The Muro di Sormano has been a brutal addition to the parcours

Sport Director Matteo Tosatto knows all about this race and its challenges, having started it 10 times during his riding career. 
Now guiding his riders from the team car, he said: “It’s a big race for sure. It’s the last Monument of the season and Lombardia is in the top five most important one-day races on the calendar. We come into the race during a good moment for the team, especially off the back of Thursday’s race at Gran Piemonte. We got the win there with Egan, Ivan was second and it was a big effort from the entire team. All the riders performed strongly.
“Lombardia is a very long, hard race. During the first part, the first 170 kilometres, it’s important to save energy. The last 70km is very hard – especially over the top of the (Madonna del) Ghisallo. The best thing here is to stick together with as many riders as possible, in order to tackle Muro di Sormano in a good position. Be careful on the downhill, and then if you have the legs, go on the Civiglio. If you can have a couple of riders in the mix in the last 35km you’re in a strong position.”

A string of strong performances, coupled with Thursday’s result, ensures the team head into the race with confidence.
Tosatto added: “The riders are in good condition, both physically and mentally – that’s very important. The forecast looks good which is always a plus, but the level at Lombardia is always high. There are so many strong riders. It’s a big chance for a result for us but it’s important to stay calm during the first part of the race and wait for the finish.”
The race kicks off in Bergamo at 9.35am (UK time), with TV coverage commencing at 13.20 on Eurosport 2.