Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo) racing with the Italian National team, soloed to the win in the 54th edition of Trofeo Laigueglia today. Felline launched the winning attack on the final climb and held off the chase for the last 10 kilometres, to take the win in his first race of the season.
“I am very happy,” Felline said. “This is an area where I trained a lot when I was young, and my parents and fan club were at the finish. It is never easy to win a professional race and to win here, in front of them, is very special.”
The 192.5-kilometer race ended with three laps of a finishing circuit that included a steep two-kilometre climb (10% average gradient) which whittled the peloton to a select group by the last lap. On the third and final ascent with 11 kilometres remaining, Felline accelerated and immediately opened a gap.
By the top of the two-kilometre climb he had 14 seconds, and in the run-in to the line he stretched it to 30 seconds enough giving him enough time to savour the victory.
“On the final climb I was waiting for someone to attack, but no one did so I decided to go,” explained Felline. “When I looked behind me, no one was on my wheel, and so I went à bloc.
“I knew that if I was à bloc then they would also be à bloc behind me. I was told I had 20 seconds when I arrived to the final flat kilometers. I think it was 30 seconds, or 25 at the finish, but it doesn’t matter; what matters is to get the win.
“It has been more than a year since I have won a race, and for me my goal for 2017 was to win again. To do it in my very first race gives me a lot of moral for the rest of the season.”
A small group arrived to contest the minor places 25 seconds later. Romain Hardy (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) and Mauro Finetto (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) rounded out the podium in second and third places respectively.