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"It's a pity "Purito" missed Il Lombardia because of his knee, maybe we could realize different tactics today. Anyway, I think today's podium is a good result for me and this is a really strong finish of the season.&q...

Photo: Katusha / Tim de Waele

DANIEL MORENO

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IL LOMBARDIA

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JOAQUIM RODRIGUEZ OLIVER

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KATUSHA ALPECIN

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04.10.2015 @ 20:16 Posted by Andy Pedersen

The fifth and final monument of the 2015 cycling season played out on Italian roads Sunday for the 109-th Il Lombardia. Team Katusha’s Daniel Moreno was attentive and active in the final, sensing the downhill attack from Italian champion Vincenzo Nibali was the winning move and being the first to break free and mount a furious chase. Moreno came up just a little short, taking second place to Nibali at 21-seconds in the “Race of the Falling Leaves.”

 

“Yes, I am very happy with my performance. It was a nice race and I was able to get a very strong result. I am happy to bring this podium in Lombardia to Team Katusha. I know the victory was very close, but I did all I could in this race, so I can be satisfied with the result. It's a pity "Purito" missed Il Lombardia because of his knee, maybe we could realize different tactics today. Anyway, I think today's podium is a good result for me and this is a really strong finish of the season,” said Dani Moreno.

 

Team Director Jose Azevedo was satisfied with how Moreno performed on such a hard day as today proved out to be.

 

“Dani did an excellent race. He was the guy who was countering everybody on the Civiglio climb in the final and he closed all the gaps. When Nibali went away in the descent, Moreno did an amazing job on the San Fermo della Battaglia. On his own he reduced the gap from 40 to 10 seconds on the top. More was impossible but it was a really good try. There was just a descent and a TT left until the finish and that was more something for Nibali’s skills. Taking second in a WoldTour race is of course a super result and again another strong result for our team this year. I am also happy that Dani Moreno showed his positive attitude until the end of the season. He is a great professional,” said team director José Azevedo.

 

It was constant attacking over the last two climbs. On the next to last climb of the Civiglio, Nibali put in several attacks to soften up the group and immediately the front group was thinned out. Moreno was responsive to the moves, keeping himself in a front position and able to ride down the attacks before the climb topped out. But it was on the descent that Nibali made the decisive move, with Moreno chasing hard to reach the 2014 Tour de France winner.  He gained ground but the last climb San Fermo della Battaglia with 7km to go still showed Nibali in the driver’s seat, a position he held to the finish line for a winning time of 6:16.28 on the 245km course from Bergamo to Como.

Joining Moreno and Nibali on the distinguished podium was Thibaut Pinot of FDJ at 32-seconds. 

 

“We had bad luck when there was a crash around the second feed zone. Zakarin, Lagutin and Guarnieri were involved in it. Zakarin needed to change bike and it took him a while to come back and just then the attacks started on the Madonna del Ghisallo. Otherwise I am sure Zakarin would have been in the front too. That's bad luck, but that's cycling too,” continued Azevedo.

 

With the last WorldTour race now concluded, the rankings are in for the year with Katusha taking second place.

 

“It is a pity that Katusha will not finish the season as number one on the UCI ranking. We just miss 13 points... Movistar has 1619 points and Katusha 1606. Number three, Team Sky, has 1378 points. With Joaquim Rodriguez we surely would have had a second rider in top ten and would have scored many more UCI points. It would have been nice after a season in which we won 3 WorldTour classics and three WorldTour stage races,” concluded José Azevedo. Rodriguez, 2-time winner in Lombardia, was a late withdrawal due to a knee injury.  

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