Skujins wins Tre Valli Varesine

Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) claimed victory at the 2018 Tre Valli Varesine, winning from a group of seven that arrived at the line in Varese.

Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) opened the sprint but was unable to match Skujins’ finishing speed and had to settle for second place, while Peter Kennaugh (Bora-Hansgrohe), who had launched a solo bid for victory several kilometres previously, took the final spot on the podium.

Rigoberto Urán (EF Education First-Drapac) had attacked from the peloton and caught and breezed past Kennaugh on the final incline, but he was joined for the slightly downhill final few kilometres by Pinot and his own teammate Michael Woods, with Skujins, Kennaugh, Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb), and Mathias Frank (AG2R La Mondiale), jumping on board, having been part of earlier attacks.

Urán led the way in the final kilometre to keep a chase group containing Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) at bay, and while he succeeded in doing so, Woods was unable to make an impact in the sprint as Skujins ripped down the right-hand side of the road before punching the air.

The one-day race, part of a string of autumn Italian Classics and the third and final instalment of the Trittico Lombardo series, centred on two circuits around Varese, with six laps of ‘the short circuit’ - a 12.6km loop over the Montello climb (1.7km at 5.5%) - and two laps of ‘the long circuit’ - a 21.2km loop that took in the Montello and then another climb to Morosolo (1.7km at 7.6%).

Skujins and Frank, were in a trio - along with Robert Power (Mitchelton-Scott) - that went clear on the final part of the first of the long laps, and they were joined after the bell by Kennaugh and Kelderman, as well as Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida), Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo), and Ivan Santaromita (Nippo Vini Fantini).

Power attacked on the final climb up Morosolo and Kennaugh was the next to chance his arm over the other side but, with the peloton close at hand, Urán ripped across and looked commanding as he passed the escapees and dropped Kennaugh on a subsequent incline. Pinot was the one to respond from the bunch and he made his way across with Woods in tow, as Skujins, Kelderman, Kennaugh, and Frank tagged along.

There was little chasing force in the vastly reduced peloton behind, and the seven riders entered the final few hundred metres with a sufficient advantage, with Skujins collecting his fourth victory of his best season to date with a convincing sprint.

How it unfolded

It was a fast start to proceedings, with 48 kilometres covered in an attacking first hour of racing. It took 35km for a proper breakaway to form, and it contained Matteo Bono (UAE Team Emirates), Michael Storer (Team Sunweb), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF), Edoardo Zardini (Willier Triestina-Selle Italia) and Paolo Toto (Sangemini - MG Kvis). The escapees opened up a lead of nearly nine minutes on the flat opening section of the route, but the gap steadily decreased on the climb to Castello Cabiaglio (7.2km at 3.5 per cent) and the descent towards Varese.

The breakaway riders crossed the finished line for the first time with a lead of five minutes but that was reduced to three minutes after two laps of the short circuit and to 1:30 after four laps. Just ahead of the final lap, with just over 50km remaining in total, the race ignited as some big names attacked from the peloton and made their way over to the head of the race.

Antonio Pedrero (Movistar), Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale), Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida), Leo Vincent (Groupama-FDJ), Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe), Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Andrea Bagioli (UAE Team Emirates), Floris De Tier (LottoNL-Jumbo), Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani-CSF) were the first to go, while Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data) and Sebastien Reichenbach) left it a little later but soon made it across. All of the breakaway riders, with the exception of Zardini, fell away, leaving 13 riders at the head of affairs.

Those 13 finished the last of the short laps and crossed the finish line for the start of the two long laps with a lead of 35 seconds, but EF-Drapac set a strong tempo at the head of the bunch and the escapees were reeled in on the Morosolo climb.

That sparked attacks on the slightly downhill final part of the first lap, and Mathias Frank (AG2R La Mondiale), Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo), and Robert Power (Mitchelton-Scott) succeeded in getting away to take the bell in the lead, though they were soon joined by five counter-attackers: Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida), Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Wilco Kelderman (Sunweb), Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo), and Ivan Santaromita (Nippo Vini Fantini). Latecomer Peter Kennaugh (Bora-Hansgrohe) then bridged across to make it nine out front with a slim advantage heading into the final 20km.

On the final ascent of Montello the hostilities kicked off behind, with David Gaudu (FDJ) producing an acceleration to which Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) immediately responded, with many of the favourites jumping to force a brief split of around 20. Rigoberto Urán (EF-Drapac) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) both led the reduced bunch down the descent, and the attacks continued on the flatter roads, with Guillaume Boivin (Israel Academy) dangling in front with Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) for a while.

The nine leaders hit the final climb of Morosolo with a lead of around 20 seconds, and Power piled on the pressure. First he created a selection, dropping Santaromita, Buchmann, Visconti, and Tolhoek and kicked again to lead solo over the top of the climb. Power was soon reeled in, and Kennaugh in turn went on a solo attack ahead of a secondary incline.
By this point the peloton was close at hand, and Urán went on the attack.

He quickly made his way over to the dropped breakaway riders before reaching Kennaugh and breezing past the Briton. The response came from Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), who closed the gap with Uran’s teammate Michael Woods on the wheel. Skujins, Kennaugh, Frank, and Kelderman also produced second efforts to make what turned out to be the decisive selection.

Valverde was in the group behind, racing in the world champion’s jersey for the first time, and so was Nibali, but they were unable to claw their way back, leaving the leading seven to sprint it out and Skujins to emerge victorious.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo4:55:41
2Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJRow 1 - Cell 2
3Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Bora-HansgroheRow 2 - Cell 2
4Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 3 - Cell 2
5Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La MondialeRow 4 - Cell 2
6Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team SunwebRow 5 - Cell 2
7Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:00:04
8Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:13
9Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 8 - Cell 2
10Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 9 - Cell 2
11Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 10 - Cell 2
12Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 11 - Cell 2
13Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 12 - Cell 2
14George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-JumboRow 13 - Cell 2
15Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 15 - Cell 2
17Davide Vilella (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Sam Oomen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 17 - Cell 2
19Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 18 - Cell 2
20Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 19 - Cell 2
21Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJRow 20 - Cell 2
22Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-JumboRow 21 - Cell 2
23Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 22 - Cell 2
24Simone Ponzi (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini0:01:02
25Guillaume Boivin (Can) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 24 - Cell 2
26Marco Canola (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa OviniRow 25 - Cell 2
27Natnael Berhane (Eri) Dimension DataRow 26 - Cell 2
28Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 27 - Cell 2
29Simone Velasco (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 28 - Cell 2
30Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 29 - Cell 2
31Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension DataRow 30 - Cell 2
32Luca Wackermann (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 31 - Cell 2
33Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 32 - Cell 2
34Jose Manuel Diaz (Spa) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 33 - Cell 2
35Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 34 - Cell 2
36Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 35 - Cell 2
37Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-MeridaRow 36 - Cell 2
38Carlos Verona (Spa) Mitchelton-ScottRow 37 - Cell 2
39Sebastian Shonberger (Aut) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 38 - Cell 2
40Matteo Badilatti (Ita) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 39 - Cell 2
41Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:01:04
42Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 41 - Cell 2
43Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 42 - Cell 2
44Rob Power (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:01:06
45Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa OviniRow 44 - Cell 2
46Marco Tizza (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa Ovini0:01:38
47Kristian Sbaragli (Ita) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 46 - Cell 2
48Pierpaolo Ficara (Ita) Amore & Vita-ProdirRow 47 - Cell 2
49Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:01:40
50Manuel Senni (Ita) Bardiani CSF0:02:43
51Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:52
52Nicola Bagioli (Ita) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa OviniRow 51 - Cell 2
53Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Mirko Trosino (Ita) Amore & Vita-ProdirRow 53 - Cell 2
55Luca Raggio (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 54 - Cell 2
56Andrey Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Davide Gaburro (Ita) Amore & Vita-ProdirRow 56 - Cell 2
58Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 57 - Cell 2
59David Gaudu (Fra) FDJRow 58 - Cell 2
60Nicola Conci (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 59 - Cell 2
61Daan Olivier (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 60 - Cell 2
62Sergey Firsanov (Rus) Gazprom-RusveloRow 61 - Cell 2
63Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Gazprom-RusveloRow 62 - Cell 2
64Robert Gesink (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 63 - Cell 2
65Awet Andemeskel (Eri) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 64 - Cell 2
66Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team EmiratesRow 65 - Cell 2
67Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe0:04:10
68Michele Gazzara (Ita) Sangemini-Mg. K Vis-Vega0:04:26
69Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 68 - Cell 2
70Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 69 - Cell 2
71Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott0:05:42
72Alessandro Fedeli (Ita) Trevigiani Phonix-Hemus 1896Row 71 - Cell 2
73Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 72 - Cell 2
74Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJRow 73 - Cell 2
75Floris De Tier (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo0:06:23
76Koen Bouwmam (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 75 - Cell 2
77Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle Italia0:06:48
78Mathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:07:34
79Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale0:08:03
80Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 79 - Cell 2
81Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 80 - Cell 2
82Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 81 - Cell 2
83Ivan Martinelli (Ita) D'Amico Utensilnord0:08:06
84Mattia Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec0:10:18
85Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team EmiratesRow 84 - Cell 2
86Antonio Di Sante (Ita) Sangemini-Mg. K Vis-VegaRow 85 - Cell 2
87Andrea Garosio (Ita) D'Amico UtensilnordRow 86 - Cell 2
88Dario Puccioni (Ita) Sangemini-Mg. K Vis-VegaRow 87 - Cell 2
89Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 88 - Cell 2
90Andrea Bagioli (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 89 - Cell 2
91Robert Stannard (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 90 - Cell 2
DNFHector Carretero (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 91 - Cell 2
DNFCarlos Betancur (Col) Movistar TeamRow 92 - Cell 2
DNFWinner Anacona (Col) Movistar TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
DNFJosé Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 94 - Cell 2
DNFNans Peters (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 95 - Cell 2
DNFManuele Boaro (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 96 - Cell 2
DNFAntonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 97 - Cell 2
DNFKristijan Koren (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 98 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Albasini (Swi) Mitchelton-ScottRow 99 - Cell 2
DNFMiguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro TeamRow 100 - Cell 2
DNFNikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 101 - Cell 2
DNFTanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro TeamRow 102 - Cell 2
DNFWilliam Bonnet (Fra) FDJRow 103 - Cell 2
DNFJérémy Roy (Fra) FDJRow 104 - Cell 2
DNFLéo Vincent (Fra) FDJRow 105 - Cell 2
DNFPawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 106 - Cell 2
DNFMatteo Bono (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 107 - Cell 2
DNFBen Swift (GBr) UAE Team EmiratesRow 108 - Cell 2
DNFOliviero Troia (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 109 - Cell 2
DNFEugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 110 - Cell 2
DNFGregory Daniel (USA) Trek-SegafredoRow 111 - Cell 2
DNFLaurent Didier (Lux) Trek-SegafredoRow 112 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Gogl (Aut) Trek-SegafredoRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Matthews (Aus) Team SunwebRow 114 - Cell 2
DNFChristopher Hamilton (Aus) Team SunwebRow 115 - Cell 2
DNFLennard Kämna (Ger) Team SunwebRow 116 - Cell 2
DNFMichael Storer (Aus) Team SunwebRow 117 - Cell 2
DNFJai Hindley (Aus) Team SunwebRow 118 - Cell 2
DNFVictor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFDaniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 120 - Cell 2
DNFLuis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 121 - Cell 2
DNFSimon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 122 - Cell 2
DNFHugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 123 - Cell 2
DNFJoe Dombrowski (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 124 - Cell 2
DNFJosé Fernandes Neves (Por) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 125 - Cell 2
DNFCyrus Monk (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 126 - Cell 2
DNFStephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension DataRow 127 - Cell 2
DNFBen O'Connor (Aus) Dimension DataRow 128 - Cell 2
DNFMatteo Sobrero (Ita) Dimension DataRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFJohann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension DataRow 130 - Cell 2
DNFDanilo Celano (Ita) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 131 - Cell 2
DNFAlvaro Cuadros Morata (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 132 - Cell 2
DNFJustin Oien (USA) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 133 - Cell 2
DNFLuis Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 134 - Cell 2
DNFCristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 135 - Cell 2
DNFRuben Plaza (Spa) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 136 - Cell 2
DNFGuy Niv (Isr) Israel Cycling AcademyRow 137 - Cell 2
DNFGiovanni Carboni (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 138 - Cell 2
DNFAlessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSFRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFRoman Maikin (Rus) Gazprom-RusveloRow 140 - Cell 2
DNFEvgeny Kobernyak (Rus) Gazprom-RusveloRow 141 - Cell 2
DNFEvgeny Shalunov (Rus) Gazprom-RusveloRow 142 - Cell 2
DNFVladislav Kulikov (Rus) Gazprom-RusveloRow 143 - Cell 2
DNFAlexandr Kulikovskiy (Rus) Gazprom-RusveloRow 144 - Cell 2
DNFDavide Ballerini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 145 - Cell 2
DNFMarco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 146 - Cell 2
DNFAndrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-SidermecRow 147 - Cell 2
DNFSho Hatsuyama (Jpn) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa OviniRow 148 - Cell 2
DNFJoan Bou Company (Spa) Nippo-Vini Fantini-Europa OviniRow 149 - Cell 2
DNFMiguel Eduardo Florez Lopez (Col) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 150 - Cell 2
DNFNicholas Rinaldi (Ita) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 151 - Cell 2
DNFIlia Koshevoy (Blr) Wilier Triestina-Selle ItaliaRow 152 - Cell 2
DNFZahiri Abderrahim (Mar) Trevigiani Phonix-Hemus 1896Row 153 - Cell 2
DNFFabio Mazzucco (Ita) Trevigiani Phonix-Hemus 1896Row 154 - Cell 2
DNFManuel Peñalver Aniorte (Spa) Trevigiani Phonix-Hemus 1896Row 155 - Cell 2
DNFGerman Nicolas Tivani Perez (Arg) Trevigiani Phonix-Hemus 1896Row 156 - Cell 2
DNFFilippo Zana (Ita) Trevigiani Phonix-Hemus 1896Row 157 - Cell 2
DNFColin Chris Stüssi (Swi) Amore & Vita-ProdirRow 158 - Cell 2
DNFMarco Bernardinetti (Ita) Amore & Vita-ProdirRow 159 - Cell 2
DNFAntonio Zullo (Ita) Amore & Vita-ProdirRow 160 - Cell 2
DNFMichele Corradini (Ita) Amore & Vita-ProdirRow 161 - Cell 2
DNFNicola Gaffurini (Ita) Sangemini-Mg. K Vis-VegaRow 162 - Cell 2
DNFPaolo Totò (Ita) Sangemini-Mg. K Vis-VegaRow 163 - Cell 2
DNFFrancesco Bettini (Ita) D'Amico UtensilnordRow 164 - Cell 2
DNFEttore Carlini (Ita) D'Amico UtensilnordRow 165 - Cell 2
DNFEmanuele Onesti (Ita) D'Amico UtensilnordRow 166 - Cell 2
DNSLuca Colnaghi (Ita) Sangemini-Mg. K Vis-VegaRow 167 - Cell 2

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