For those of us that get up early enough to watch choppy streaming video of European road races, this coming Saturday is the best thing to happen since March 22 (Milano-San Remo, duh). Yes ,it's the final ProTour race, and the last of the 5 Monuments, but the Italian Monuments are something special. They're won with style, by attacking hard, 6 hours in, over the Madonna del Ghisallo. While the Northern Classics define grit, the Italian Monuments define class.
The race also happens to be in about the coolest part of the world, Lake Como, right where Switzerland and Italy run together, a stone's throw from Milan, down the street from George Clooney's house.
Lombardia has been won by guys like Bartali, Coppi, Gimondi, Merckx, Moser, Saronni and Bettini. Ballers. Every one of 'em.
***10.16 Prediction Update***
The favorites: Kolobnev(CSC), Cunego(Lampre), Horner(Astana), SammySanchez(Eusk) on a sick downhill attack.
Dark Horses: Brajkovic(Astana), Bruseghin(Lampre), anyone from Liquigas, Gesink(Rabo) If he doesn't lose contact on those descents (remember Paris-Nice?).
Cadel Evans will be in the mix, he will not win.