Giro di Lombardia 2014: preview

Revamped course awaits riders as Joaquim Rodriguez seeks out hat-trick of wins

A star-studded line-up for the season’s final Monument also includes another former champion not already mentioned – namely Amstel Gold Race winner Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing).

Winner in 2009 and 2010, the last time the race finished in Bergamo – in 2003 – it was hilly Classics specialist Michele Bartoli who was successful.

Two-time former winner Philippe Gilbert leads BMC Racing (pic: Sirotti)

On a course well-suited to a late breakaway, Gilbert and BMC Racing team-mate Samuel Sanchez, who has finished second on three occasions, will certainly be among the riders to watch.

British interest, meanwhile, includes Adam Yates and Simon Yates who will ride for Orica-GreenEDGE.

Though the Australian team have claimed they are not targeting a victory, both of the Yates brothers have proved this year they are well up for the breakaways.

Adam was denied a strong finish at the Clasica San Sebastian only by a spectacular crash, and could well be one to keep an eye on this time out.

Giant-Shimano, meanwhile, boast a three-pronged attack with Warren Barguil among the contenders, and Tom Dumoulin and Simon Geschke also mooted as challengers.

Second at Milano-Torino, Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale) will hope to continue such form while Fabio Aru (Astana) has the chance to add to his rising stock after finishing fourth in that race.

Adam Yates will be among the Brits set for the Lombardia start line, but Orica-GreenEDGE claim they are targeting only a strong showing (pic: Sirotti)

Several teams are leaving it late to confirm their line-ups, but Dan Martin has enjoyed Lombardia success in the past – second in 2011 and fourth last year – and will be one to watch should he make the Garmin-Sharp cut.

Bauke Mollema (Belkin) has put in a number of strong one-day performances this year, meanwhile, and Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Belisol) continued a good season with sixth place at the Worlds last weekend.

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