Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) who had been due to line up at the Ardennes classics will be out of competition until the end of May after blood tests showed that he is still suffering from the parasitic infection toxoplasmosis. Felline was first diagnosed with the parasite last July during the Tour de France, and after a year that began with a lot of promise – including wins at the Trofeo Laigueglia and the Tour of Romandie prologue – he was forced to end his season early.
Trek-Segafredo Head physician, Gaetano Daniele said: “Fabio has not felt right this season, and under his persistence, we decided to do a new series of blood exams. They showed evidence that Fabio still has not completely recovered from the toxoplasmosis he suffered from last year. We took the advice of a couple of infectiologists, experts in this field, and will start a specific treatment that will last for six weeks and that will hopefully permit to eradicate this parasite once and for all.”
Since the start of the season, Felline has been experiencing fluctuating form: good days alternating with bad days on the bike that forced him to miss the cobbled classics, and now the Ardennes races. Felline showed his promise during his first proper classics campaign last year, including a fourth place at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.
Fabio Felline: “I am so frustrated and sad not to be able to take the start in the Ardennes Classics. Since I had to leave the Tour last year, I never found my level back that I had in the first part of the 2017 season. In the end, it seems that I have been struggling with this same, very stubborn parasite.
“I will be out of competition until the end of May. Unfortunately, it’s not the first time in my career that I have to fight back after setback, but I am motivated and will work hard to be back on my level as soon as possible and to come back even stronger than before.”