Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) left it late to seal his first ever one-day race win at the Giro dell’Emilia 2019, attacking late-on and solo-ing to victory in San Luca.
The Slovenian attacked with less than 1km to go on the final ascent of San Luca, dropping Egan Bernal (Ineos) with only Michael Woods (EF Education First) able to momentarily hold his wheel.
The Canadian took second place while Sergio Higuita (EF Education First) finished third. Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde was fifth while Egan Bernal eventually finished in ninth, 28 seconds down.
Roglič had originally attacked on the flat as the riders began the final lap up to San Luca, with Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) only a few seconds behind, with the Slovenian coming back to the peloton on the following descent.
Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) then attacked with 2km remaining as Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) tried to close the gap. Diego Rosa (Ineos) was pulling the peloton for Egan Bernal, who was well placed with the finish closing in.
Michael Woods (EF Education First) was the next to try and get away, attacking just before the 1km banner with Roglič taking his wheel. As the riders headed under the flamme rouge, Bernal sat in Roglič’s wheel, with Valverde and Woods following behind.
Roglič then launched his own attack as Bernal was dropped and only Woods managed to follow, eventually holding on for second place.
Roglič has previous in San Luca, having won the opening time trial at this year’s Giro d’Italia to take the first stage and red jersey, thriving up the punishing climb and finishing 19 seconds clear of his nearest competitor that day.
Whilst Roglič’s Giro hopes faded as the race went on, eventually finishing third, his win five months later in Italy caps off a fantastic season for the 29-year-old. The Slovenian won his first Grand Tour at the Vuelta a España, beating Alejandro Valverde by more than two minutes, while also sealing overall victories at the UAE Tour, Tirreno-Adriatico, and the Tour de Romandie.
There might be more yet to come, though, as this victory will give Roglič encouragement ahead of next week’s Il Lombardia, his form suggesting he could challenge for a first Monument win.
All three 2019 Grand Tour winners will line up for the race, Egan Bernal lining up for Ineos and Richard Carapaz for Movistar, with a star-studded start list setting up a fine spectacle to round off the 2019 season.
Giro dell’Emilia 2019: Bologna to San Luca (207.4km)
1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, in 5-08-08
2. Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First, at 15 seconds
3. Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Education First, at same time
4. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo, at 17s
5. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, at same time
6. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates, at 21s
7. Pierre Latour (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale, at 24s
8. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana, at same time
9. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos, at 28s
10. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo, at 32s