Tre Valli Varesine 2018

October 3, 2017, Saronno, Lombardy, Road - 1.HC

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Stephen Farrand

Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the Tre Valli Varesine one-day Classic.


Tre Valli Varesine race hub


Tre Valli Varesine start list


Il Lombardia and Paris-Tours bring down the curtain on the European Classics season




  1. 14:07:58 CEST

    Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Tre Valli Varesine, one of the most important one-day races in Italy, that kicks of this final week of professional racing in the Bel Paese.

  2. 14:09:06 CEST

    As we join the action, there are 100km left to race.


  3. 14:10:24 CEST

    The riders face a total distance of 193km, with 77km covered on a loop out of the city before nine laps of a rolling 12km circuit. 


  4. 14:11:44 CEST

    This is the 97th edition of the Tre Valli Varesine and the race has attracted a star-studded line-up, including Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Giro d'Italia winner Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb). 



  5. 14:13:59 CEST

    You can find a full start list by clicking here

  6. 14:14:45 CEST

    As we pick up the action, six riders have formed the early break of the day.


  7. 14:18:03 CEST

    The six attackers are: Turek (Israel Academy), Tonelli (Bardiano-CSF), Nych (Gazprom Rusvelo), Rubio (Caja Rural), Carlini (D'Amico Utensilnord) and Bernardinetti (Amore&Vita).


  8. 14:19:35 CEST

    The Bahrain-Merida team initially chased down the early attacks but let this move go clear. Their lead reached six minutes and then nine minutes before Team Sunweb began to lead the chase. 


  9. 14:20:15 CEST

    The pace has been high so far, with an average speed of 45,050 km/h for the first two hours of racing.


  10. 14:27:56 CEST

    The race is now onto the circuits in Varese and face a further eight laps up and down from Lake Varese to the city centre.   


  11. 14:29:19 CEST

    Sadly Sebastien Reichenbach (FDJ) crashed earlier in the race and has been taken to hospital for treatment.


  12. 14:31:55 CEST

    This is the profile of the 12.5km Varese circuit. 



  13. 14:32:45 CEST

    The peloton is lined out as it chases the break of the day. Bahrain and Sunweb are still leading the chase as they study the Varese circuit.


  14. 14:34:41 CEST

    This shot shows the peloton lined-out as it climbs up to Varese.



  15. 14:37:30 CEST

    Team Sky is also helping with the chase at the head of the peloton.






  16. 14:39:52 CEST

    Tram Sky has placed three riders on the front, with Rosa, Puccio and Wisniowski doing the hard work for Moscon, Poels and Kwaitkowski.  


  17. 14:42:20 CEST

    Team Sky has lined out at the front of the peloton, with Bahrain and Sunweb tucked in behind them. 


  18. 14:44:51 CEST

    The gap is down to 4:30 as the riders dive through the fields west of Varese.


  19. 14:46:29 CEST

    The sun is out in Varese, with temperatures over 20C making for a perfect day for racing. 


  20. 14:47:29 CEST

    The break passes through the feed zone and heads to the finish area. 


  21. 14:48:10 CEST

    This year's route includes a loop through Piazza Montegrappa in the centre of Varese. It will be a key point of the race on the final circuits.


  22. 14:49:31 CEST

    Nairo Quintana (Movistar) is also in action today. He's tucked safely in the peloton for now.   


  23. 14:52:15 CEST

    The peloton passes through the finish area and sprints away at high speed. The race is on. 


  24. 14:53:06 CEST

    British champion Steve Cummings leads Dimension Data's hopes today. He's still near the back but will most likely move up to the front soon.


  25. 14:53:52 CEST

    The lead of the break is falling fast as the speed increases behind. 



  26. 14:54:09 CEST

    We have several attacks from the peloton.


  27. 14:54:36 CEST

    But Sky and Sunweb chase them down. 


  28. 15:02:19 CEST

    Several teams clearly want to spark a hard, selective race to make the sprinters suffer on the rolling circuit.

  29. 15:06:58 CEST

    Italian national champion Fabio Aru is also in action today and will also ride Milano-Torino and Saturday's Il Lombardia.


    He played down his chances and again avoided revealing future team despite being widely linked to UAE Team Emirates. 


    "I'm going to give my best despite not being 100% after a long, hard season, where I've had to fight back several times," he said.




  30. 15:09:10 CEST

    Tom Dumoulin was happy to be back racing in Italy.

    "It's great to be back in Italy. I was here in Italy for a holiday in July but it's nice to be back racing again," the Giro d'Italia winner said.


  31. 61km remaining from 192.8km

    15:12:06 CEST

    The peloton is lined out across the road as the gap falls to just 1:30. 


  32. 15:12:36 CEST

    However after a brief pause, there are more attacks. 


  33. 15:13:23 CEST

    Meanwhile, upfront, Turek has split the six-rider break, cutting it to just three.


  34. 15:14:27 CEST

    With Turek up front are Tonelli and Rubio. 


  35. 15:15:12 CEST

    There are more attacks from the peloton too, with Sebastian Henao on the move for Team Sky.


  36. 58km remaining from 192.8km

    15:17:08 CEST

    The peloton is lined out behind the attacks but the elastic has yet to break. 


  37. 15:19:57 CEST

    Turek, Rubio and Tonelli are working together to extend their lead on the rest of the six-rider break. 


  38. 54km remaining from 192.8km

    15:22:33 CEST

    The trio lead the other trio by 20 seconds.


  39. 15:23:36 CEST

    Behind other riders are on the attack. They want to perhaps go up the road before the final attacks are made.


    It is Petilli on the move for UAE now.  


  40. 15:26:01 CEST

    The rolling Varese circuit is hurting the riders, with Rubio putting the hurt on his friends in the break. 


  41. 51km remaining from 192.8km

    15:26:45 CEST

    The riders top a climb just a kilometre from the finish, where teams have created a feed zone to hand up bottles on each lap.  


  42. 15:27:08 CEST

    The break hits the finish with four 12.5km laps to go.


  43. 15:29:34 CEST

    The peloton is only a minute or so back.

    The riders are lined out but the peloton is still pretty big. The speed is high but few riders have been dropped.


  44. 15:32:50 CEST

    Three chasers have emerged from the peloton but are struggling to go across to the break.


    Behind Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb) and Thibaut Pibot (FDJ) are also on the move.


  45. 15:35:47 CEST

    The leaves have started to fall in Italy and so it can only mean the end of the Euro racing season.


    Today riders are in action in Varese, on Thursday they will fight for success at Milano-Torino and then Saturday' is the big one: Il Lombardia.


    This week also see racing in Belgium, Germany and France, with Paris-Tours coming 24 hours after Il Lombardia.   




  46. 15:38:57 CEST

    For a full preview of this week's racing, click here. 



  47. 43km remaining from 192.8km

    15:40:18 CEST

    Bahrain has taken control of the peloton to reduce the effect of the attacks. 


    Gasparotto is leading the peloton with Colbrelli on his wheel. This could perhaps mean that Bahrain is riding for Nibali today.


  48. 41km remaining from 192.8km

    15:42:59 CEST

    Turek, Rubio and Tonelli are still out front but their lead is down to 45 seconds. 




  49. 15:46:07 CEST

    Turek, Rubio and Tonelli are still out front but their lead is down to 45 seconds. 




  50. 15:46:50 CEST

    A trio of Latour (AG2R), Redi Halilaj (Amore e Vita) and Carlos Verona (Orica-Scott) are about to catch them. 


  51. 38km remaining from 192.8km

    15:47:42 CEST

    There just three laps to go, with the peloton taking on food and gels before the descent to Lake Varese.


  52. 36km remaining from 192.8km

    15:51:14 CEST

    As the road kicks ups Wout Poels (Team Sky) goes on the attack. 


  53. 15:53:13 CEST

    Poels kicks again, with Visconti chasing him. Other riders are following him.


  54. 15:54:48 CEST

    The big-name contenders are about to take off.



  55. 15:57:08 CEST

    Poels is pulled back but other riders are on the attack.


  56. 15:59:00 CEST

    Maison of FDJ, Masnada of Androni and a third rider are trying to go across to the break. 


  57. 15:59:41 CEST

    The peloton prefers to let them go on this downhill section before upping the speed in the climb back to the finish of the12.5km circuit.


  58. 28km remaining from 192.8km

    16:02:31 CEST

    We have other chasers on the attack, with Visconti and Geschke in there. 


  59. 16:03:30 CEST

    Visconti is driving a group of seven but Cannondale is closing the gap for Uran. 


  60. 16:04:06 CEST

    However Cannondale have a rider with Visconti. 


  61. 25km remaining from 192.8km

    16:06:00 CEST

    The riders are close to the finish with two laps of 12.5km to race.


  62. 16:07:26 CEST

    Strangely the peloton has sat up. They big teams seem to be playing bluff with each other but they could lose the race unless a serious chase begins.


  63. 16:08:13 CEST

    There are two chase groups behind the attack of five riders. They are spread across a minute but could be a threat if they come together.


  64. 16:10:36 CEST

    Masnada has split his chase group, dropping Maison and Pawel Poljanski.


    He can see the break up the road but he has fresh legs for the final 20km.


  65. 22km remaining from 192.8km

    16:13:19 CEST

    Pawel Poljanski catches Masnada but the break is still 100m ahead.


  66. 18km remaining from 192.8km

    16:17:28 CEST

    Poljanski and Masnada make it across to the break. 


    This move could stay away but there is another chase group behind them.  


  67. 16:18:11 CEST

    About 20 seconds further back is the main peloton with all the big-name contenders.


  68. 16:18:36 CEST

    Bahrain is leading the chase with Sky also up there.  


  69. 16:20:44 CEST

    Verona has attacked alone as the road climbs but is alone as the other riders in the break struggle to chase him.  


  70. 16:21:35 CEST

    Behind the peloton has swept up the second chase group. 


    Bahrain is setting a high pace and could pull the race all back together.



  71. 16:22:20 CEST

    Visconti and Gasparotto are doing the hard work for Bahrain.


  72. 16:23:38 CEST

    The riders are on the hard climb back up to Varese.


    Verona is on the big ring but the break can see him.


  73. 12.5km remaining from 192.8km

    16:25:04 CEST

    Verona passes through the finish and can hear the bell ring to signal the last lap. 


    The break is only 20 seconds back, with the peloton only 35 seconds down.


  74. 16:26:38 CEST

    All the big names are still in the peloton, including Aru, Dumoulin, Quintana and Nibali.


    If the race cones back together, it could suit sprinters such as Colbrelli but also Matthews of Sunweb. 


  75. 16:27:04 CEST

    UAE and Sky are also there in numbers. As are Cannondale.


  76. 16:28:17 CEST

    The peloton is about to sweep up the break. Only Verona is out front now.


  77. 16:29:04 CEST

    However the Bahrain pace has cracked Colbrelli. They will have to ride for Nibali now and hope he can attack on the final climb.  




  78. 16:29:38 CEST

    Visconti has done a huge turn to bring the race back together.


    Verona is caught. 


  79. 8km remaining from 192.8km

    16:30:48 CEST

    Cannondale has Slagter, Uran and Villela up front. 




  80. 16:32:19 CEST

    Visconti is still on the front, keeping the front group lined out at speed. 


  81. 16:32:41 CEST

    Henao moves up with Moscon on his wheel. Matthews is still there for Sunweb. 


  82. 16:33:53 CEST

    Now Formolo does a huge turn for his Cannondale teammates. He heads to Bora in 2018 but wants to do his bit for his current team in his final races.  


  83. 6km remaining from 192.8km

    16:35:11 CEST

    There are 30 riders in the front group ready to fight for victory.


  84. 16:35:49 CEST

    The riders are on the descent to the lake shore and then the climb up to Varese will decide the race. 


  85. 16:37:17 CEST

    Visconti hits the front again with veteran and former winner Albasini (Orica). 


  86. 16:37:26 CEST

    Boom! Nibali attacks! 


  87. 16:37:49 CEST

    Pinot tries to go with him, as does Aru but they're struggling. 


  88. 16:38:32 CEST

    Nbali and Pinot have a gap on Aru.


    It could be enough as Pinot helps Nibali.  


  89. 1.5km remaining from 192.8km

    16:39:18 CEST

    A chase group of six has formed behind Nibali and Pinot.


  90. 16:39:32 CEST

    Moscon goes alone in pursuit of the two.


  91. 16:40:09 CEST

    But they follow Moscon and then a Cannondale rider jumps away.  


  92. 1km remaining from 192.8km

    16:40:23 CEST

    Last Kilometre!


  93. 16:40:48 CEST

    The chasers are about to catch Nibali and Pinot. 


  94. 16:41:06 CEST

    Pinot is tired and so struggles to help Nibali.


  95. 16:41:26 CEST

    Now Ulissi is coming across. 


  96. 16:41:38 CEST

    Geniez of AG2R is with him.


  97. 16:41:54 CEST

    Watch for an Ulissi attack. 


  98. 16:42:18 CEST

    Pinot leads it out and three riders finish together.  


  99. 16:42:41 CEST

    It seems Geniez gets it from Pinot and Nibali.  


  100. 16:42:53 CEST

    Allez les Francais!


  101. 16:43:26 CEST

    Ulissi finished fourth after failing to join Nibali and Pinot. 



  102. 16:44:07 CEST

    Geniez managed to get across and win the sprint with a late kick to the line.


  103. 16:45:45 CEST

    Geniez beat Pinot by half a wheel with Nibali at less than a bike length.




  104. 16:47:05 CEST

    David Vilella of Cannondale was fifth a few seconds back.


  105. 16:48:06 CEST

    This is the photo finish of the sprint.



  106. 16:52:03 CEST

    Geniez won a stage at the 2016 Vuelta a Espana but was pulled for this year's race by his team after he and Nico Denz were filmed hanging onto a AG2R team car.  


  107. 16:55:40 CEST

    Geniez was happy to win Tre Valli Varesine. 


    “It’s a great feeling to win a race like this at the end of the season,” Geniez said.


    “We looked at the start list this morning and realised it’s a real race, but we said we wanted to win it.”


  108. 16:58:18 CEST

    Geniez was withdrawn from the Vuelta a Espana after being filmed hanging onto a AG2R team car.



  109. 16:59:13 CEST

    It later emerged that Team Sky shot the video from the team car. However a team spokesperson told Cyclingnews that Team Sky did not forward the video to the commissaries or file an official complaint.


  110. 17:02:03 CEST

    This image shows how selective the Tre Valli Varesine was after some intense and aggressive racing. 



  111. 17:04:37 CEST

    This is the top ten result for the Tre Valli Varesine.


    1 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 04:49:08
    2 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ
    3 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
    4 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Emirates
    5 Davide Viella (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac 00:00:07
    6 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb
    7 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky
    8 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana
    9 Daniel Felipe Martinez (Col) Wilier Triestina 00:00:17
    10 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott 00:00:18


  112. 17:13:48 CEST

    We already have 20 photos from today's race on the report page. 


    Click here to see them. 


    The peloton rides toward the memorial to aircraft engineer Ermanno Bazzocchi in Tradate


  113. 17:15:39 CEST

    This was the six-rider early break of the race.


    Diego Rubio (Caja Rural)


  114. 17:17:36 CEST

    The race split several times with groups going off the front and catching the early break. However Bahrain-Merida brought the race back together on the last lap and then Vincenzo Nibali made a strong attack on the final climb back up to the centre of Varese.


  115. 17:19:40 CEST

    This shot at the start shows Nibali with his younger brother Antonio. 


    The Nibali brothers Antonio and Vincenzo


  116. 17:30:06 CEST

    This is one of the first images of the Geniez, Nibali, Pinot sprint that decided the Tre Valli Varesine. 



  117. 17:30:42 CEST

    to see our full photo gallery, and race report, click here.


  118. 17:33:56 CEST

    Thanks for joining us for live coverage from the Tre Valli Varesine. 


    Join us on Thursday for live coverage of Milano-Torino and then on Saturday for full live coverage of Il Lombardia. 


    For a full preview to final races in Europe, click here.



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