Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez rode far from the field to win the Visit of Lombardy for a second successive year.

The Katusha rider had been beaten by a bike length into second by Rui Costa in
last Sunday’s World Championship road race.

But he made amends in the 242km race from Bergamo to Lecco in Italy and raced apparent on the final climb of the day with around 10km left.

Spain’s Alejandro Valverde was second, 17 seconds back, with Poland’s Rafal Majka third, 23 seconds adrift.

The one-day race is the final of the five prestigious ‘Monuments’ that are ran each year across Europe –
the Milan-San Remo in Italy,
Tour of Flanders and
Liege-Bastogne-Liege in Belgium and
Paris-Roubaix in France are the additional four.

The 107th staging of the Classic race, known as the ‘Race of the Falling Leaves’ because it takes place in autumn, began in dry situations but finished in the rain.

The wet weather accounted for home preferred Vincenzo Nibali, who was chasing an initial win in the race but outdated with a knee injury after being involved in a crash.

France’s Thomas Voeckler was the first to make a solo bid for glory on the penultimate hill of of the day, the Madonna di Ghisallo.

He built a prospect of around three minutes but various teams upped the pace ahead of the fifth and final ascent, Rental property Vergano, and he was caught 11. 5km from the finish line as the climbing specialists came to the fore.

Rodriguez, as he did last year, waited for the steepest section of the climb up before making his decisive move and opened up enough of a gap to make sure his second win in the competition.

The victory moved Rodriguez in front of Britain’s Chris Froome, who skipped the race, at the top of UCI Globe Tour rankings.

Race result:

1 .
Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 6: ten: 18

second .
Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar +17 secs

Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff +23″

4. Daniel Martin (Ire) Garmin-Sharp +45″

Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana same time

6. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha +55″

Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step same time

Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli

nine. Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC

Robert Gesink (Ned) Belkin