Late attacks by Power thwarted at the last in Tre Valli VaresineTue 9 Oct 2018
2018 Klasika Ordiaziako winner Rob Power animated the closing kilometres at the 98thedition of Tre Valli Varesine in Italy today, riding aggressively as Mitchelton-SCOTT tried to take the initiative in their ‘home’ race.
The addition of two new challenging finishing circuits set the tone in Varese with all the action coming over the closing 30kilometres and Power the instigator of repeated attacks that shut down the initial breakaway and sparked a fresh move that came close to making it.
After what initially what looked to be a disorganised chase started to gather momentum over the final climb, the effort from Power began to take its toll and despite his determination was caught by consecutive attacks coming from behind and carrying on into the last five kilometres.
Tom Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) sprinted to victory from a small group with Carlos Verona first over the line for Mitchelton-SCOTT.
Five riders took the initiative early on out of Saronno, going clear of the peloton and eventually gaining eight minutes before the bunch started to take notice going into the six circuits around Varese.
In a change to the classic laps, two longer circuits had been added to the race, each covering 21kilometres and including the short, but steep Morosolo climb and the more forgiving Casciago and with 50kilometres to go fresh attacks changed the complexion of the front of the race.
A group of fourteen formed at the font with only a handful of seconds on the bunch and Lucas Hamilton setting the tempo of the chase along with representatives of Movistar and EF-Education-First.
The gap fluctuated between 20-40seconds over the penultimate lap before an acceleration form Verona brought things back together with Power next up at the front and part of a dangerous move going into the last lap.
Power's group swelled to eight riders and the 23-year-old became one of the main protagonists, driving the group on until they were caught the last time over the Morosolo by a charge lead by EF-Education-First and Rigoberto Uran.
Uran’s attacks formed another lead group who managed to hold off the chasing pack of World Champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) to contest the win with Skujins taking the win from a heavily reduced bunch sprint.
Sport director Dave McPartland:
“It was a sold race throughout today and the peloton was riding quite aggressively even early on behind the initial breakaway. We kept a low profile within the bunch until it all came alive on the final two laps and we had Rob up there in a good position to try something.”
“Originally, we had intended to go with Matteo Trentin, but once we hit the Morosolo climb and the climbers came to the fore we knew it wouldn’t be a situation for him, so we gave Rob the green light.
“The race totally changed on those last laps and as the attacks started to come Rob got himself up to the front to have a crack and was looking good until close to the top of the final climb when he was caught.
“In hindsight it was probably a slight misjudgment to go when he did and maybe he should have waited and stayed within that group because two of the other riders that were up with hi went to the finish in what turned out to be the winning group. But it was a positive performance from the guys today ahead of Milano-Torino.”
Tre Valli Varersine results:
1. Tom Skujins (Trek-Segafreddo) 04:55:41
2. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) ST
3. Peter Kennaugh (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST
44. Carlos Verona (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:02
Photos courtesy of Getty images.