Fabio Felline wins the Trofeo Laigueglia

Italian beats Hardy and Finetto with late solo attack

Fabio Felline, riding for the Italian national squad, produced a powerful attack on the final climb of the Trofeo Laigueglia to take his first win of 2017 in his first race of the season.

Romain Hardy (Fortuneo-Vital Concept) finished 25 seconds behind Felline, thinking he had won the early-season Italian race after rubbing shoulders with Mauro Finetto (Delko Marseille), who was third, as a small group of riders sprinted for the placings behind Felline.

Felline had just returned from an altitude training camp with Trek-Segafredo team leader Alberto Contador and was happy to finally land a win after a difficult 2016 season. He will race with Contador at the Ruta del Sol that begins on Wednesday.

Last spring Felline suffered serious injuries to his nose and face after crashing in the neutralised section of the Amstel Gold Race while touching the quick release lever of his front wheel. His career could have been compromised, but he worked hard to recover quickly. He rode well at the Vuelta a Espana but failed to land a stage victory.

"It was emotional to finish like that," he said. "I've been chasing a win since last year. I had a good end of season after my comeback but never managed to win.

"On the final climb I was waiting for someone to attack, but no one did so I decided to go. 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 kilometres. 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 hard day out and selective race

The Trofeo Laigueglia was created as the first race on the Italian calendar over 50 years ago. It has lost its prestige and importance in recent years but is now part of the revitalised Ciclismo Cup series in Italy and attracted a strong field due to the absence of the Tour of Qatar.

The hilly route along the rolling Ligurian coast and hills makes for a hard day out and selective race.

After a series of attacks, four riders got away after a fast opening 30km. Davide Orrico (Sangemini-MGKVis), Remy Di Gregorio (Delko Marseille Provence KTM), Antonio Di Sante (GM Europa Ovini) and Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport) were the four in the move and soon opened a three-minute gap, as Di Gregorio went on to win the climber's competition.

However, the peloton never let them get too far ahead, with FDJ and AG2R La Mondiale leading the chase for long spells. The four were eventually reeled in after 100km of freedom. The finishing circuit covered the Colli Micheri climb three times and inspired an attack from Mauro Finetto (Delko Marseille Provence KTM), Jan Polanc (UAE Abu Dhabi), Mattia Cattaneo (Androni Giocattoli), Alexandre Geniez (AG2R La Mondiale) and Quentin Pacher (Delko Marseille Provence KTM). It was a good move but they were also pulled back with 14km to go.

Soon after as the road twisted inland on the Colli Micheri climb, Felline made his move and quickly got a gap as others hesitated to commit. A group of 10 riders eventually formed to mount a chase but they were hesitant, and Felline's Italian teammate Matteo Trentin did his utmost to slow the chase and make sure the others knew he was ready to attack or sprint if Felline was pulled back.

Felline rarely looked back as he powered towards the finish. He made it over the Capo Mele climb that is covered in Milan-San Remo and then dived down to the finish in Laigueglia to celebrate alone.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Fabio Felline (Ita) Italy4:54:01 
2Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept0:00:25 
3Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
4Matteo Trentin (Ita) Italy  
5Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
6Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
7Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ  
8Matej Mohoric (Slo) Team UAE Abu Dhabi  
9Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
10Romain Combaud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:00:29 
11Marco Frapporti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:00:35 
12Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:19 
13Ivan Rovny (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo  
14Erwann Corbel (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
15Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie  
16Maxime Vantomme (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect  
17Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
18Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
19Jan Polanc (Slo) Team UAE Abu Dhabi0:01:46 
20Mikel Aristi (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:02:08 
21Kevyn Ista (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect0:02:22 
22Andrey Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team0:02:42 
23Nicola Bagioli (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
24Andrea Vendrame (Ita) Androni Giocattoli0:02:43 
25Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJ  
26Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie  
27Torres Rodolfo (Col) Androni Giocattoli0:02:54 
28Quentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:15 
29Iuri Filosi (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
30Sebastian Schönberger (Aut) Tirol Cycling Team  
31Ryan Anderson (Can) Direct Energie  
32Sébastien Delfosse (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect  
33Pier Paolo De Negri (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
34Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
35Pavel Brutt (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:03:41 
36Lawrence Naesen (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect0:04:29 
37Diego Ulissi (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi0:04:38 
38Paolo Totò (Ita) Sangemini - MG.Kvis  
39Valerio Conti (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi  
40Matti Breschel (Den) Astana Pro Team  
41Alex Kirsch (Lux) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect  
42Matteo Busato (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
43Marco Zamparella (Ita) Amore & Vita - Selle SMP p/b Fondriest  
44Remy Di Gregorio (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM0:08:02 
45Marco Bernardinetti (Ita) Amore & Vita - Selle SMP p/b Fondriest  
46Cristian Rodriguez (Spa) Wilier Triestina0:09:07 
47Edoardo Zardini (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
48Nicola Boem (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
49Antonio Parrinello (Ita) GM Europa Ovini  
50Michele Gazzara (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K Vis  
51Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale  
52Benjamin Perry (Can) Israel Cycling Academy0:10:12 
53Joonas Henttala (Fin) Team Novo Nordisk  
54Alex Turrin (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
55Ilia Koshevoy (Blr) Wilier Triestina  
56Nicloa Genovese (ita) D'Amico Utensilnord  
57Nicola Gaffurini (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K Vis  
58Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
59Davide Ballerini (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
60Ettore Carlini (Ita) D'Amico Utensilnord  
61Andrea Cacciotti (Ita) Unieuro Trevigiani - Hemus 1896  
62Julien El Fares (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
63Andrei Solomennikov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo  
64Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
65Antoine Warnier (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect  
66Fausto Masnada (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
67Brice Feillu (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
68Alessio Taliani (Ita) Androni Giocattoli  
69Cedric Pineau (Fra) FDJ  
70Enrico Barbin (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
71Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
72Justin Jules (Fra) WB Veranclassic Aquality Protect  
73Benoit Jarrier (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
74Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ  
75Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie  
76Luca Wackermann (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
77Davide Pacchiardo (Ita) GM Europa Ovini  
78Ivan Savitckii (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo0:11:38 
DNSHamish Schreurs (NZl) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFJulen Amezqueta (Spa) Wilier Triestina  
DNFYonder Godoy (Ven) Wilier Triestina  
DNFJacopo Mosca (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
DNFFilippo Pozzato (Ita) Wilier Triestina  
DNFJulien Duval (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFZhandos Bizhigitov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
DNFRiccardo Minali (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFMoreno Moser (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFRuslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
DNFDavide Cimolai (Ita) FDJ  
DNFMatthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ  
DNFLorenzo Manzin (Fra) FDJ  
DNFLéo Vincent (Fra) FDJ  
DNFKristijan Durasek (Cro) Team UAE Abu Dhabi  
DNFManuele Mori (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi  
DNFSimone Petilli (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi  
DNFEdward Ravasi (Ita) Team UAE Abu Dhabi  
DNFAlberto Bettiol (Ita) Italy  
DNFSeid Lizde (Ita) Italy  
DNFTommaso Fiaschi (Ita) Italy  
DNFMassimo Rosa (Ita) Italy  
DNFGiovanni Carboni (Ita) Italy  
DNFFrancesco Romano (Ita) Italy  
DNFIldar Arslanov (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo  
DNFArtem Nych (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo  
DNFAnton Vorobyev (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo  
DNFAydar Zakarin (Rus) Gazprom – Rusvelo  
DNFYannick Martinez (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM  
DNFMasakazu Ito (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
DNFMarino Kobayashi (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
DNFYuma Koishi (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
DNFHideto Nakane (Jpn) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
DNFRiccardo Stacchiotti (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini  
DNFMaxime Bouet (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
DNFArmindo Fonseca (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
DNFPierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
DNFKevin Ledanois (Fra) Fortuneo - Vital Concept  
DNFConor Dunne (Irl) Aqua Blue Sport  
DNFAaron Gate (NZl) Aqua Blue Sport  
DNFPeter Koning (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport  
DNFMichel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport  
DNFLars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Aqua Blue Sport  
DNFCalvin Watson (Aus) Aqua Blue Sport  
DNFLudwig De Winter (Bel) WB Veranclassic Aqua Protect  
DNFKrists Neilands (Lat) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFLuis Lemus (Mex) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFMihkel Räim (Est) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFRoy Goldstein (Isr) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFDaniel Turek (Cze) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFTyler Williams (USA) Israel Cycling Academy  
DNFFabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie  
DNFTony Hurel (Fra) Direct Energie  
DNFAlexandre Pichot (Fra) Direct Energie  
DNFThomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie  
DNFSimone Andreetta (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFAlessandro Tonelli (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFSimone Velasco (Ita) Bardiani CSF  
DNFAndrea Peron (Ita) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFRomain Gioux (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFBrian Kamstra (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFDavid Lozano (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFJavier Megias (Spa) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFCharles Planet (Fra) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFHendrikus Van Ijzendoorn (Ned) Team Novo Nordisk  
DNFZahiri Abderrahim (Mar) Unieuro Trevigiani - Hemus 1896  
DNFJoão Almeida (Por) Unieuro Trevigiani - Hemus 1896  
DNFStanimir Cholakov (Bul) Unieuro Trevigiani - Hemus 1896  
DNFMarco Molteni (Ita) Unieuro Trevigiani - Hemus 1896  
DNFSimone Ravanelli (Ita) Unieuro Trevigiani - Hemus 1896  
DNFSergio Vega Merodio (Spa) Unieuro Trevigiani - Hemus 1896  
DNFMattia Viel (Ita) Unieuro Trevigiani - Hemus 1896  
DNFDanilo Celano (Ita) Amore & Vita - Selle SMP p/b Fondriest  
DNFMikel Elorza Pagaldai (Spa) Amore & Vita - Selle SMP p/b Fondriest  
DNFPierpaolo Ficara (Ita) Amore & Vita - Selle SMP p/b Fondriest  
DNFRedi Halilaj (Alb) Amore & Vita - Selle SMP p/b Fondriest  
DNFDavid Galarreta Ugarte (Spa) Amore & Vita - Selle SMP p/b Fondriest  
DNFJosep Miralles Rigo (Spa) Amore & Vita - Selle SMP p/b Fondriest  
DNFAdriano Brogi (Ita) GM Europa Ovini  
DNFMarco Tizza (Ita) GM Europa Ovini  
DNFSebastian Lander (Den) GM Europa Ovini  
DNFMatteo Rotondi (Ita) GM Europa Ovini  
DNFAndrea Ruscetta (Ita) GM Europa Ovini  
DNFAntonio Di Sante (Ita) GM Europa Ovini  
DNFSimone Bernardini (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K Vis  
DNFAlessandro Marinozzi (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K Vis  
DNFDavide Orrico (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K Vis  
DNFNiccolo Salvetti (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K Vis  
DNFPaolo Pradndini (Ita) Sangemini - Mg. K Vis  
DNFBenjamin Brkic (Aut) Tirol Cycling Team  
DNFFilippo Fortin (Ita) Tirol Cycling Team  
DNFAlexander Wachter (Aut) Tirol Cycling Team  
DNFPatrick Gamper (Aut) Tirol Cycling Team  
DNFMatthias Krizek (Aut) Tirol Cycling Team  
DNFMaximilian Kuen (Aut) Tirol Cycling Team  
DNFEnrico Salvador (Ita) Tirol Cycling Team  
DNFSamuele Simoncini (Fra) D'Amico Utensilnord  
DNFMarcello Merlino (Fra) D'Amico Utensilnord  
DNFFrancisco Petrini (Fra) D'Amico Utensilnord  
DNFAngelo Raffaele (Fra) D'Amico Utensilnord  
DNFNicolas Samparsi (Fra) D'Amico Utensilnord  

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