In his last two outings at the WorldTour’s final one-day race, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) has soloed to victory and into the world number one spot.
An injury-hit season means the latter will not be possible this time out, while a revamped course means Purito’s tactics must change too, but the Spaniard is still undoubtedly a big favourite for this race.
The steep sections on the Berbenno and Bergamo Alta look perfectly suited to the diminutive climbing ace’s attacking style and – though Katusha are at the time of writing yet to confirm their eight-man line-up – the team are in ominously good form too.
Rodriguez was one of four Katusha riders in the top ten at Milano-Torino, which serves as a warm-up to Lombardia, with Giampaolo Caruso taking victory, Daniel Moreno finishing third, Rodriguez fifth and Sergei Cherenetckii seventh.
Moreno put in a stunning ride in support of Rodriguez in this race last year and if both can replicate their best one-day form again, a Katusha victory is certainly in the offing.