Team News – Win for Trek’s Felline


Trek Factory Racing’s Fabio Felline won his second race of the season and his first WorldTour event on stage 2’s Vuelta al Pais Vasco

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Team News – Win for Trek’s Felline


Fabio Felline knew yesterday’s sprint for the opening stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco was not his best, and today he easily made amends by winning the stage two bunch finish by a half a wheel over yesterday’s victor Michael Matthews (Orica GreenEdge).


It was Felline’s second victory of the season and his first ever in a WorldTour race.

“I did not wait for Matthews, today I started my sprint first,” Felline explained, still breathing hard from the effort. “I was in good position at the end and I was right to go early. Honestly though, I felt bad all day, but the team came to me and said, ‘Fabio, you are our leader, you can make a good sprint; just try, try.’ My morale went up, and then in the end I won. I have to thank them so much for believing in me when I didn’t. I am so happy.”

Fabio Felline never reached his best form last year, but has come into this season motivated and hungry to prove his worth. Early on he showed he made a big leap with numerous top 10 finishes, and it was only a matter of time before he landed the big one.

He won the second stage time trial and finished third overall in the Critérium International just over one week ago, but today Felline made his breakthrough victory.

“I know I have good legs and I came here with the intention to win a stage,” Felline added. “With 40k to go I had a puncture, but the team was there to help me. All day they trusted in me. It is thanks to my team that I won. This is a dream.”


How the race unfolded

There are no flat stages in the Tour of the Basque Country, but from the six stages featured in the WorldTour event, today’s 175.4-kilometer stage two was considered the “easiest” and most likely to end in a bunch sprint.

Five men disregarded this projection and journeyed ahead of the peloton in a bid to upset the normal state of affairs. So certain were teams to reel in the five escapees over the undulating terrain that the breakaway was granted a liberal 10-minute lead

Movistar again assumed the early work, but today Orica GreenEdge assisted the Spanish team in bringing everything back together for a bunch sprint.

Trek Factory Racing patiently waited, keeping the red-hot Felline quietly protected throughout the day. In the fight for position in the last kilometers the Italian weaseled himself into prime real estate, and in the last half-kilometer he was perfectly situated in third wheel.

“Here we don’t have a team to help in the sprints with a lead out or anything,” explicated Felline. “What the team did for me today was to support me, keep me safe, and really help with my morale. I managed the sprint myself by jumping in the wheels of the other teams.

“First I had the wheel of Kwiatkowski at the end, until the last roundabouts where I went right and jumped in the wheels of Orica GreenEdge. Out of the final roundabout I was in third position on the wheel of Matthews. I think at 200-250 meters I started my sprint – I didn’t wait, I jumped first.”

1. Fabio Felline, Trek Factory Racing 4:32:32
2. Michael Matthews, Orica GreenEdge
3. Tony Gallopin, Lotto Soudal
4. Michal Kwiatkowski, Etixx – Quick-Step
5. Philippe Gilbert, BMC Racing Team

61. Simon Yates, Orica GreenEdge
83. Hugh Carthy, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
1. Michael Matthews, Orica GreenEdge 8:29:39
2. Michal Kwiatkowski, Etixx – Quick-Step
3. Fabio Felline, Trek Factory Racing

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