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"We will see tomorrow and if I can confirm my 5th place it will be really good for me because this is the first time that I try to go for the GC.”

Photo: Sirotti

BENELUX TOUR

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FABIO FELLINE

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TREK - SEGAFREDO

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NEWS
15.08.2015 @ 23:27 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

As expected Saturday’s stage six, the toughest and longest of the Eneco Tour at 208.6 kilometers, carved out the strongest riders and Fabio Felline proved his form and confirmed his talent by finishing eighth on the day to move into fifth place in the overall classification.

 

“Today was a really hard day and all week long we had talked and looked to these last days as being really important for the GC,” said Felline. “Also yesterday was a crazy day in the last 20 kilometers with all the rain and small roads, so today before the race started I told myself to only think about giving the maximum because I know my condition is good and then we will see what happens.

 

“The finale was not easy to manage because it was a big war between the top riders. I gave everything and 8th was my best and I am very happy with it. I didn’t want the situation I have had many times where I make a mistake and finish in second place – but today I gave my maximum and I could not do more. We will see tomorrow and if I can confirm my 5th place it will be really good for me because this is the first time that I try to go for the GC.”

 

When the hammer came down with still 50 kilometers to go the race exploded. BMC threw everything they had at their opponents, using a tag team effort between Philippe Gilbert and Greg van Avermaet - who attacked relentlessly - but the strongest legs in the end were those of Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) who soloed to an impressive win as rain pounded down in the finale for the second straight day.

 

“As expected it was the queen stage today,” explained director Dirk Demol. “We knew it was going to be hard, and then with the rain again in the finale, and the temperature was lower than the days before. But Tim Wellens I have to say chapeau for him because he was super strong and for him to repeat what he did last year after having a difficult Tour de France – chapeau!”

 

With Wellens up the road and gaining time quickly Van Avermaet attacked and set off in pursuit, but was never able to close the gap. Van Avermaet crossed the line 49 seconds later for second place, as Fabio Felline arrived with a small group 1 minute and 13 seconds later and sprinted to eighth.

 

 

Demol continued: “I was trying to guide Fabio in the finale, and he did well he moved up to fifth. Now we will try and finish high as possible again tomorrow, of course, but I am already happy with what he has done.

 

“He was strong and the only thing that would have been better is to have an extra teammate with him. Jasper [Stuyven] did a lot for him deep into the race, but to have one more with him in the last lap would have been perfect. It’s difficult because you have two from BMC, two from Lotto-Soudal, three from Tinkoff-Saxo, and then you have to gamble a little bit. I told him to stay calm and pay attention to the moves with bigger groups and pay attention to who is fresh and looks good. But really if you are alone it’s difficult when the attacks are coming one after another. But I repeat: he did a great job today and had the best possible support of the team, especially Jasper.

 

“I think that I managed well,” Felline agreed. “Dirk [Demol] gave me perfect info in the radio. And the team in the first part gave me the support to stay calm – bottles, jackets and taking me to the front.”

 

Tim Wellens grabbed the white leaders jersey with a commanding 1 minute and 3-second lead over Van Avermaet as former race leader Wilco Kelderman (LottoNL-Jumbo) slipped to third (+1’17”).

 

Fabio Felline jumped from 11th to 5th (+1’48”) in the leaderboard just behind Philippe Gilbert (BMC) who rests in 4th (+1’40”).

 

The Eneco Tour ends Sunday with one more tough stage that mimics a mini Tour of Flanders with enough infamous hellingen and an uphill finish to throw another curveball into the race. 

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