COMO, Italy (AP) — Dutch cyclist Bauke Mollema produced a solo ride to victory at the end of the Tour of Lombardy on Saturday to claim one of the most important wins of his career.
The Trek-Segafredo rider raised his arms over his head as he traveled the finishing straight of the 243-kilometer (151-mile) route from Bergamo to Como, and was in tears after crossing the line.
It was Mollema's first victory in a Monument — cycling's five hardest and most prestigious one-day races.
"To win a Monument, to win this race...," said Mollema, who also struggled to hold back tears of joy on the top step of the podium as his national anthem was played.
"This is my 11th Lombardia and I only once before finished in the top 10."
Alejandro Valverde edged out Egan Bernal in a sprint for second. The pair were 16 seconds behind Mollema, who set off on his solo attack on the penultimate climb of the Civiglio, with just over 18 kilometers remaining.
"I wasn't the favorite so maybe the other riders underestimated me a bit," Mollema said. "I found the right moment to attack. I just went full gas in the last 10 kilometers. It's unreal."
The 32-year-old Mollema won a stage of the Tour de France in 2017.