De Marchi wins Tre Valli Varesine

Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation) claimed victory at the 2021 Tre Valli Varesine, outsprinting Davide Formolo (UAE Team Emirates) in a two-up sprint in Varese. 

Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar made it two UAE Team Emirates riders on the podium, taking the sprint from a strong chase group half a minute behind the leading duo.

It was Pogačar who had made this wet edition of the autumn Italian one-day race an open and aggressive affair, attacking some 120km to the finish to bridge to the day’s breakaway. He was soon joined by a group containing Formolo but lost contact due to a puncture inside the final 50km and had to ride defensively as his teammate carried the torch.

By that point, De Marchi had already reached the front of the race in a separate counter-attack that went on the Montello climb, which was crested 10 times on the 12.5km Varese circuit that was used for the 2008 World Championships. 

The race then moved onto the 20km finishing circuit, featuring the Morsolo and Casciago climbs back-to-back, where De Marchi and Formolo found themselves in a six-man lead group, with Andreas Kron (Lotto Soudal), Aurelien Paret-Peintre (AG2R Citroën), Lorenzo Rota (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar). They stuck together on the first of two laps as accelerations came and went in the reduced bunch behind, but then the pair forced the issue on the last lap. 

Formolo went solo on the downhill before De Marchi attacked on the climbs. He drew out Formolo on the Morsolo and then did the same on the Casciago, at which point they broke the elastic. 

The pair then combined to keep the chasers at 30 seconds on the downhill before tackling the gradual 3km climb to the finishing straight. Both riders attacked each other in the final 2km but they couldn’t be separated and it was settled in a sprint. 

Formolo went on the left, De Marchi on the right and it was the latter who had enough left in the tank to nudge in front and claim his second Italian Classic after winning the Giro dell’Emilia three years ago.

How it unfolded

It was a fast start to proceedings, with no breakaway forming until 20km were covered. Erik Fetter (EOLO-Kometa) and Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal) were the first two to break free, and they were soon joined by the counter-attacking duo of Giulio Masotto (Vini Zabù) and Robin Plamondon (Israel Start-Up Nation). 

They came together as a quartet after 25 kilometres and built a lead of 3:30, but it never grew any further than that. 

The entry to the short Varese circuit based on the Montello climb (1.7km at 5.5 per cent) came after 40km, and the first couple of laps passed quietly as the rain started to fall. 

However, on the fourth ascent, with 120km still remaining, Pogačar tore up the script, attacking and going clear with Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal). The pair made it to the breakaway, which remained as a quartet as Plamodon and Masotto were dropped. 

As the gap reached 40 seconds, Formolo jumped on board a counter-attack on the following lap, along with Rota, Oliveira, and Rigoberto Urán (EF Education-Nippo). They made it across to the front of the race with 100km still remaining, with the group soon counting six as Holmes and Fetter fell away.

Vincenzo Nibali launched a futile attack before his Trek-Segafredo team set about limiting the damage, reducing the gap to 30 seconds by the end of lap seven. 

On the next ascent of the Montello with 60km to go, Formolo launched an attack, which saw Wellens dropped, while De Marchi attacked from the peloton with Kron and Paret-Peintre. By the end of the final lap of the short circuit, the De Marchi trio joined forces with the front group, but the dynamic then changed en route to the longer finishing circuit as Pogačar punctured and was forced back to the peloton. 

On the twin ascents of the Morsolo and Casciago, separated by a short descent, Kron attacked up front while the bunch split into pieces behind. Pogačar reacted to a move from Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies), before Alexander Vlasov (Astana-PremierTech) reduced the group with a big acceleration. 

As Kron was brought back, the next phase of action happened on the Montello, which was also part of the longer loop. Higuita launched an attack over the top and linked up with Urán, who dropped from the lead group. Together they chased, and nearly came unstuck on the wet descent, but they couldn’t get clear and the gap to the lead group grew out past 35 seconds again. 

On the subsequent descent, Formolo attacked and got a gap but was soon rejoined by De Marchi, Kron, Rota, Oliveira, and Paret-Peintre for the final ascents of Morsolo and Casciago. De Marchi was the aggressor on both climbs, Formolo being the one to respond on both occasions. On the second climb, they were away. 

Further down the road, Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R Citroën) attacked and was joined by Pogačar, before David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), Higuita, and Marc Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates) got across. They reached the Rota/Kron/Oliveira/Paret-Peintre group to form a larger chase group, but De Marchi and Formolo combined on the flat and descent to keep them at bay. 

With 3.5km to go, the road kicked up again, and with 1.7km to go Formolo made the first bid for glory. It wasn’t convincing, though, and De Marchi sensed an opportunity to counter, but couldn’t go clear. 

When he tried again a few hundred metres later, Formolo launched an instant counter-attack of his own, but De Marchi swiftly responded. The pair then decided to settle it in a sprint, with Formolo leading into the home straight, only for De Marchi to ease past on the right and punch the air in delight.

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Full results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation 4:47:04
2Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
3Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:38
4Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
5Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal
6Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo
7Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
9Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
10Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
11Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team
12Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 0:00:42
13Marc Hirschi (Swi) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:49
14Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
15Clément Berthet (Fra) Delko
16Jhonatan Restrepo Valencia (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
17Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
18Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies
19Simone Ravanelli (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
20Mattia Bais (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec 0:01:30
21Lorenzo Fortunato (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
22Vincenzo Albanese (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
23Davide Villella (Ita) Movistar Team 0:01:44
24Maxime Bouet (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:02:19
25Sean Bennett (USA) Qhubeka NextHash
26Kevin Colleoni (Ita) Team BikeExchange 0:03:04
27Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:03:15
28Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo 0:04:27
29Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Vini Zabu' Brado KTM 0:07:44
30Ben Swift (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
31Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo 0:08:46
32Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
33Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
34Filippo Magli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
35Antonio Angulo Sampedro (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
36Luca Chirico (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
37Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Israel Start-up Nation 0:08:49
38Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis
39Attila Valter (Hun) Groupama-FDJ
40Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R Citroën Team
41Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFAlejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFJosé Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFMatthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFJan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFMikaël Cherel (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
DNSBen Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-up Nation
DNFDario Cataldo (Ita) Movistar Team
DNFFrancesco Gavazzi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
DNFSimon Geschke (Ger) Cofidis
DNFTanel Kangert (Est) Team BikeExchange
DNFAnthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNFTomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal
DNFBrent Bookwalter (USA) Team BikeExchange
DNFMarco Frapporti (Ita) Vini Zabu' Brado KTM
DNFAlexis Vuillermoz (Fra) TotalEnergies
DNFCesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFRafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates
DNFMikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Team BikeExchange
DNFEnrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
DNFDiego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
DNFBauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
DNFDavide Appollonio (Ita) Amore e Vita
DNFRichie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFGianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
DNFAnthony Delaplace (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
DNFFabio Felline (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
DNFLarry Warbasse (USA) AG2R Citroën Team
DNFAlexandre Geniez (Fra) TotalEnergies
DNFWinner Anacona (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
DNFMark Christian (GBr) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
DNFEduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
DNFRuben Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis
DNFDamien Howson (Aus) Team BikeExchange
DNSSébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
DNFPatrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFVictor de la Parte (Spa) TotalEnergies
DNFValerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
DNFAlessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
DNFMikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNFBen Zwiehoff (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFDavide Gabburo (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
DNSJosip Rumac (Cro) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
DNFDavide Orrico (Ita) Vini Zabu' Brado KTM
DNFMatthew Holmes (GBr) Lotto Soudal
DNFEmanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFElie Gesbert (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
DNFSebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFDaniel Pearson (GBr) Vini Zabu' Brado KTM
DNFCristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) TotalEnergies
DNFMikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNFNeilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo
DNFRiccardo Stacchiotti (Ita) Vini Zabu' Brado KTM
DNFSimone Petilli (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFMatteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFOmer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
DNSPaolo Totò (Ita) Amore e Vita
DNFRodrigo Contreras Pinzon (Col) Astana-Premier Tech
DNFKévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ
DNFDayer Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
DNFAntonio Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
DNFJaakko Hänninen (Fin) AG2R Citroën Team
DNFSergio Roman Martin Galan (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFAmanuel Gehbreigzabhier (Eri) Trek-Segafredo
DNFEdward Ravasi (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
DNFOrluis Alberto Aular Sanabria (Ven) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFAleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
DNFMichel Ries (Lux) Trek-Segafredo
DNFMarco Tizza (Ita) Amore e Vita
DNFMatteo Sobrero (Ita) Astana-Premier Tech
DNFJulen Amezqueta Moreno (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFWilliam Barta (USA) EF Education-Nippo
DNFEthan Hayter (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFFilippo Fiorelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
DNFJokin Aranburu Arruti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNFGeorg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFMiguel Eduardo Florez Lopez (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
DNFDaniel Muñoz Giraldo (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec
DNFDylan Sunderland (Aus) Qhubeka NextHash
DNFPaul Ourselin (Fra) TotalEnergies
DNFVladislav Zubar (Ukr) Amore e Vita
DNFEmil Vinjebo (Den) Qhubeka NextHash
DNFVictor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis
DNFGonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFMatteo Badilatti (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
DNFDaniel Savini (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
DNFJoan Bou Company (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNFRobert Stannard (Aus) Team BikeExchange
DNFFilippo Conca (Ita) Lotto Soudal
DNFStefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal
DNFDavide Bais (Ita) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
DNFSamuele Zoccarato (Ita) Bardiani CSF Faizane'
DNFYannis Voisard (Swi) Swiss Racing Academy
DNFTxomin Juaristi Arrieta (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNFThomas Champion (Fra) Cofidis
DNFUnai Iribar Jauregi (Spa) Euskaaltel-Euskadi
DNFAntonio Puppio (Ita) Team Qhubeka
DNFGiacomo Cassarà (Ita) Amore E Vita
DNFGiulio Masotto (Ita) Zalf Euromobil Fior
DNFStijn Daemen (Ned) Abloc CT
DNFRiccardo Tosin (Ita) General Store-f.lli Curia-Essegibi
DNFHéctor Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFOier Lazkano Lopez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFAlan Jousseaume (Fra) TotalEnergies
DNFIvan Ramiro Sosa Cuervo (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFErik Fetter (Hun) Eolo-Kometa Cycling Team
DNFMason Hollyman (GBr) Israel Cycling Academy
DNFThéo Delacroix (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFAntonio Tiberi (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
DNFMattia Benedetti (Ita) Amore E Vita
DNFKarel Vacek (Cze) Qhubeka NextHash
DNFJhojan Garcia Susa (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFFrederik Wandahl (Den) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNFPablo Garcia Frances (Spa) Caja rural-Seguros RGA
DNFAlex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
DNFJosu Etxeberria Azpilikueta (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFJames Whelan (Aus) EF Education-Nippo
DNFHugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo
DNFJames Piccoli (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
DNFLucas Plapp (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers
DNFRobin Plamondon (Can) Israel Cycling Academy
DNFBiniam Girmay (Eri) Delko
DNFHugo Toumire (Fra) Cofidis
DNFNicholas Schultz (Aus) Team BikeExchange
DNFAndreas Stokbro (Den) Qhubeka NextHash
DNSJavier Romo Oliver (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech

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