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Italian narrowly holds off Sulzberger in sprint at the end of tough stage to take over the overall lead in Slovenian national tour

Photo: Sirotti






14.06.2013 @ 18:25 Posted by Simon Knudstrup

Fabio Felline (Androni-Giocattoli) proved that he has come out of the Giro in good condition as he won today's tough second stage of the Tour of Slovenia in a photo finish. He narrowly held off Wesley Sulzberger (Orica-GreenEdge) and moved into the overall lead in the process.


Fabio Felline almost took a stage win in the fourth stage of the Giro d'Italia but today made up for the defeat by winning the hard second stage of the Tour of Slovenia. While he would doubtlessly have preferred the win in his home grand tour, today's win proves that he has maintained much of his Giro condition.


The stage was a tough one with an early category 1 climb followed by two category 3 ascents in the final part of the race. Many riders apparently saw it as a good opportunity for a successful breakaway and so the race was off to an aggressive start.


At the 15km mark, 14 riders got clear but the group was too big to allow any leeway  and so it was all back together 10km later. Instead, Dalivier Ospina (Colombia) and Antonino Parrinello (Androni) were allowed to go clear and the dup quickly built up a gap of 5.40.


On the category 1 climb, Fabio Taborre and Francesco Failli (both Vini Fantini) started to chase in the peloton and at the top, the advantage had dropped to 3.30. Having finished the descent, the peloton once again slowed down and allowed the break to extend the gap back up to 4.30.


However, the lull did not last and the local Adria Mobil decided to set a furious pace. In a very short amount of time, they closed the gap and brought it all back together for the final two climbs.


On the first of those, the peloton split into pieces and only 30 riders remained in contention at the top. The Slovenians were in no mood to let up and they continued to apply the pressure on the day's final ascent.


Patrik Sinkewitz (Meridiana-Kamen) attacked hard on the steep slopes and managed to build up a solid gap on his chasers. Unfortunately, the German crashed on the descent and was picked up by a tiny 14-rider group that had emerged on the front.


Felline had survived the climb and when it came down to a sprint from that group, no one came around the fast Italian. In a photo finish, he beat Wesley Sulzberger while Darwin Atapuma (Colombia) finished 3rd.


With the win, Felline takes over the leader's jersey from Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEdge) who lost 3.04 in today's stage and he now takes a 15-second lead into tomorrow's queen stage. The stage finished atop a tough category 1 climb with an average gradient of almost 9% and is set to decide the overall winner of the race ahead of Sunday's plat stage.



1. Fabio Felline 4.22.52

2. Wesley Sulzberger

3. Darwin Atapuma

4. Enrico Barbin

5. Radoslav Rogina

6. Arthur Vanoverberghe

7. Jan Polanc

8. Tadej Valjavec

9. Jure Golcer

10. Tomaz Nose


General classification:

1. Fabio Felline 4.33.10

2. Arthur Vanoverberghe +0.15

3. Jan Polanc +0.17

4. Enrico Barbin +0.18

5. Jure Golcer +0.28

6. Tadej Valjavec

7. Patrik Sinkewitz +0.29

8. Wesley Sulzberger

9. Sebastian Langeveld

10. Tomaz Nose +0.33



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