Back to October
I L LOMBARDIA 09 October | Italy | 1.UWT
The race of the falling leaves rolls round again, a sign that the nights are drawing in, the air is getting colder and winter is just around the corner. Lombardia is also the last race on the WorldTour this year, giving it a real feeling of finality. That’s how it should be, the last monument of the year being the last shot at glory. 2020’s edition was strange, taking place in August rather than October, so it is good to see it back in its proper position on the calendar.
It will also be Dan Martin’s last race, with the Irishman retiring at the end of 2021. The winner in 2014, Martin will hope to have one last attempt at a monument victory before hanging up his bike, and it is not outside the realms of possibility.
It is an incredibly tough race, due to its length and the severity of climbing in it; winners are usually tough riders, able to climb with the best, but also last the distance. One wonders if it is the only thing missing from Alejandro Valverde’s palmarès. He is running out of time to win aged 41, although he has finished second at the race on three separate occasions.