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"“But the moment when I started the sprint Richeze, who was the last man for Ulissi, went right and I had to slow down to get around him. When I restarted my sprint, I had lost the perfect moment."

Photo: Sirotti

FABIO FELLINE

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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TREK - SEGAFREDO

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15.05.2015 @ 20:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The longest race of this year’s Giro d’Italia at 264 kilometers, stage seven mimicked a tough Classic with an uphill ending to a very long day in the saddle.

 

Fabio Felline was the designated man for the tough finale, one that suited him better than Giacomo Nizzolo, and he had good position and good legs coming into the last 200 meters. But right when he was about to launch his final kick he was impeded by the final Lampre Merida lead-out man who eased and pulled right, slowing up Felline.

 

 

Although Felline managed to slip around the Lampre rider with just enough room to squeeze by the right-hand barriers, there was less than 100 meters to go and not enough real estate remaining to gain back the loss; Felline could manage no more than 7th place.

 

“I am not happy. When I started my sprint I was in good position, and I felt very good,”Felline explained. “But the moment when I started the sprint Richeze, who was the last man for Ulissi, went right and I had to slow down to get around him. When I restarted my sprint, I had lost the perfect moment. For me, today I felt the victory was close with my sensations. I don’t know if I was five, six…”

 

When he was told he was seventh he shook his head and said, “It was this.”

 

 

When a small group of four men, all from non-ProTeams, formed the day’s escape, there was little chance they would keep the peloton at bay:  BMC, Movistar and later Cannondale-Garmin all pitched in when the serious chasing began, and Trek Factory Racing also lent a few set of legs to help police the breakaway.

 

Marco Coledan and Kristof Vandewalle continued where Calvin Watson and Fabio Silvestre left off yesterday, aiding the pursuit of the four leaders to help set up the opportunity for Fabio Felline in the finale.

 

As the final hills drew close, the teams keen on the stage victory began to gather their troops at the front, including Trek Factory Racing, triggering an increase in pace and subsequent rapid decrease in the leaders’ gap.

 

Twenty kilometers from the end the break’s day was over as Tinkoff-Saxo forced a brisk pace up the long gradual finish climb, hurting many legs after seven hours of pedaling.

 

Orica GreenEdge grabbed the reins in the final two kilometers, but it was Lampre-Merida who led the way into the final 500 meters, abetting Diego Ulissi to the victory.

 

TFR.com caught up with director Adriano Baffi to gather his thoughts on the finale.

 

“When you have no victory we can always find something to say,” smiled Baffi. “Of course it’s difficult for Felline in the end when he is only one, but we knew he could still be there in the sprint. He was just unlucky that he chose the wrong way because in the moment when the Lampre rider went right after he finished his lead out, Felline was blocked.

 

“It’s another opportunity that he – and we – lost. The good thing is that he is in great shape and we still have 14 more stages; if he stays in this condition we still have more chances.

 

“As a sprinter you have to feel if you are too close, or in a wrong place,  but after 260 kilometers it’s not so easy. Today Ulissi, I believe, was unbeatable. I think that without being blocked Fabio may have finished 3 or 4.

 

“Tomorrow we have nothing to do, it’s not a rest for us of course, but we can sit back and wait for Sunday where hopefully Felline can have another try again.”

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