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Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) took a second win in three days at the Tre Valli Varesine on Tuesday. The Slovenian accelerated out of a lead group in the final 300 meters in a devastating turn of speed, backing up his win at Giro dell’Emilia on Sunday.
The end of the Italian race was mired in controversy as a race moto led a powerful group the wrong way at a roundabout with 15km to go as they chased down sole attacker Luis León Sánchez’s (Astana).
With the group taken out of contention having lost valuable seconds at the diversion, the peloton was able to claw back Sanchez in the final kilometer, leaving Roglic to power to the line alone after several short-lived attacks.
“In the end I was lucky that the leading group took the wrong turn, otherwise I would not have been able to win,” admitted Roglic after the race.
The group that was diverted off-course included threats such as Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida), Mike Woods (EF Education First), Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Dan Martin (UAE Emirates). With just 15km to go and a 40-second advantage over the peloton, the attackers had a strong chance of catching Sanchez, holding off the bunch, and contesting the victory.
Teams and riders involved in the error were mixed in their reaction. Movistar voiced their anger in a press release, describing the incident as “unacceptable,” while Bora-Hangrohe Sports Director Jens Zemke came across as disappointed.
“When a race is run over different laps on the same course, the chance of a mishap increases, like we saw today. It’s a shame that it happened like this.”
Several of the riders in the break were able to make light of it however, with Nibali wryly commenting, “let’s say we did an extra loop down to the lake,” while Mike Woods joked about it after the race on Twitter:
— Michael Woods (@rusty_woods) October 8, 2019
As if the finale of the race wasn’t chaotic enough with the group being steered off course, Sanchez, then leading the race, went very close to crashing into the back of a race moto with 10km to go. He was forced to bunny hop street furniture and veer across the road as the moto pulled out to overtake an official’s car.
— Peter SagFan (@Peter_SagFan) October 8, 2019
Though Sanchez was able to escape the incident unscathed, his solo move was caught by the now-fractured peloton with just one kilometer to go. After a flurry of attacks failed to stick, it was Roglic who made it count with an unmatchable acceleration to take his second win in three days.
Giovanni Visconti (Neri-Sottoli) came second and Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) came third.
Having had a breakout season with wins at the UAE Tour, Tirreno Adriatico and Tour of Romandie and his first grand tour victory at the Vuelta a Espana, Roglic now turns his attention to Il Lombardia this weekend.
After his win at Giro dell’Emilia on Sunday and with the Vuelta title under his belt, the Slovenian heads into the final monument of the year with confidence and form.
“This is a great season for me and the team and we hope to take our form into the Giro di Lombardia,” he commented after the race on Tuesday.