Tre Valli Varesine: Sbaragli takes a top 10 on classics style race

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Kristian Sbaragli Brabantse

Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani) won the Tre Valli Varesine from a small group sprint. 2nd place went to Diego Ullissi (Lampre-Merida) and Francesco Gavazzi (Androni) made it an all Italian affair on the podium by placing 3rd.

The 96th edition of the Tre Valli Varesine presented its usual tough parcours with a 70km loop before 9 tough city circuit laps of 12.8km each, around Varese. As has been the case with all the recent Italian one day races, an early break went clear but the city circuits was were the defining moves would take place. Today’s 3 attackers were caught with 50km to go by an already reduced peloton. Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka had Kristian Sbaragli, Omar Fraile, Serge Pauwels, Igor Anton and Kanstantsin Siutsou present for the definitive part of the race.

Attack after attack came from riders in the peloton but nothing was able to stick. A number of teams were trying to keep the race together for their fast finishing riders while the climbers had the opposite idea. Initially Omar Fraile, Igor Anton and Kanstantsin Siutsou were working to keep the race together for Sbaragli but when the Italian showed he had some great climbing legs, our African Team started participating in a few attacks to make the race harder.

It wasn’t until the final lap of 12km when a race winning selection formed. On the final circuit climb, Ulissi countered an attack from Fabio Aru and Gianluca Brambilla (Italian National), Colbrelli and Sbaragli followed. With just 2km to go, the quartet were hesitant to work together and another 15 riders were able to come back to them. Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac) was the next to surge ahead but he was caught just after passing the 1km to go banner and the road continually dragged upward. Sbaragli had clearly spent a lot of energy following the attacks on the climbs and so when it came to the sprint finale, he was missing that final kick. In the end Sbaragli could still muscle his way into 10th place, an impressive ride on a difficult course.

Kristian Sbaragli – Rider

The race today was super hard. It felt very similar to an Ardennes classic actually.  I was feeling good and at 5km to go when Ulissi and Brambilla attacked I was able to go with them. Unfortunately we looked at each other too much and a small group came across to us with 2km to go. I wanted to try something today and it didn’t work out in terms of getting the win but it was nice to try a different approach.