Fabio Felline found a home at Androni-Venezuela for 2012 following the collapse of the Geox-TMC squad at the end of last season, and the youngster is targeting Giro d’Italia stage success at his new team.
“A lot of teams offered me interesting possibilities, and I opted for the solution best adapted to me. I can really break through at Androni,” Felline told Tuttosport.
A promising all-rounder with a rapid finish, Felline had eyes on making an impact at Milan-San Remo, but was left disappointed when Androni-Venezuela failed to secure an invitation for La Classicissima.
“It’s a real pity, because it’s still the Classic of my dreams even if in the past couple of seasons, I’ve never had important results early on,” he said. “But it means that I’ll save energy to ride a great Giro d’Italia.”
Still only 21 years of age, Felline made his grand tour debut at the 2010 Tour de France, and is now set to take his Giro bow in May after Gianni Savio’s squad secured a wildcard berth. The precocious Felline is certainly not lacking in confidence.
“I want to win at least one stage,” he said. “There are lots of stages suited to me in the Giro, I’m a complete rider.”
Felline has also set himself the target of forcing his way into Paolo Bettini’s plans for the 2012 Olympics road race, even if he acknowledged that competition will be fierce for the five places on the Italian team.
“Getting a place is going to be really hard, but not impossible. The road race will take place on a circuit for complete riders,” he said. “In 2006, I did the torch relay for the Winter Olympics in Turin. I ran with the torch along the streets of Pinerolo and I realised the importance of the Olympics. And naturally, when I was running with the flame, I imagined myself on the podium with a medal around my neck.”
Eager to escape the cold winter of his native Turin, Felline is currently training over the border in France at Menton, where he is making the most of the rolling roads on the Côte d’Azur.
“There isn’t the same cold here and climbs like the Col d’Ezé and the Turbie give me the right motivation to start the season well,” he said. “I haven’t calculated how many kilometres I’ll have in my legs by Donoratico [GP Costa degli Etruschi on February 4], and I’m not interested in doing so. I go by the hours I put in, and not by how many kilometres I do.”