Alexandre Geniez (AG2R La Mondiale) won the Tre Valli Varesine, sprinting to the win ahead of Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida).
An early break of 6 riders animated the opening kilometers of the Tre Valli Varesine but the tough finishing circuit was always going to ensure that only the strongest riders remained for the business end of the race. With 3 laps to go our African Team was still represented by Kristian Sbaragli, Serge Pauwels, Steve Cummings and Amanuel Gebreigzabhier. Sbaragli and Pauwels the most attentive at the head of the peloton and ready to follow any dangerous moves.
The final three ascents of the circuit climb did some damage though and when Nibali attacked the reduced peloton with 2km to go, only Pinot, Geniez and Diego Ullissi (UAE Emirates) could respond. For our African Team, we were to come up empty handed with our best placed rider being Serge Pauwels in 32nd, 37 seconds down on the victors.
For our Italian, Sbaragli, the Tre Valli Varesine was his last race with our African Team. Sbaragli has been with us since the team turned professional in 2013 and he has been an incredible ambassador for Qhubeka and African cycling over the last 5 years. His 2015 Vuelta a Espana stage win and top 10 finishing consistency will be highlights that live in our team forever.
Kristian Sbaragli – Rider
Today was my last race of the year but more importantly it was my last race with the team. I tried to do my best and I was feeling quite good but the race was really hard and the climbers decided the final. I would like to say thank you to the team and to all the people I worked with in these nice 5 years. We had many good days together and even if I am changing teams in the future, I will always take the project that I have supported for the last 5 years, Qhubeka, with me. This team gave me the chance to turn pro and for this reason I will never forget what they have done for me. It was time for me to change teams now and that is just part of our sport.