Nibali wins Tre Valli Varesine

Astana show their collective strength before Il Lombardia

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) won the Tre Valli Varesine race with a solo attack on the final climb, just 24 hours after arriving in Europe from the World Championships in Richmond, USA.

The Astana team - especially Fabio Aru - worked for Nibali on the final 12km lap around Varese and then the Italian national champion jumped away from a select group of riders with a double attack on the final climb. He quickly opened a gap on the chasers, who then hesitated slightly, afraid to set up their rivals if they led the chase.

Nibali celebrated with his arms in the air, finishing nine seconds ahead of Sergey Firsanov (RusVelo) who jumped away in sight of the finish to take second place. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) won the sprint for third ahead of Simone Ponzi (Southeast).

Nibali’s success makes him a logical favourite for Sunday’s Il Lombardia race, the final race of this year’s WorldTour.

"The guys did a great job today, especially Fabio Aru, without them I wouldn’t have won," Nibali said, revealing he arrived in Italy at lunchtime on Tuesday. "I was tired after the flight and because of the jet lag. I started and even thought of climbing off but I felt good and things worked out. I have to thank my teammates for this win.

"The only tactic I could use was to ensure the race didn’t end in a sprint. I managed to pull it off. I now want to do well at Lombardia and hope to recover quickly for Sunday."

Thanks to his victory Nibali also secured victory in the three-race Trittico Lombardia. He won the Coppa Bernocchi race and was second in the Coppa Agostoni race and so took home a special diamond prize awarded by the race organisers.

How it happened

The Tre Valli Varesine race covered a tough loop north of the city, between the lakes of the Varese area and the Swiss border before nine laps of a 12.9km finishing circuit in the hills that overlook the city. The final kliometres were similar to those of the 2008 World Championships when Alessandro Ballan won the rainbow jersey for Italy.

With both Nibali and Aru in its line-up, the Astana team was determined to take the win and carefully controlled the early 20-rider break of the day by placing Dario Cataldo in the move. The riders rode at 47.9 km/h in the first two hours but the peloton came back together as they began the nine finishing circuits. Other attacks came on the climb overlooking Varese but the peloton kept them under control.

Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ) and Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani-CSF) tried their hand after three laps and opened a 2:30 gap with 50km to go. However, the hilly circuit and the work of Astana saw their lead fade and they were caught by several counter-attackers with just over two laps to go.

Diego Rosa sacrificed his chances to help Nibali by going on the attack and shaking out the group. He then continued to attack and lead the peloton, dragging a group of 20 riders clear. The chasers eventually caught them at the start of the last lap but then Fabio Aru set a fierce pace and made a selection.

Andrea Fedi (Southeast) tried a solo attack and made it over the Montello climb for the last time but Aru used his Vuelta a Espana endurance to gradually drag the peloton up to him.

With 3.5km to go and a last climb to tackle, Nibali dived around Aru on a sweeping turn and launched his first attack. Nizzolo and Pinot got on his wheel but a second attack saw Nibali go clear and begin his solo drive to victory.

The chasers grew in number with Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) trying to close the gap on Nibali but he eased when Rebellin and others sat on his wheel. The hesitation was enough for Nibali to find his breath, get over the top of one last rise and time trial to the finish.

While other contenders will arrive in Italy in the next few days for Sunday’s Il Lombardia, Nibali must be the big favourite for the more explosive but hilly finish in the hills above Como. 

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team4:44:09 
2Sergey Firsanov (Rus) RusVelo0:00:08 
3Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing  
4Simone Ponzi (Ita) Southeast  
5Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing  
6Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) MTN - Qhubeka  
7Kenny Elissonde (Fra)  
8Damiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
9Antonio Parrinello (Ita) d'Amico Bottecchia  
10Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Southeast  
11Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
12Thibaut Pinot (Fra)  
13Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida  
14Simone Petilli (Ita) Unieuro Wilier  
15Marco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:00:12 
16Julian David Arredondo Moreno (Col) Trek Factory Racing0:00:22 
17Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:00:34 
18Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:35 
19Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
20Alessio Taliani (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
21Marco Tizza (Ita) Team Idea 2010 ASD  
22Miguel Angel Rubiano Chavez (Col) Colombia  
23Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka0:00:36 
24Adrian Honkisz (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
25Janez Brajkovic (Slo) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
26Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:00:39 
27Andrea Fedi (Ita) Southeast0:01:08 
28Luca Capelli (Ita) Team Idea 2010 ASD  
29Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Argon 180:01:22 
30Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory Racing0:03:31 
31Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
32Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
33Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ.fr0:03:38 
34Arnold Jeannesson (Fra)  
35Michele Gazzarra (Ita) Mg.Kvis-Vega0:03:44 
36Lukasz Owsian (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
37Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Colombia  
38Valerio Conti (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:05:14 
39Edward Ravasi (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
40Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
41Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
42Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
43Daniel Martínez (Col) Colombia  
44Marco Tecchio (Ita) Unieuro Wilier  
45Natnael Berhane (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka  
46Alexandre Geniez (Fra)  
47Antonio Santoro (Ita) Mg.Kvis-Vega  
48Gian Marco Di Francesco (Ita) Mg.Kvis-Vega  
49Stefan Schumacher (Ger) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:05:19 
50Johann Van Zyl (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
51Alessandro Bisolti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
52Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:05:24 
53Simone Stortoni (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
54Luca Chirico (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:06:57 
55Kiryll Pozdnyakov (Rus) RusVelo  
56Antonio Nibali (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
57Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling0:07:23 
58Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Bora-Argon 18  
59Giovanni Carboni (Ita) Unieuro Wilier  
60Leszek Plucinski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
61Paolo Ciavatta (Ita) d'Amico Bottecchia  
62Michele Scartezzini (Ita) Mg.Kvis-Vega  
63Andrea Cacciotti (Ita) GM Cycling Team  
64Gang Xu (Chn) Lampre-Merida  
65Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
66Ilia Koshevoy (Blr) Lampre-Merida  
67Gianfranco Zilioli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFAlessandro Vanotti (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFValerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFMichele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFSteve Morabito (Swi)  
DNFJérémy Roy (Fra)  
DNFEugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek Factory Racing  
DNFLeonardo Basso (Ita) Trek Factory Racing  
DNFMatthew Busche (USA) Trek Factory Racing  
DNFYaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Trek Factory Racing  
DNFMattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre-Merida  
DNFChun Kai Feng (Tpe) Lampre-Merida  
DNFEmanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18  
DNFPatrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Argon 18  
DNFJosé Joao Pimenta Costa Mendes (Por) Bora-Argon 18  
DNFDominik Nerz (Ger) Bora-Argon 18  
DNFLukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Argon 18  
DNFLucas Euser (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
DNFTanner Putt (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
DNFDaniele Ratto (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
DNFKiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
DNFFederico Zurlo (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling  
DNFJan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
DNFChristian Delle Stelle (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
DNFSylwester Szmyd (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice  
DNFTiziano Dall'antonia (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFAlberto Nardin (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFMichele Viola (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
DNFNicola Ruffoni (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFEnrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFSimone Sterbini (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFStefano Pirazzi (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFEdoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFJaco Venter (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
DNFSongezo Jim (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka  
DNFDaniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) MTN - Qhubeka  
DNFIldar Arslanov (Rus) RusVelo  
DNFIgor Boev (Rus) RusVelo  
DNFRoman Maikin (Rus) RusVelo  
DNFSergey Nikolaev (Rus) RusVelo  
DNFIvan Savitskiy (Rus) RusVelo  
DNFArtem Nych (Rus) RusVelo  
DNFJorge Camilo Castiblanco Cubides (Col) Colombia  
DNFLeonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Colombia  
DNFCarlos Mario Ramirez Botero (Col) Colombia  
DNFRamirez Chacon Brayan Stiven (Col) Colombia  
DNFJuan Pablo Valencia (Col) Colombia  
DNFManuel Belletti (Ita) Southeast  
DNFMatteo Busato (Ita) Southeast  
DNFSamuele Conti (Ita) Southeast  
DNFLuca Wackermann (Ita) Southeast  
DNFCristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Southeast  
DNFGiacomo Berlato (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
DNFGenki Yamamoto (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
DNFPier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
DNFIuri Filosi (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
DNFManuel Todaro (Ita) Team Idea 2010 ASD  
DNFAlessandro Mariani (Ita) Team Idea 2010 ASD  
DNFMirko Torta (Ita) Team Idea 2010 ASD  
DNFAlessandro Pettiti (Ita) Team Idea 2010 ASD  
DNFMatteo Spreafico (Ita) Team Idea 2010 ASD  
DNFGiacomo Peretto (Ita) Team Idea 2010 ASD  
DNFMattia Frapporti (Ita) Unieuro Wilier  
DNFDavide Ballerini (Ita) Unieuro Wilier  
DNFGiovanni Pedretti (Ita) Unieuro Wilier  
DNFLorenzo Rota (Ita) Unieuro Wilier  
DNFDavide Plebani (Ita) Unieuro Wilier  
DNFNicola Gaffurini (Ita) Mg.Kvis-Vega  
DNFMoreno Giampaolo (Ita) Mg.Kvis-Vega  
DNFLuca Muffolini (Ita) Mg.Kvis-Vega  
DNFMatteo Occhialini (Ita) Mg.Kvis-Vega  
DNFFilippo Fortin (Ita) GM Cycling Team  
DNFJosé Hernández (Col) GM Cycling Team  
DNFMarco D'urbano (Ita) GM Cycling Team  
DNFDaniele Cavasin (Ita) GM Cycling Team  
DNFMatteo Rotondi (Ita) GM Cycling Team  
DNFAndrea Ruscetta (Ita) GM Cycling Team  
DNFGiorgio Bocchiola (Ita) d'Amico Bottecchia  
DNFAdriano Brogi (Ita) d'Amico Bottecchia  
DNFThomas Capocchi (Ita) d'Amico Bottecchia  
DNFDavide Leone (Ita) d'Amico Bottecchia  
DNFSilvio Giorni (Ita) d'Amico Bottecchia  
DNFIltjan Nika (Alb) d'Amico Bottecchia  
DNSEduard Michael Grosu (Rom) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
DNSGregor Muhlberger (Aut) Bora-Argon 18  

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