The 100th edition of Tre Valli Varesine takes place tomorrow. This edition is a slight bit different compared to the 2019 edition. They start the hilly circuit around Varesine earlier which means there is more climbing to be done. This edition roughly has 300 climbing meters more. This should suit the puncheurs more.
The two circuits.
The short circuit
They do this circuit eigth times (x12.9 km). It consists of two climbs. This is where most of the race is done. In 2019 they did this lap five times.
The Montello (1.9 km at 5.2%)
The Casbeno (2.5 km at 4.8%)
The long circuit
The long circuit is 24 km per lap and they do it twice. It consists of Montello ( 1.9 km at 5.2% ), Morosolo (1.6 km at 7.8%), Casciago (1.8 km at 5%) and the Casbeno as the finishing climb (2.5 km at 4.8%). As you can see, the Casbeno flattens 700 meters before the finish line.
*NB: KM from the finish line.
A day with mild temperatures and rain. The rain will be very heavy in the last two hours of racing.
How will the race pan out?
Normally, the big finale starts on the last two laps where we have eight climbs left. Tomorrow, I will be surprised if that does not happen. This year, compared to both 2018 and 2019, the riders will do the short lap eight times which in the end will make it a harder race. Therefore, I suspect it to be quite an elimination race. In 2019, we had a group of 20 riders getting to the line together. With the added laps it should be less tomorrow. If you also add the rain, it should be very, very selective.
UAE Team Emirates is the strongest team present. The big question is then, how do they want to race it? Most of their riders DNF’ed in Giro dell’Emilia which makes me wonder if they are in good shape at all. The way they should race it is quite simple. Make it as hard as possible on the last two laps with attacks to thin out the group and then play their man advantage. Pogacar, Ulissi, Covi and Formolo are all very good options and all four of them has been doing well in bad weather conditions this season. They are all quick in a sprint too.
EF does have a good team too. They have Powless, who is enjoying some of the best form of his life. They have Higuita, who is a very fast finisher and is known for being good in bad weather, and they have Guerreiro. The latter falls under the radar, but is always doing better whenever it is raining cats and dogs.
Ethan Hayter is a very hard man to beat on a course like this. He has done it pretty much throughout the entire season! I imagine INEOS will use all manpower to help Hayter. If any team brings him to the line, they will be beaten.
Aranburu‘s form is hard to write about. Nonetheless, he seems to be better in bad conditions. If he is not having the best of days, Felline could be a good choice for Astana.
Wellens – did somebody say pouring rain? Wellens has not had the most successful season but he normally starts to pick up some form in the Autumn races. The weather conditions suit him perfectly today.
Mollema is finding some form too ahead of his last goal of the season, Il Lombardia. After a 7th place at Giro dell’Emilia, he will only get better with each race that goes by. I think it is a bit too easy for his liking to win, but I think he will be in the front group at the end. Nibali has also been going well in Giro di Sicilia last week – do not write the old shark off.
De Marchi also seems to have found some form before this race with a good result at Giro dell’Emilia. He does not mind bad weather either. He would have to win solo, otherwise a top-10 result seems most likely.