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Ivan Santaromita (center) enjoyed his best finish in six starts at Il Lombardia. (©Sirotti.)
Ivan Santaromita (center) enjoyed his best finish in six starts at Il Lombardia. (©Sirotti.)

BMC Racing Team Puts Three In Top 20 At Il Lombardia

6. October 2013

BMC Racing Team's Ivan Santaromita finished a career-best ninth and teammates Greg Van Avermaet and Philippe Gilbert placed 19th and 20th, respectively, Sunday in a rain-soaked edition of Il Lombardia.

'A Crazy Race Day'
Santaromita, the Italian national road champion, said the adverse weather conditions were not to his liking. "I wanted to do a great race today, but for me, the rain is not so good," he said. Gilbert, Van Avermaet and Santaromita – whose previous best finish result in the fall classic was 21st – lost contact with the lead group on the final ascent, 10 kilometers from the finish of the 242-km race. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha Team) soloed to win the race for the second consecutive year, while Santaromita finished in a group 55 seconds back while Van Avermaet and Gilbert were in a group that arrived 12 seconds later. Gilbert, a two-time winner of the "race of the falling leaves," said the pace of the more-than-six-hour race was relentless. "Today was a crazy race day," Gilbert said. "Almost the whole day it went very, very fast – on the flat, on the uphill and on the downhill. It was a hard day." Van Avermaet likened the conditions and terrain to that of the world road championships one week ago. "This race was more for a climber than a classics guy," he said. "So it was a bit too hard for me on the climbs." Italian national time trial champion Marco Pinotti, who announced his retirement last week, said his final race in his home country was an emotional one. "Because it was starting from Bergamo, there were a lot of people cheering for me," he said. "Unfortunately, I didn't have time (to meet) for everyone. It was fast and a hard race. I tried to do my best."

Complete comments from Gilbert (French), Pinotti, Santaromita and Tejay van Garderen are on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.