Roglic, Bernal, Chaves, Woods, Yates - Eurosport's experts pick their favourites for Il Lombardia
Eurosport's cycling experts have their say on who could star in Saturday's final monument of the season, Il Lombardia.
"What I love heading into this race is that, with the notable exceptions of Richard Carapaz and Julian Alaphilippe, we’re getting to see most of the best from the Grand Tours of this year, racing it out over one day.
"The two three-week winners who are here, Primoz Roglic and Egan Bernal, have to be the favourites for me. Roglic is obviously in the best of form coming off the back of two successive wins, but Bernal has been building again towards the end of the season. His win at Piemonte comes after a sixth place finish at Milano Torino and he could be benefiting from not having contested a brutal World Championships
"I’ll be really interested to see how well Michael Woods can go here after his win at Milano Torino and 2nd place at Giro del Emilia. He was 13th at Lombardia last year, and by rights should be right up there.
" Otherwise I’ll be watching out for Adam Yates after his win in Croatia and third place at Milano-Torino. He’s never finished above 29th here but is showing the form he’ll need should Mitchelton-Scott’s cards fall for him."
"I also think the Izaguirre brothers could be a formidable force. Ion finished sixth here last year and has just finished outside the top 10 in Milano Torino as well has having a decent showing at the Worlds. Astana have several cards to play here, but I’d expect to see him in the final selection."
Orla is Eurosport's lead cycling presenter and anchor for all three Grand Tours. She was speaking to Eurosport's Tom Bennett.
"Giro di Lombardia, the race of the falling leaves. It’s one of my favourite days of the year and a traditional route to Como with moments of symbolism passing by the chapel on the Ghisallo. The scenery will be spectacular and the start list is a deluxe one.
"Bernal is going well and his decision to not bother with the Worlds could end up being a good one.
" Roglič has two out of two one day races in the past week. As well as form, he’s clearly confident and showing a tactical side to his riding that some thought didn’t exist."
"And this could be the last big opportunity for Alejandro Valverde to fill in one of the few holes in his palmarés. Twice second, he has never won Lombardia; but it’s also worth noting that he didn’t compete in Italy for a long time before his ban.
"Gilbert has won this more than once and rides his last race for Deceuninck-QuickStep.
"From a British point of view, look out for Adam Yates, who is back in form and full of confidence. He rides in a strong team, containing the first ever Colombian monument winner, Esteban Chaves."
Rob will be commentating live on Il Lombardia for Eurosport, with televised coverage starting at 13:20 BST on E2. He was speaking to Eurosport's Tom Bennett.
"There are a few riders I'd pick out.
"Primoz Roglic has had the season of his life and recent form has made him the favourite.
"The Canadian Michael Woods has come close to winning races so many times and his win in Milan-Turin must give him the confidence to win in Como.
"Alejandro Valverde has this race missing from his palmares and is another rider that has shown good form recently, while Egan Bernal won in Piedmont and now must be considered another favourite.
" Outsiders are Gaudu and Benoot, and of course you cannot discount Vincenzo Nibali. You need to give the ‘Tifosi’ something to shout about! "
"My pick for the win would be Michael Woods. He has the team to support him and the confidence to take the step up and win the biggest race of his career."
Brian will be providing co-commentary on Il Lombardia alongside Rob Hatch for Eurosport, with televised coverage starting at 13:20 BST on E2. He was speaking to Eurosport's Tom Bennett.
"In terms of favourites, I can’t really look past Roglic. He’s been in astonishing form, he just continues to win and win and win. He didn’t quite make it to the finish in the Giro d’Italia, but he’s shown that he can win Grand Tours and he can win one-dayers. He’s been the rider of the season for me, and will take some beating.
"Movistar are bringing a ridiculously strong team into this, and then you’ve got the likes of Egan Bernal and Nibali. Nibali can’t be counted out, but at the same time he withdrew himself from the world’s team for Italy because he didn’t feel his form was strong enough, so the idea that he’s suddenly managed to get himself into monument winning form? I’m not sure.
" And then Bernal – we’ll see if he’s gone the Geraint Thomas way and spent all the time after winning the Tour de France eating pies and doing press interviews, or whether he’s still up for it and still ready for a race. I’d be sceptical."
"I think if a Colombian is going to win this they have a better chance with Esteban Chaves, who has just been starting to show these little glimmers of the Chaves he used to be. And I think that would be an incredible popular win if he could repeat his victory from 2016."
Tom will be reporting live on Il Lombardia for Eurosport.co.uk from 11:30am on Saturday. He was talking to Eurosport's Tom Bennett.