(Reuters) - Colombian Esteban Chaves lived up to expectations by becoming the first rider from outside Europe to win the Tour of Lombardy classic, the last ‘Monument’ race of the season, on Saturday.
Pre-race favorite Chaves, who finished third overall in the Vuelta last month, outsprinted Italian Diego Rosa (Astana) and fellow Colombian Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac).
Frenchman Romain Bardet (AG2r-La Mondiale), who was part of the leading four in the final stages of the 240-km ride between Como and Bergamo, was dropped in the final kilometer and took fourth place.
Rosa repeatedly attacked on the final ascent, a 1.7-km effort at an average gradient of 7.9 percent, but Chaves hung on and stayed quiet, saving his energy for the final sprint.
Chaves (Orica-Bike Exchange) is the first Colombian rider to win a ‘Monument’ classic -- Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege or the Tour of Lombardy.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Clare Fallon