Geniez wins Tre Valli Varesine

Alexandre Geniez (AG2R La Mondiale) claimed victory in Tre Valli Varesine after he pipped Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) with a well-timed sprint at the end of a breathless final lap in Varese.

Nibali sparked the decisive move when he accelerated fiercely on the final climb with a shade under three kilometres to go after his teammate Giovanni Visconti had whittled down the front group with a searing display of pace-making. Only Pinot could follow his rasping attack, and the pair built up what initially seemed set to be a winning advantage over the fragmented chasing group.

Pinot and Nibali never quite succeeded in disappearing from sight, however, with Fabio Aru (Astana) and Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac) among those to give chase on the shallow haul towards the finish.

Geniez bided his time until the road flattened out inside the final kilometre, and he managed to bridge across to Nibali and Pinot with a little over 500 metres to go. The leading group expanded to a quarter soon afterwards when they were joined by Diego Ulissi (UAE-Team Emirates), but the Italian expended so much energy in closing the gap that he made no impact in the sprint and had to settle for fourth.

Pinot opted to open his sprint from distance but while he managed to hold off Nibali's attempt to overhaul him, he was unable to deny Geniez, who gauged his effort smartly and hit the front inside the final 50 metres to take the honours.

Geniez was full value for his victory in what proved to be a most entertaining start to the final trio of races on the Italian calendar. Nibali, Pinot et al will all hope to be in contention for honours again at Milano-Torino on Thursday and at Il Lombardia on Saturday.

The victory in Varese was Geniez's third of the season and his first since his AG2R La Mondiale team sent him home from the Vuelta a España after he was filmed holding onto a team car.

"It's a great feeling to win a race like this at the end of the season," said Geniez, who has enjoyed racing on Italian roads throughout his career and placed 9th at the 2015 Giro d'Italia.

"We looked at the start list this morning and realised it's a real race, and we said we wanted to win it."

Villella took fifth place, 7 seconds down on the leaders, at the head of a chasing group that comprised Sam Oomen (Sunweb), Giovanni Moscon (Sky) and Aru.

How it unfolded

After a rapid start to proceedings, the early break finally took shape after 40 kilometres, when Daniel Turek (Israel Cycling Academy), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF), Diego Rubio (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Artem Nych (Gazprom Rusvelo), Ettore Carlini (D'Amico Utensilnord) and Marco Bernardinetti (Amore & Vita) forged clear.

That sextet built up a lead in excess of five minutes before first Bahrain-Merida and then Orica-Scott began to work at the head of the peloton to keep their advantage under control as the race hit the nine laps of the 12.5-kilometre finishing circuit around Varese, which included the climb of Montello and the haul towards the finish by way of Piazzale Libertà.

As the race entered the final 50 kilometres, there was a flurry of counter-attacking, while up front, the unity of the leaders had dissipated, and only Turek, Tonelli and Rubio remained from the early break.

They were joined by counter-attackers Carlos Verona (Orica-Scott) and Redi Halilaj (Amore e Vita) with three laps remaining, but the activity of men like Wout Poels (Sky) in the main peloton meant that their advantage now hovered at less than a minute.

After Poels' acceleration on the climb of Montello was snuffed out, Fausto Masnada (Androni-Sidermec) and Pawel Poljanski (Bora-Hansgrohe) succeeded in bridging across to the leaders with 20 kilometres remaining.

On the penultimate lap, as Bahrain-Merida began to wind up the pace in the main peloton after a brief respite, Verona opted to try his luck alone, though he took the bell with only the smallest of leads over Poljanski, Halilaj, Masnada, Turek, Tonelli and Rubio, while the bunch was just 20 seconds behind.

The escapees were reeled in with a shade over 8 kilometres remaining after a particularly long stint of pace-making from Visconti, winner of the Giro dell'Emilia at the weekend. The Sicilian remained in situ at the head of the peloton deep into the final lap and his work helped to whittle the peloton down to its bare bones as it tackled the lower slopes of the final climb towards the finish

It was clear, however, that Visconti's labours were on behalf of his fellow Sicilian Nibali, and his attack, though widely expected, was no less ferocious as a result. Only Pinot could match him on the steepest section of the climb, as both men tested one another in something of a dress rehearsal for Il Lombardia.

They would be upstaged, however, by Geniez, who smartly managed his resources on the final climb, and then held his nerve in the tense finale.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale4:49:08
2Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJRow 1 - Cell 2
3Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 2 - Cell 2
4Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 3 - Cell 2
5Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac0:00:07
6Sam Oomen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 5 - Cell 2
7Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team SkyRow 6 - Cell 2
8Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Daniel Martinez (Col) Wilier Triestina0:00:17
10Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott0:00:18
11Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 10 - Cell 2
12Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 11 - Cell 2
13Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 12 - Cell 2
14Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo - Vini FantiniRow 13 - Cell 2
15Yonder Godoy (Ven) Wilier TriestinaRow 14 - Cell 2
16Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 15 - Cell 2
17Eduard Prades (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 16 - Cell 2
18Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 17 - Cell 2
19Warren Barguil (Fra) Team SunwebRow 18 - Cell 2
20Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 19 - Cell 2
21Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La MondialeRow 20 - Cell 2
22Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-ScottRow 23 - Cell 2
25Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 24 - Cell 2
26Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:00:22
27Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 26 - Cell 2
28Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb0:00:25
29Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-DrapacRow 28 - Cell 2
30Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team SunwebRow 29 - Cell 2
31Pierpaolo Ficara (Ita) Amore & Vita - Selle Smp0:00:37
32Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension DataRow 31 - Cell 2
33Rodolfo Torres (Col) Androni Giocattoli0:00:45
34Matteo Busato (Ita) Wilier Triestina0:01:06
35Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-DrapacRow 34 - Cell 2
36Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo0:01:08
37Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 36 - Cell 2
38Carlos Verona (Spa) Orica-ScottRow 37 - Cell 2
39Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 38 - Cell 2
40Pier Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 39 - Cell 2
41Marco Zamparella (Ita) Amore & Vita - Selle Smp0:01:22
42Diego Rubio (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 41 - Cell 2
43Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling Academy0:01:28
44Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Wilier TriestinaRow 43 - Cell 2
45Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 44 - Cell 2
46Simone Velasco (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 45 - Cell 2
47Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Nippo - Vini FantiniRow 46 - Cell 2
48Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Dimension DataRow 47 - Cell 2
49Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team EmiratesRow 48 - Cell 2
50Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 49 - Cell 2
51Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJRow 50 - Cell 2
52Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 51 - Cell 2
53Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 52 - Cell 2
54Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJRow 53 - Cell 2
55Jan Bárta (Cze) Bora-HansgroheRow 54 - Cell 2
56Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 55 - Cell 2
57Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 56 - Cell 2
58Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
59Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 58 - Cell 2
60Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 59 - Cell 2
61Simon Geschke (Ger) Team SunwebRow 60 - Cell 2
62Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 61 - Cell 2
63Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky0:01:41
64Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension DataRow 63 - Cell 2
65Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale-DrapacRow 64 - Cell 2
66Redi Halilaj (Alb) Amore & Vita - Selle SmpRow 65 - Cell 2
67Hugh Carthy (GBr) Cannondale-DrapacRow 66 - Cell 2
68Iuri Filosi (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini0:02:26
69Daniel Turek (Cze) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 68 - Cell 2
70Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 69 - Cell 2
71Simone Petilli (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:02:47
72Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy0:03:51
73Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 72 - Cell 2
74Nicola Bagioli (Ita) Nippo - Vini FantiniRow 73 - Cell 2
75Michele Gazzara (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K Vis0:05:08
76Miguel Eduardo Florez (Col) Wilier Triestina0:05:16
77German Nicolas Tivani Perez (Arg) Unieuro Trevigiani - Hemus 19020:06:03
78Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-SegafredoRow 77 - Cell 2
79Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 78 - Cell 2
80Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team EmiratesRow 79 - Cell 2
81Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team EmiratesRow 80 - Cell 2
82Victor De La Parte (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 81 - Cell 2
83Cristian Rodriguez (Spa) Wilier TriestinaRow 82 - Cell 2
84Ilia Koshevoy (Blr) Wilier TriestinaRow 83 - Cell 2
85Jérémy Maison (Fra) FDJRow 84 - Cell 2
86François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 85 - Cell 2
87Ivan Ramiro Sosa (Col) Androni GiocattoliRow 86 - Cell 2
88Damiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo - Vini FantiniRow 87 - Cell 2
89Pavel Brutt (Rus) Gazprom – RusveloRow 88 - Cell 2
90Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Team SkyRow 89 - Cell 2
91Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJRow 90 - Cell 2
92Wout Poels (Ned) Team SkyRow 91 - Cell 2
93Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Cannondale-DrapacRow 92 - Cell 2
94David Gaudu (Fra) FDJRow 93 - Cell 2
95Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 94 - Cell 2
96Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 95 - Cell 2
97Alessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 96 - Cell 2
98Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-ScottRow 97 - Cell 2
99Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 98 - Cell 2
100Rob Power (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 99 - Cell 2
101Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-ScottRow 100 - Cell 2
102Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 101 - Cell 2
103Jose Herrada (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 102 - Cell 2
104Ruben Plaza (Spa) Orica-ScottRow 103 - Cell 2
105Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team0:07:22
106Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:07:36
107Simone Sterbini (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:08:26
108Simone Andreetta (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 107 - Cell 2
109Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 108 - Cell 2
DNFLennard Hofstede (Ned) Team SunwebRow 109 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Matthews (Aus) Team SunwebRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFLaurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team SunwebRow 111 - Cell 2
DNFAntonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFDomen Novak (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFFranco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 114 - Cell 2
DNFLuka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 115 - Cell 2
DNFMichal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team SkyRow 116 - Cell 2
DNFDiego Rosa (Ita) Team SkyRow 117 - Cell 2
DNFSebastian Henao (Col) Team SkyRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFLukasz Wisniowski (Pol) Team SkyRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFWinner Anacona (Col) Movistar TeamRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFNuno Bico (Por) Movistar TeamRow 121 - Cell 2
DNFAlex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar TeamRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFLawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFDavide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-DrapacRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFKarl Patrick Lauk (Est) Astana Pro TeamRow 125 - Cell 2
DNFMoreno Moser (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 126 - Cell 2
DNFJosé Mendes (Por) Bora-HansgroheRow 127 - Cell 2
DNFOliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 128 - Cell 2
DNFEugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFLaurent Didier (Lux) Trek-SegafredoRow 130 - Cell 2
DNFMatteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 131 - Cell 2
DNFGregory Rast (Swi) Trek-SegafredoRow 132 - Cell 2
DNFPeter Stetina (USA) Trek-SegafredoRow 133 - Cell 2
DNFBoy Van Poppel (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFMatthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFSébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFIgor Anton (Spa) Dimension DataRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFNatnael Berhane (Eri) Dimension DataRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFOmar Fraile (Spa) Dimension DataRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFAmanuel Ghebreigzabhier Werkilul (Eri) Dimension DataRow 140 - Cell 2
DNFLachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension DataRow 141 - Cell 2
DNFManuel Senni (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 142 - Cell 2
DNFFrancesco Lamon (Ita) ItalyRow 143 - Cell 2
DNFAlessandro Covi (Ita) ItalyRow 144 - Cell 2
DNFStefano Oldani (Ita) ItalyRow 145 - Cell 2
DNFLuca Mozzato (Ita) ItalyRow 146 - Cell 2
DNFLuca Covili (Ita) ItalyRow 147 - Cell 2
DNFAlessandro Monaco (Ita) ItalyRow 148 - Cell 2
DNFAndrea Cacciotti (Ita) ItalyRow 149 - Cell 2
DNFMihkel Räim (Est) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 150 - Cell 2
DNFDan Craven (Nam) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 151 - Cell 2
DNFLuis Lemus (Mex) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 152 - Cell 2
DNFNicolas Sessler (Bra) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 153 - Cell 2
DNFGuy Niv (Isr) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 154 - Cell 2
DNFDavide Ballerini (Ita) Androni GiocattoliRow 155 - Cell 2
DNFPier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Nippo - Vini FantiniRow 156 - Cell 2
DNFMarino Kobayashi (Jpn) Nippo - Vini FantiniRow 157 - Cell 2
DNFGiacomo Berlato (Ita) Nippo - Vini FantiniRow 158 - Cell 2
DNFManuel Belletti (Ita) Wilier TriestinaRow 159 - Cell 2
DNFIldar Crcasv (Rus) Gazprom – RusveloRow 160 - Cell 2
DNFEvgeny Kobernyak (Rus) Gazprom – RusveloRow 161 - Cell 2
DNFDmitriy Kozontchuk (Rus) Gazprom – RusveloRow 162 - Cell 2
DNFSergey Lagutin (Rus) Gazprom – RusveloRow 163 - Cell 2
DNFArtem Nych (Rus) Gazprom – RusveloRow 164 - Cell 2
DNFIvan Rovny (Rus) Gazprom – RusveloRow 165 - Cell 2
DNFDylan Pace (Swi) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 166 - Cell 2
DNFGonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 167 - Cell 2
DNFChristopher Butler (USA) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 168 - Cell 2
DNFDanilo Celano (Ita) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 169 - Cell 2
DNFLuis Mas (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 170 - Cell 2
DNFSergio Pardilla (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 171 - Cell 2
DNFDavide Orrico (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K VisRow 172 - Cell 2
DNFNicola Gaffurini (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K VisRow 173 - Cell 2
DNFMichele Scartezzini (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K VisRow 174 - Cell 2
DNFPaolo Totò (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K VisRow 175 - Cell 2
DNFFederico Canuti (Ita) D'Amico UtensilnordRow 176 - Cell 2
DNFEttore Carlini (Ita) D'Amico UtensilnordRow 177 - Cell 2
DNFPietro Di Genova (Ita) D'Amico UtensilnordRow 178 - Cell 2
DNFFrancesco Petrini (Ita) D'Amico UtensilnordRow 179 - Cell 2
DNFAngelo Raffaele (Ita) D'Amico UtensilnordRow 180 - Cell 2
DNFAngelo Vitiello (Ita) D'Amico UtensilnordRow 181 - Cell 2
DNFUri Martins Sandoval (Mex) Amore & Vita - Selle SmpRow 182 - Cell 2
DNFBesmir Banushi (Alb) Amore & Vita - Selle SmpRow 183 - Cell 2
DNFMarco Bernardinetti (Ita) Amore & Vita - Selle SmpRow 184 - Cell 2
DNFFrancesco Mancini (Ita) Amore & Vita - Selle SmpRow 185 - Cell 2
DNFRiccardo Cenghialta (Ita) Unieuro Trevigiani - Hemus 1902Row 186 - Cell 2
DNFMarco Molteni (Ita) Unieuro Trevigiani - Hemus 1902Row 187 - Cell 2
DNFSimone Ravanelli (Ita) Unieuro Trevigiani - Hemus 1902Row 188 - Cell 2
DNFMattia Viel (Ita) Unieuro Trevigiani - Hemus 1902Row 189 - Cell 2
DNFDonovan Alonso Davila Cespedes (CRc) Unieuro Trevigiani - Hemus 1902Row 190 - Cell 2
DNFJoao Almeida (Por) Unieuro Trevigiani - Hemus 1902Row 191 - Cell 2

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