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“Today I passed close to my home in an area where I normally train and the uphill finish is also where I often stay for the altitude. For me it was important to make a good performance today."

Photo: Trek Factory Racing






29.05.2015 @ 22:16 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After nearly three weeks of hard-hitting racing, stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia offered up 236 kilometers and 4,800 meters (15,700 feet) of climbing covered almost entirely over the last 100 kilometers in three successive mountain ascents. 


In one word: agony.


For most of Trek Factory Racing, who are patiently waiting Sunday’s flat stage where they will have their biggest battle in the Giro, today was simply about persevering. But for Fabio Felline, today he had a little extra motivation to ride a bit harder:


“Today I passed close to my home in an area where I normally train and the uphill finish is also where I often stay for the altitude. For me it was important to make a good performance today, and see where my body may take me. In the end, it was for nothing, and maybe for others it made no sense, but yesterday I decided I would now make a decision day by day. Maybe tomorrow the breakaway may go and have the possibility to arrive at the finish, I don’t know, but so many times I don’t take a decision and wait and wait, and I don’t have anything. So today I decided to take a chance to pull.”


Felline put on a gutsy show to hang with the maglia rosa group over the first two punishing mountain climbs, finally losing contact on the third with around nine kilometers to go when the inevitable attacks erupted.  As the strongest climbers separated from the rest, Felline fell off the pace but still managed to cross the line in 18th place (+5’14”).


Meanwhile, the rest of TFR pedaled in the grupetto far behind. All survived the brutal stage with the final stage on Sunday providing extra motivation – a day where they will rally one last concerted and huge effort toward winning both the maglia rossa and the stage.


Director Josu Larrazabal summed up the team’s strategy in today’s tough mountain stage:


“We wanted to try and put Felline in the right breakaway since he has showed he is strong enough in the climbs in the last week to be competitive. The rest of the team was looking ahead to Sunday for Giacomo and fighting for the red jersey.


“It was not was easy to find the breakaway again, it was a big fight and after one hour at 50km/h nine strong guys went away and then they had to fight with the peloton for 10-15kms before they could go. In the end Astana pulled and it all came back.


“For us Felline did really well, he was with the first group to the last kilometers with the strongest guys of the Giro, so once again we can see his level and his performance. And the rest arrived with the grupetto. They had an easier time to make the time limit today since the climbs were all together in the last part of the stage. Now we look for tomorrow.”



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