So that’s it. The dust is beginning to settle on the 2018 season, and finally, right at the death, I got the result I had been chasing all spring, and all year, really. A win would have been really nice, but I couldn’t be much happier than to get third in Il Lombardia. After what had been at times a difficult year for me, it was satisfying and a relief.
I had a busy end to the year with the Worlds and four of the north Italian races. When you get to Italy there are a lot of smaller Classics and it feels like you could race every day for more than a week – if you wanted. Me, I was happy to take part in four – the Giro dell’Emilia, Milano-Torino, Gran Piemonte and Il Lombardia. That left a few days in between each race, which suited me perfectly. It meant we didn’t have to do any proper hardcore training. If I went out on the bike on a non-race day, it was to find a good café. It definitely felt like the end of the season, but this routine kept me well motivated and fit.
I knew the form was good when I got third in Emilia and that set me up for a good 10 days. In that race, I just had to protect the lead of my teammate, Alessandro De Marchi, who won after a long solo. But to carry on and get third myself was a nice confidence boost. It meant I knew I could be competitive on the hills of Il Lombardia
I just knew I had to stay focused, and to come out with third after what was a really aggressive race feels like a good reward. I had been trying all spring for a big result in one of the Classics, so when that didn’t go to plan it left me feeling really disappointed. Now this result sits alongside my third in Flèche Wallone from a couple of years ago, and if anything it feels like the bigger result. Flèche might have been closer to home and my first big result, but you’ve got to respect the hierarchy of the races, and so this Lombardy podium is bigger to me.
What made my performance that extra bit special was that it was a good result in the final European race in which we’ll see the BMC kit. It’s just another little memory to make me smile.
I didn’t really have time to celebrate either the result or the end of the season because I had to stay in Italy for a meeting with my new team, Bahrain-Merida. It was more just a meet and greet and to talk logistics rather than the full hammering out of next season’s goals. I can say though that I went into those meetings feeling a lot better about the season I had just had. It’s amazing what a nice result does for your mood, confidence and enthusiasm. Now I’m looking forward to a great off-season and then picking up in 2019 where I’ve left off.
It’s amazing what a nice result does for your mood, con idence and enthusiasm. Now I’m looking forward to a great off- season
Dylan was at the head of a fairs in Il Lombardia, and inished third