March 9, 2012
Italians at the Classics – The Tour of Flounderers
Oliver Zaugg won the Tour of Lombardy last year in what was most certainly a surprise victory considering he had never won a race before. The 30 year-old chose a monument classic to make his mark on the sport as he beat Daniel Martin into second place. Zaugg became the first post-war rider to take one of cycling’s five biggest one-day races as his maiden victory.
But there was another notable statistic which emerged as a result of Zaugg’s victory.
Since the last Italian victory at the Tour of Lombardy, by Damiano Cunego in 2008, the race has been won twice by Phillipe Gilbert of Belgium and most recently by Zaugg of Switzerland. Three barren years without an Italian victory in their own race is compounded by the fact that the last three winners of their other monument, Milan-San Remo, have been an Aussie, a Spaniard and a Brit.