Davide Rebellin was among the strongest riders in the final 25 kilometers of the last build-up race for Il Lombardia, Tre Valli Varesine, proving good form ahead of the Italian monument.
One of the first riders to attack in a 198-kilometer race, was CCC Sprandi Polkowice cyclist – Christian Delle Stelle. After his first attempt he got caught, but eventually, with around 30 kilometers into to race, he found his way to a large, 16-man break. He was joined by another “rider in orange”, Łukasz Owsian and Dario Cataldo (Astana), Thibaut Pinot, Jeremy Roy (both FDJ), Eugenio Alafaci (Trek), Matteo Bono (Lampre-Merida), Tanner Putt (UnitedHealthcare), Alberto Nardin (Androni-Sidermec), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF), Jaco Venter (MTN-Qhubeka), Juan Pablo Valencia (Colombia), Pierpaolo De Negri (NIPPO-Fantini), Giovanni Pedretti, Lorenzo Rota (both Unieuro Wilier Trevigiani) and Nicola Gaffurini (MG.KVis Vega Norda).
The peloton was led by Southeast and RusVelo, teams which didn’t have their representatives in the escape. Thanks to their work the gap was never bigger than 1:30.
The escapees were aware that their group is too large to get a “green light” from the bunch. Some of them, including Łukasz Owsian, tried to pull away, but the power of the bunch was too strong and the leading group was reeled early, with 100 kilometers remaining.
After another series of attacks, which – among others – involved Adrian Honkisz, a two-man group was formed in the front. It included Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ) and Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani – CSF). The duo established the biggest gap of the day, at 2:45, but it wasn’t enough to defeat the bunch. They were brought back in with 25 kilometers to go and soon after, big favorites made their first move. Davide Rebellin accelerated and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and few other riders followed. 30-man peloton quickly responded, but the attackers could test their legs before decisive moment of the race.
Astana was pacing the group in the final 15 kilometers of racing and didn’t let anyone create too big of advantage. The only rider who was able to go clear was Andrea Fedi (Southeast), but he was pulled back with 4 kilometers to go. Moment later Nibali took off and didn’t look back. Rebellin tried to bridge the gap alongside Pinot, but the Astana rider was too powerful on that day. The duo had to let him go and came back to the chasing group.
Nibali crossed the line alone and conquered impressive victory. In the battle for the remaining two podium spots, Sergey Firsanov (RusVelo) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek) were the fastest and took 2nd and 3rd respectively. Davide Rebellin finished in 11th.