Former winner Albasini sprints to 10th place in this year’s Tre Valli Varesine

Tue 3 Oct 2017

2014 winner of Tre Valli Varesine, Michael Albasini, sprinted tenth place today for ORICA-SCOTT in this year’s edition of the one-day Italian race after four riders broke away to steal the victory in the closing stages of an action packed race.

After 77kilometres the race entered finishing circuits where Spaniard Carlos Verona bridged across to the original breakaway of the day before attacking once again and leading the race solo coming into the final 10kilometres.

Once Verona returned to the fast chasing reduced peloton, Albasini was in good position as the race strung out and more riders began to attack. In the end four riders challenged for the victory after Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) forced a move in the final kilometre but it was Alex Geniez (AG2R Mondale) who stole the win in a close photo finish.

“We had another good showing from the whole team again today,” explained sport director Dave McPartland. “Carlos Verona went across to the break and then had a great solo attack in the closing stages of the race which was what we wanted. The longer the breakaway stayed away the better it was for us and Albasini as there would be more control in the group.”

“Albasini has won this race before, but when you have guys like Nibali in really great form it’s normal that it is hard to follow.

"The first guy to attack on the final climb was Giovanni Visconti (Bahrain-Merida) and Alba had to choose someone to follow and he chose Visconti. Ultimately that's why he wasn’t then able to also follow Nibali’s move.

“It’s another top ten result for us and the guys are riding well in our run up to Lombardia on Saturday.”

How it happened:

The 192kilometre one-day race began in Saronno before heading towards Varese for the hilly finishing laps.

The day began with six riders quickly opening up a lead over the peloton, reaching a maximum advantage of nine minutes.

Team’s worked to control their distance and as the race entered the finishing circuits their advantage soon began to tumble. 

With four laps to go the original breakaway of six riders reduced down to just three due to the effort on the climbs and Verona was able to bridge across to the front along with two other riders, to make a leading group of six once again with 38kilometres to go.

The action continued with the front of the race continually changing, two more riders jumped out of the peloton and bridged across to the leading group but with the significantly reduced bunch close behind.

With 15kilometres to go, Verona attacked away from the six leading riders with the peloton hovering 40seconds a drift. 

The Spaniard worked hard to maintain a distance for almost one lap but with a fast chase behind, the six chasers and Verona where soon swallowed up with just nine kilometres remaining.

Swiss rider and former winner Albasini was immediately positioned towards the front of the strung out peloton and made a big effort to follow an attack by Visconti, however it was the later attack from Nibali and Pinot that proved to be the race winning move and ruined the chances for Albasini.

In the end the race victory was decided between four riders who held on to a small gap in the closing kilometre. ORICA-SCOTT are back in action on Thursday in Milan-Torino.

Tre Valli Varesine results:

1. Alex Geniez (AG2R Mondale) 4:49
2. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) ST
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) ST
10. Michael Albasini (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:18

Photo courtesy of TDWsport