Belgian Ilan Van Wilder (Soudal Quick Step) surprised the favorites with a long-range attack that allowed him to win the 102nd edition of the Three Valles Varesinos, the one-day Italian classic contested this Tuesday between Busto Arsizi and Varese with a route of 196.54 km .

Van Wilder (Jette, 23), the recent winner of the Tour of Germany, tossed his coin and it came up heads. An attack 8.8 km from the finish in Varese was enough to open a gap of a few seconds, which was enough to present himself as the winner at the finish.

The young Belgian runner reached the finish line with a time of 4 h 36 min 9 s, an average of 42.5 km/h, beating the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz (EF Education) by 13 seconds, and the main group with Primož Roglić by 15 seconds. Tadej Pogacar and Spaniards Ion Izagirre, Carlos Rodríguez and Enric Mas, three of the best eleven trials.

The surprising triumph of Van Wilder against the big registered names, among which Pogačar, the last winner, and Roglić stood out as candidates, but in the midst of the battle of the famous figures, the figure of the runner Soudal emerged, who took advantage of the confusion and lack of cooperation of the group that was chasing to get his added his third professional victory to his record.

The race of the Lombard triptych was marked by an escape of eight cyclists in which Gonzalo Serrano also participated, but the Spaniard from Movistar could not withstand the hunting pace that the peloton was carrying, which eventually spoiled the adventure 13 minutes from the finish line.

Battistella, Rochas, Busatto, Fetter and Calzoni tried to surprise the main team, but the main teams started from afar, especially Pogačar’s UAE and Roglic’s Jumbo. Finally, Kelderman (Jumbo) and Warguil (Arkea) were tasked with capturing adventurers on the climb to Morosolo.

From that moment on, the outcome accelerated. With less than one lap to go, the big names took the stage. Pogačar attacked 12 km from the finish line and made the final selection. In front were Roglić, Vlasov, Carapaz, Van Wilder and three Spanish representatives Enric Mas, Carlos Rodríguez and Ion Izagirre.

Constant climbs to Casbeno, Montello, Morosolo and Casciago made the Three Valleys of Varese a test of endurance. The forces were already exhausted when, 8.8 km from the finish line, Van Wilder started with faith and determination.

No one got out on their bike. Perhaps none of them gave that maneuver the importance it finally had. While the pursuers were marking themselves, Van Wilder disappeared and never returned. He knew how to fix the small difference so that his victory was inevitable. A reward for ambition, throwing out the biggest names in world cycling.

Van Wilder succeeded Slovenian Tadej Pogačar, winner in 2022, in the competition record. (D)