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“I was looking to see how I would go on the final climb as sometimes the race does not go so fast and so I have the possibility to try for a result. But it was a big battle and in the last two kilometers I was dropped."

Photo: Sirotti

FABIO FELLINE

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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TREK - SEGAFREDO

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13.05.2015 @ 19:45 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Everyone knew the 152-kilometer stage five was perfect for the right breakaway to succeed to the end, and when five men were finally granted freedom to ride they were generously gifted a hefty 10-minute lead all race.

 

The brakes were applied behind, the peloton slowed, and despite a parcours hosting the first mountain summit finish of the 2015 Giro d’Italia, most of the day was a tranquil affair.

 

While the five men pushed hard at the front, the peloton stretched its legs behind, taking a welcomed breather after yesterday’s animated stage.

 

 

But as the final 17-kilometer mountain summit neared the GC favorites began to elbow for position and the peloton’s pace increased. The gap quickly melted. When the road began its first serious kick upward, the lead to the five leaders halved. Would the breakaway be able to seal the win?

 

Trek Factory Racing went into stage five with realistic goals. They came into the Giro targeting stage wins and didn’t bring a pure climber for the overall classification. Although Fabio Felline is no slouch when the road tilts up, the stage five mountain finish proved too much. Felline was the first of the team to roll across the line in 46th place (+4’17”), with the others following a short while later.

 

“I was looking to see how I would go on the final climb as sometimes the race does not go so fast and so I have the possibility to try for a result. But it was a big battle and in the last two kilometers I was dropped.  Even though I didn’t get a result I had a good climb, and that was good for my confidence. Like everyday we will now see for the next appointment," Felline said.

 

In the battle for the overall classification, the mountain summit finish did not disappoint, giving a thrilling finish to the day.

 

The fireworks began with 13 kilometers remaining: the five leaders launched vicious attacks while behind the GC favorites eyed each other until they too burst into action in the final four kilometers. 

 

Jan Polanc (Lampre Merida) eventually shed the rest of his breakaway compatriots and set his sights on the finish, where he held off everyone to take his biggest professional victory.  

 

Behind, three of the pre-race favorites for the GC separated themselves from the rest as Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo), Richie Porte (Sky) and Fabio Aru (Astana) traded blows to the finish.  It was a boxing match to rival any, and although they were unable to detach from each other’s grip, it was the first indication that these three may be the ones standing on the final podium in just over two week’s time.

 

Tomorrow’s stage six is flat and expected to end in a sprint; with the relatively stress-free ride today, the team is fully charged and ready to fight again tomorrow with the fast legs of Giacomo Nizzolo leading the way.

 

TFR reactions:

Calvin Watson: “Today I was fine. Honestly, yesterday I hit the deck but I have no scratches. Unfortunately for Eugenio [Alafaci], I landed on him, and I think he took the brunt of the crash, but that happens when you always try and ride as a team because then when you crash, you crash as a team, too. I am happy to get through today, and I didn’t go over my limit so that was nice. Happy to fight through another day.”

 

Kristof Vandewalle: “It was quite an easy race because they let the breakaway go. I tried also in the beginning to go with, and it’s a pity that didn’t work out. There were a lot of attacks and I was a long time at the front to cover, but the moment it went I could not react because I didn’t have the space to go.  But okay, then we had a quiet day, and a hard climb at the end – I hung on for a while and then just rode it in.”

 

Eugenio Alafaci:  “It was a normal stage: the breakaway went, in the peloton we did a good tempo, and then we tried to put Fabio in the best position at the bottom of the climb.  When you climb in the grupetto it’s not that hard of a climb, but for sure in the front they were going hard.”

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