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Fabio Felline wins the Trofeo Laigueglia

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Fabio Felline wins the Trofeo Laigueglia

Fabio Felline wins the Trofeo Laigueglia
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Androni Giocattoli had strength in numbers

Androni Giocattoli had strength in numbers
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Mickael Cherel (Ag2R-La Mondiale) leads the chase

Mickael Cherel (Ag2R-La Mondiale) leads the chase
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabio Felline goes on the attack

Fabio Felline goes on the attack
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabio Felline wins the Trofeo Laigueglia

Fabio Felline wins the Trofeo Laigueglia
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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Diego Ulissi (UAE Abu Dhabi)

Diego Ulissi (UAE Abu Dhabi)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Felline leads on the descent

Felline leads on the descent
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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A view of the race across the Ligurian coast

A view of the race across the Ligurian coast
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabio Felline enjoys his solo victory

Fabio Felline enjoys his solo victory
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The Trofeo Laigueglia was fast from the start

The Trofeo Laigueglia was fast from the start
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The skies were grey and cold for the 2017 Trofeo Laigueglia

The skies were grey and cold for the 2017 Trofeo Laigueglia
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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French national champion Arthur Vichot (FDJ)

French national champion Arthur Vichot (FDJ)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Andriy Grivko (Astana) was back in action

Andriy Grivko (Astana) was back in action
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The sprint for second place

The sprint for second place
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Italian team with the local police

The Italian team with the local police
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The UAE Abu Dhabi lines up for the start

The UAE Abu Dhabi lines up for the start
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Pre-race favourite Diego Ulissi (UAE Abu Dhabi)

Pre-race favourite Diego Ulissi (UAE Abu Dhabi)
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The flag is about to be dropped

The flag is about to be dropped
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Dunne does his turn in the break

Dunne does his turn in the break
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Direct Energie lead the chase

Direct Energie lead the chase
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport) was part of the early break

Conor Dunne (Aqua Blue Sport) was part of the early break
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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The Aqua Blue Sport team rode aggressively

The Aqua Blue Sport team rode aggressively
(Image credit: Fotoreporter Sirotti)
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Diego Ulissi (UAE Abu Dhabi)

Diego Ulissi (UAE Abu Dhabi)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabio Felline celebrates his solo victory at the Trofeo Laigueglia

Fabio Felline celebrates his solo victory at the Trofeo Laigueglia
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabio Felline rode for the Italian national team at the Trofeo Laigueglia

Fabio Felline rode for the Italian national team at the Trofeo Laigueglia
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabio FElline rode for the Italian national team at the Trofeo Laigueglia

Fabio FElline rode for the Italian national team at the Trofeo Laigueglia
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabio Felline goes on the attack

Fabio Felline goes on the attack
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Ligurian coast offered a stunning backdrop to the race

The Ligurian coast offered a stunning backdrop to the race
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Moreno Moser (Astana)

Moreno Moser (Astana)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Trofeo Laigueglia rolls out from the start

The Trofeo Laigueglia rolls out from the start
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Filippo Pozzato (Wilier-Selle Italia)

Filippo Pozzato (Wilier-Selle Italia)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Nippo-Vini Fantini on the podium

The Nippo-Vini Fantini on the podium
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Riccardo Minali (Astana)

Riccardo Minali (Astana)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The FDJ team lead the chase of the break

The FDJ team lead the chase of the break
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

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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