COMO - Italian Damiano Cunego won the Tour of Lombardy for the third time on Saturday following a solo attack 15 kms from the finish.
Cunego, 27, attacked on the twisting descent of the Civiglio climb and extended his lead all the way to the finish of the 242 kms race, the last major event of the European cycling season.
Janez Brajkovic of Slovenia was second and Rigoberto Uran of Colombia third, 24 seconds behind Cunego. Italy's Giovanni Visconti led the peleton home, a further nine seconds behind.
Cunego, who rides for the Lampre team, won the race in 2004 and 2007.
He was disappointed to finish second behind Italian team mate Alessandro Ballan in the recent world road race championships and specifically targeted the Tour of Lombardy.
"I'm really happy to have won for a third time. After the world championships I kept training hard and I really wanted to win Lombardy again. I gave it everything in the race, my team mates were great and so everything went perfectly," Cunego told reporters.
"I love the Civiglio climb and attacked flat out on the descent as if I was in a car rally. I knew I could get a gap and I'd carefully studied the corners during a training ride last week."
"I gave it everything in the final 15 kms of the race. Nobody managed to come across to me on the last climb and so I just kept going.
"Winning alone is a fantastic feeling. It's great to finish the season like that."
The 2009 season begins with the Tour Down Under stage race in Australia from January 20-25 when seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong will make his return to racing after a three-year absence.