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“During the last climb we had 20 guys in front. We were catching Valverde and it was a good situation for me, but unfortunately in the last 15km a big group caught us, and in this group were the sprinters like Ponzi," Felline says

Photo: Trek Factory Racing






20.03.2014 @ 17:31 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Fabio Felline proved that he is ready to play a prominent role in the Trek team for Milan-Sanremo when he finished 6th in today's GP Nobili Rubinetterie. The Italian stayed with the best climbers on the main ascent and even though more riders managed to rejoin the group, it was a promising sign ahead of Sunday's big race.


The 187.5-kilometer Italian classic set between the lakes of lago d’Orta and lago Maggiore was the scene of Trek Factory Racing’s Bob Jungels’ first professional victory last year as he soloed from a small breakaway. This year, however, a 50-strong group galloped into the finish for a bunch sprint and Simone Ponzi (Neri Sottoli) claimed the win with Fabio Felline sprinting to sixth place.


The day started fast and no breakaway was able to form until 60 kilometers in, when five riders finally separated from the stubborn peloton. The quintet was held in check and by the first ascent of the Massino climb with still more than 50 kilometers to go Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) attacked, catching the breakaway, and four riders emerged over the top: Valverde and three of the orginal escapees.


Trek Factory Racing went to the front on the last of the two circuits, reducing the gap to the front four, and led a blistering pace into the final ascent of Massino. On the climb Valverde rid himself of his breakaway companions as behind a chase group formed that crested the top together, including Fabio Felline. However, with still over 20 flat kilometers to go to the finish the chasing groups merged behind, and Valverde was caught with under 10-kilometers remaining.


Ponzi won the ensuing sprint, with Christian Delle Stelle (Team Idea) and Fran Ventoso (Movistar) rounding out the podium.


“During the last climb we had 20 guys in front,” explained Fabio Felline, still wheezing from the sprint. “We were catching Valverde and it was a good situation for me, but unfortunately in the last 15km a big group caught us, and in this group were the sprinters like Ponzi. 


"The sprint is more a lottery, and in the end I did not keep good position. I am a bit disappointed; it would have been nice to pay back the team with a better result as they worked super hard for me today.”



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