Italian Damiano Cunego won the Tour of Lombardy for the third time on Saturday after a daring solo breakaway with 15km remaining of the 242km course from Varese to Como.
The Lampre rider broke clear on the technical descent of the Civiglio mountain and held off chasers Slovenian Janez Brajkovic of Astana and Colombian Rigoberto Uran of Caisse d'Epargne along Lake Como's famed waterfront.
That victory added to previous successes in 2004 and 2007 for the 2004 Giro d'Italia champion, who has already tasted success in a major one-day event this season by claiming the Amstel Gold Race.
He is now only two wins behind the legendary Fausto Coppi, who won the Tour of Lombardy five times.
The race started at a blistering pace but even so a breakaway group of 11 riders managed to eke out a lead of almost nine and a half minutes at one point.
The group of 11 was quickly whittled down to just four with Australia's Michael Rogers of Columbia joined by Italians Mauro Santambrogio (Lampre) and Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas) and Spaniard Pablo Lastras (Caisse d'Epargne).
Former twice Giro champion Gilberto Simone counter-attacked on the famed Madonna del Ghisallo climb and helped bring the main group back up towards the escapees.
By the beginning of the Caviglio climb, with about 17km to race, all escapees had been brought back into the fold.
Cunego attacked on the way down and held a 24-second advantage on his chasers by the summit of the next small climb, the San Fermo, before holding on over the final 5km for the win.
|1 Damiano Cunego (Ita|Lampre)|
|2 Janez Brajkovic (Slo|Astana)|
|3 Rigoberto Uran (Col|Caisse d'Epargne)|
|4 Giovanni Visconti (Ita|Quick Step)|
|5 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr|Team Columbia)|
|6 Karsten Kroon (Ned|Team CSC Saxo Bank)|
For full results, report and photos, visit Cyclingnews.com.
© AFP & BikeRadar 2008