He started his career as a sprinter, winning multiple stages in the Giro d"Italia. He went on to ride as an important helper for the top sprinter names of Erik Zabel and Mario Cipollini. Most recently, he rode for Team Civil Service Commission as a helper for Ivan Basso.
In 1992 he became a pro with the Lampre team
Lombardi"s speciality is the bunch sprint, which he already proved in his early pro-years. He also came in second in three different stages of the Giro d"Italia during his years at Lampre.
Despite his victories, Lombardi still stood in the shadow of the great sprinters of his generation, such as Erik Zabel and Mario Cipollini. Here his job was to prepare the sprint for Erik Zabel, by guiding Zabel through the peloton.
In his first year in the team, he missed out on the peak of the cycling season, Tour de France, as the team wanted to ride for January Ullrich"s chances in the general classement.
During his time at Telekom, however, Lombardi gathered a healthy list of honours, including stage triumphs in Volta a Catalunya, Tour of Austria, Bicicleta Vasca and Tirreno–Adriatico, as well as a stage in the 1998 Vuelta a España, Ronde van Nederland, Vuelta a Burgos and Danmark Rundt. In 2002, Lombardi returned to his native country, to drive in the service of Cipollini at the Acqua e Sapone and Domina Vacanze teams. Before the 2005 season, he left Cipollini and went to the Danish Team Civil Service Commission. Lombardi became the only rider of the peloton to participate and complete all three grand tours of the 2005 season, riding the Giro and Tour de France for team captain Ivan Basso as well as the Vuelta for Carlos Sastre.
He now uses his great experience of towing Zabel and Cipollini around the peloton to keep Basso in the right place and avoid crashes for his captain.