114th Il Lombardia (1.UWT) // 15th of August 2020

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Nice to give riders like Dion Smith a chance to shine though. He was pretty impressive in MSR and the way Gran Piemonte panned out, would likely have been well placed there too, had he not crashed.
Mitchelton has scrambled top 10 results in Strade Bianche, MSR and Piedmonte, so it hasn't been a disaster - Stannard has taken steps forward in his second year, though Lombardia may be a touch outside his range.
I don't really follow the narrative of riders being off peak/exhausted when normally riding Lombardia. This is the top10 of last year:

  1. Mollema (looked to me in great shape, winning that way)
  2. Valverde (coming off his best Vuelta in years and some excellent results in the Italian semi classics)
  3. Bernal (just won on Oropa a few days before)
  4. Fuglsang (likely not in LBL shape but still good)
  5. Woods (just won Milano-Torino, in great shape as always at the end of the year)
  6. Haig
  7. Roglic (coming off a dominant Vuelta performance and win on San Luca)
  8. Buchmann
  9. Latour (probably in top shape considering the way his season went)
  10. Molard
On the other hand I don't really understand why being fresh automatically translate to being in good shape. These guys are not like the ordinary Joe who works better in the morning after a good night's sleep. These are among the best athletes in the world and generally need some fine tuning before hitting their peak.

Nibali is not in great shape just because he's fresh. Quite the opposite, he probably need some more racing in his legs.
Fuglsang doesn't really look as sharp as he looked last spring after riding a few stage races.
Carapaz won't be in top shape considering his biggest target of the year is a month and a half away.

This looks to me like the weakest Lombardia startlist in a long time. And if it wasn't for Evenepoel probably the weakest startlist in any Monument I've ever seen.
Which isn't a bad thing per se. It could lead to some very entertaining racing. Or it could lead to the wonder kid destroying the field on Sormano and getting his fair share of handshakes after the finish line.
When all riders are tired, it's probably more difficult to see, but that doesn't take away that they are all on a lower level. I think about 10 days or so before Lombardia last year, there was the WC ITT. I don't know if you remember what happened there, but Roglic got ripped to pieces by the guys that were fresh (Dennis, Evenepoel, Ganna, Campenaerts... the latter even finished ahead of him after 2 crashes and a bikechange/puncture). For me it's pretty apparent that Roglic was completely burnt at the end of the season, and he still was one of the main competitors.
A break has 3 and a half minutes on the peloton:
  1. Joey Rosskopf (VS)
  2. Davide Gabburo (ITA)
  3. Andrea Pasqualon (ITA)
  4. Petr Vakoc (TSJ)
  5. James Piccoli (CAN)
  6. Florian Stork (DUI)
  7. Aliaksandr Riabushenko (WRU)
  8. Daniel Savini (ITA)
  9. Marco Frapporti (ITA)
  10. Denis Nekrasov (RUS)
  11. Emmanuel Morin (FRA)