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“The race was very hard, I tried to go in the breakaway many times, and I had a lot of support from Giacomo, but the breakaway went after my last attack."

Photo: Sirotti

FABIO FELLINE

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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TREK - SEGAFREDO

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17.05.2015 @ 18:43 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

From the moment the flag dropped the race was on in the 215-kilometer ninth day at the Giro d’Italia, and the medium-mountain stage turned into a grueling, long day in the saddle.

 

Many riders smelled the opportunity for a breakaway to ride to the end, and the attacks began in earnest over the prominently uphill terrain that started the stage. 

 

The first hour was raced at a blistering 44km/h, and it was felt: the peloton split numerous times as breaks formed only to be fervently chased back.

 

The elastic finally snapped when 11 riders went clear after some 52 kilometers had been pedaled.  With the day’s breakaway settled, the peloton resumed a more humanely pace behind, and as the kilometers ticked away it was evident the breakaway would indeed triumph.

Fabio Felline again confirmed his superior form today.

 

Fabio Felline explained his day: “The race was very hard, I tried to go in the breakaway many times, and I had a lot of support from Giacomo, but the breakaway went after my last attack.  The race was very, very fast; I had a small crisis in the steep climb, I was dropped, then I tried to restart my head and then I had a puncture! In the finale I have to give a big thanks to Giacomo [Nizzolo] and [Eugenio] Alafaci because they gave me a lot of mental support. For me it was a good race, it was very hard and a lot of times I was thinking,’ okay now I stop’, but then in the end I finished in the second group with a lot of climbers.  I think that I gave the maximum. Now I am happy for the rest day.”

 

Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) proved best of the breakaway and claimed the stage honors, while the four strongest GC rivals – Alberto Contador, Fabio Aru, Richie Porte and Mikel Landa – once again separated themselves on the last climb to ride in behind the breakaway and some 45 seconds ahead of the peloton.

 

Fabio Felline arrived with the skeleton peloton that sprinted for 14th place, finishing up in 18th for the tough day. The rest of the team successfully crossed the line, welcoming the first race day that arrives tomorrow.

 

 

Trek Factory Racing director Adriano Baffi summed up the day, and the first part of the Giro:

 

“We knew that it was a hard stage.  At the end I can be a bit disappointed because the breakaway went clear, and we missed an opportunity. Honestly, Felline and Kristof [Vandewalle] where the only ones who could make that break. And nothing to be said for the finale – it was a big match again between the big GC leaders and the breakaway was gone….”

 

“Fabio arrived with the group of Uran, and he did a good job again confirming his good condition. Giacomo was really good today…unlucky for us we have 3 or 4 guys in this type of parcours that had a lot of difficulty today. Honestly, the Giro until now has been really hard, even the two sprint stages were up and down and really hard, but we need to keep our confidence because we still have some stages for us until the next rest day.”

 

 

Giacomo Nizzolo had a good ride in today’s tough test, arriving quietly in 104th place after showing good form all day, hopefully a good omen ahead of a few more targeted stages to come:

 

“I was only dropped in the last 10-15kms today, and many, many sprinters were dropped very early,” said a satisfied Nizzolo. “Tomorrow we will try and rest as much as we can, and yes then Tuesday we will go for the sprint again. I hope that after the rest day that the legs will be okay.”

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