Rigoberto Uran attempted to lead out EF-Drapac teammate Michael Woods for the sprint in Tuesday’s Tre Valli Varesine in Varese, Italy, but it was Toms Skujiņš (Latvia/Trek-Segafredo) who won out of a group of seven. Woods came fourth, his second fourth place in an Italian Autumn Classic in four days. EF-Drapac’s Canadian is still riding a wave that began with an emotional stage win in the Vuelta a España and continued through was third in the World Championships road race eleven days ago.
— Michael Woods (@rusty_woods) October 9, 2018
Woods, Uran and Thibaut Pinot–Wednesday’s Milano-Torino winner, second in Tre Valli Varesine and fifth in the Giro dell’Emilia–are in good form heading into Saturday’s final WorldTour one-day race and last Monument of the season, Il Lombardia, also known as the Race of the Falling Leaves. Uran, the runner-up four days ago in the Giro dell’Emilia, has been third in Il Lombardia twice and Pinot third once, and Woods’ only participation in the race in 2016 saw him place 31st.
Reigning champion Vincenzo Nibali still hasn’t recovered from his Tour de France injuries, and 2017 runner-up Julian Alaphillipe is too tired–could Uran, Woods and Pinot’s greatest challenger be recently-back-from-suspension Gianni Moscon?
Don’t discount two-time runner-up and rainbow jersey clad Alejandro Valverde, who was fifteen on Tuesday at Tre Valli Varesine.
Other riders in with a shout are Enric Mas (Spain/Quick Step), Steven Kruijswijk (The Netherlands/LottoNL-Jumbo) and Tim Wellens (Belgium/Lotto-Soudal), who plans to bikepack back to Belgium with Thomas De Gendt after the Race of the Falling Leaves.
Hugo Houle is slated to race Il Lombardia for Astana, his first contest after the Worlds. For the previous three seasons, Houle’s year had ended with the Worlds.
Uran, the reigning Milano-Torino champion, and Woods, second place in the 2016 Milano-Torino, both skipped Wednesday’s 97th edition of the race to rest for Saturday.