A small group approached the summit finish but Pinot’s team-mate brought down the Colombian
Thibaut Pinot rode solo to win Milano-Torino after his team-mate brought down Miguel Angel Lopez in a crash on the final climb.
Groupama-FDJ found themselves in the dominant position in the final kilometres, with Pinot and David Gaudu making it into the final group of four riders.
But as Guadu peeled off from setting the pace in the final kilometre, he collided with Astana’s Lopez who was riding up from behind.
Both Gaudu and Lopez came down, leaving Pinot free to ride to the line solo.
How it happened
The route for the 99th edition of Milano-Torino stretched to 200km of mostly flat terrain through northern Italy.
Aside from a few lumps between the 80 and 140km marks, the profile was mostly featureless until the two ominous final climbs in the final 30km, finishing at the summit the second time around.
The final featured double ascents of the Superga climb, at 4.9km long with an average steepness of 9.1% and a maximum of 14% – a big test for the climbers.
Last year’s winner Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac) was absent from the race, along with team-mate Michael Woods, as the duo rested for Il Lombardia on Saturday.
At the half-way point in the day, a breakaway of four riders had built up a six-minute gap – Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal),Umberto Orsini (Bardiani-CSF), Krists Neilands (Israel Cycling Academy) led the race.
The unchallenging terrain and small breakaway made for a calm day’s racing in the peloton.
Groupama-FDJ and Mitchelton-Scott took on the bulk of the chasing work, to set up their respective leaders Thibaut Pinot and Adam Yates.
The gap plummeted on the run in to the first climb, which ramped up with 24km left to race.
Despite kicking on at the foot of Superga, the breakaway was swept up within the first 2km of the ascent.
Valverde was the first of the favourites to dive out from the peloton with 21km left, smashing the bunch to pieces in the process.