Pais Vasco: Felline wins stage 2 in Vitoria-Gasteiz

Fabio Felline (Trek Factory Racing) won the stage 2 bunch sprint at the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco on Tuesday. The Italian out-kicked current overall leader and stage 1 winner Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) and Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal).

It was Felline's first-ever victory at WorldTour level, and his first sprint victory since the 2013 Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali. "It’s a bit of a surprise but it’s nice to win," he said. "I haven’t won, and especially won a sprint, for a long time. I won the time trial at the recent Criterium International and so I knew I was in good shape and had good legs. It’s about using them when you have them.

"To be honest, I came here with the goal of winning something. A chance came my way and so I’m very, very happy. I really want to thank all the team who have helped me and encouraged me recently. I had a puncture with about 40km to go but I got back on and felt good. In the sprint I was well placed and took my chance. I managed to start my sprint before Matthews and managed to hold him off.

"This is a dream come true. It’s my first-ever WorldTour win, so I’m so happy."

Matthews, who took the overall race lead after winning the opening stage in Bilbao on Monday, holds on to the top spot in the standings but with the same time as runner-up and world champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-QuickStep) and Felline in third.

How it happened

The stage 1 victory might have been somewhat of a surprise to Matthews and his Orica-GreenEdge team given that it was such a hilly stage. The second stage, however, was perfectly suited to the sprinters with a 175.4km race from Bilbao to Vitoria-Gasteiz, the longest stage of Pais Vasco. The relatively flatter stage did have five small climbs on route Orduña (cat 1), Salinas de Añana (cat 3), San Martín de Zar (cat 3), Zaldiarán (cat 3), Vitoria (cat 3) and Alto de Zaldiarán (cat 3) but Matthews showed his top climbing form on the previous day’s more difficult ascents.

The start of the race was slightly delayed as the peloton held a five-minute protest against the race organizers. The riders were angry over the high-speed and dangerous finish of stage 1, which had a series of metal poles sticking up at the sides of the road. Four riders were injured in a crash 500 metres from the finish line including Peter Stetina (BMC), who was taken to the hospital with a fractured kneecap and ribs.

Once the racing got underway, it wasn’t long before a breakaway formed with Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Sebastien Reichenbach IAM Cycling), Louis Vervaeke (Lotto Soudal), Thierry Hupond (Giant Alpecin), Kevin de Weert (LottoNL-Jumbo). Txurruka was the highest place in GC with the same time as Matthews.

The breakaway dwindled to three riders over the day’s KOM ascents with Vervaeke, Reichenbach and Txurruka staying out front. Txurruka had taken the bulk of the points on the climbs throughout the stage.

The escapees’ gap dropped to just over a minute with 30km to go, and down again to 15 seconds with 20km left, as Orica-GreenEdge riders led the main field with a steady tempo, and their leader Matthews safely tucked in behind. Movistar riders also moved toward the front to keep their GC rider Nairo Quintana out of trouble.

Katusha emerged and put in a big effort for their sprinter Ilnur Zakarin, pulling the field at quick speeds of roughly 65 km/h into final short climb of the Zaldiarán, so that their riders were well positioned over the top and down the descent to the finish line. Once the peloton was on the slopes, Tinkoff-Saxo, Lampre-Merida, Astana and BMC also moved to the front of the field.

In one last effort, breakaway rider Reichenbach attacked on the climb but Txurruka came around him over the top to take the last set of mountain points during the stage. He also took the mountains jersey from the previous day’s breakaway rider, teammate Omar Fraile (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).

Over the top, the breakaway was swallowed up and the field barreled down the high-speed, twisty descent into Vitoria-Gasteiz. Tom Jelte Slagter (Cannondale-Garmin) used his top descending skills to create a small gap with four kilometres to go, forcing Etixx-QuickStep to take up the bulk of the chase.

Slagter was caught with two and a half kilometres to go as Etixx-QuickStep again led the field into the finale, and with Orica-GreenEdge and Lotto Soudal taking over.

Under the flamme rouge, the field raced through two more roundabouts and Etixx-QuickStep emerged with a lead-out, but their efforts did not pay off and Felline stole the win ahead of Matthews and Gallopin, leaving Kwiatkowski to settle for fourth.

Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco will continue with stage 3’s 170.7km race from Vitoria-Gasteiz to Zumarraga on Wednesday.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing4:32:32
2Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 1 - Cell 2
3Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto SoudalRow 2 - Cell 2
4Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 3 - Cell 2
5Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6Kévin Reza (Fra) FDJ.frRow 5 - Cell 2
7Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 6 - Cell 2
8Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 7 - Cell 2
9Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 9 - Cell 2
11Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team KatushaRow 10 - Cell 2
12David Tanner (Aus) IAM CyclingRow 11 - Cell 2
13Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 12 - Cell 2
14Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 13 - Cell 2
15Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdgeRow 14 - Cell 2
16Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 15 - Cell 2
17Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 16 - Cell 2
18Janier Acevedo (Col) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
19Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 18 - Cell 2
20Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing TeamRow 19 - Cell 2
21Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 21 - Cell 2
23Matej Mohoric (Slo) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Lawson Craddock (USA) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 23 - Cell 2
25Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory RacingRow 24 - Cell 2
26Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-MeridaRow 25 - Cell 2
27Jan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-MeridaRow 26 - Cell 2
28Rein Taaramae (Est) Astana Pro TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 28 - Cell 2
30Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team SkyRow 29 - Cell 2
31Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 30 - Cell 2
32Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing TeamRow 31 - Cell 2
33Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 32 - Cell 2
34Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 33 - Cell 2
35Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 34 - Cell 2
36Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 35 - Cell 2
37Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 36 - Cell 2
38Bruno Pires (Por) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 37 - Cell 2
39Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team KatushaRow 38 - Cell 2
40Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 39 - Cell 2
41Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 40 - Cell 2
42Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
43Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team SkyRow 42 - Cell 2
44Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 43 - Cell 2
45Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory RacingRow 44 - Cell 2
46Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 45 - Cell 2
47Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 46 - Cell 2
48Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team KatushaRow 47 - Cell 2
49Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica GreenEdgeRow 48 - Cell 2
50Sergio Luis Henao (Col) Team SkyRow 49 - Cell 2
51Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 50 - Cell 2
52Andre Cardoso (Por) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 51 - Cell 2
53Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 53 - Cell 2
55Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 54 - Cell 2
56Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team KatushaRow 55 - Cell 2
57Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 56 - Cell 2
58Fabricio Ferrari Barcelo (Uru) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 57 - Cell 2
59Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
60Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 59 - Cell 2
61Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdgeRow 60 - Cell 2
62Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.frRow 61 - Cell 2
63Yohan Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 62 - Cell 2
64Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 63 - Cell 2
65Jerome Coppel (Fra) IAM CyclingRow 64 - Cell 2
66Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Lampre-MeridaRow 65 - Cell 2
67Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 66 - Cell 2
68Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek Factory RacingRow 67 - Cell 2
69Lawrence Warbasse (USA) IAM CyclingRow 68 - Cell 2
70David Lopez (Spa) Team SkyRow 69 - Cell 2
71Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team SkyRow 70 - Cell 2
72Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 71 - Cell 2
73Thomas Danielson (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 72 - Cell 2
74Simon Spilak (Slo) Team KatushaRow 73 - Cell 2
75Patrick Schelling (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 74 - Cell 2
76Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 75 - Cell 2
77Valerio Conti (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 76 - Cell 2
78George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 77 - Cell 2
79Carter Jones (USA) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 78 - Cell 2
80Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 79 - Cell 2
81David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 80 - Cell 2
82Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory RacingRow 81 - Cell 2
83Hugh Carthy (GBr) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 82 - Cell 2
84Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 83 - Cell 2
85Clement Chevrier (Fra) IAM CyclingRow 84 - Cell 2
86Angel Vicioso (Spa) Team KatushaRow 85 - Cell 2
87Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling TeamRow 87 - Cell 2
89Antonio Molina (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 88 - Cell 2
90Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ.frRow 89 - Cell 2
91Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 90 - Cell 2
92Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 91 - Cell 2
93Eduard Beltran (Col) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 92 - Cell 2
94José Herrada (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
95Igor Anton (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 94 - Cell 2
96Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 95 - Cell 2
97Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Team SkyRow 96 - Cell 2
98Michal Golas (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step0:00:20
99Jose Rodolfo Serpa (Col) Lampre-Merida0:00:28
100Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 99 - Cell 2
101Julian Arredondo (Col) Trek Factory RacingRow 100 - Cell 2
102David De La Cruz (Spa) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 101 - Cell 2
103Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:37
104Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 103 - Cell 2
105Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:01:06
106Alexander Kolobnev (Rus) Team Katusha0:01:34
107Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 106 - Cell 2
108Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 107 - Cell 2
109Joseph Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 108 - Cell 2
110Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica GreenEdgeRow 109 - Cell 2
111Julien Berard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:17
112Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team0:03:30
113Evgeny Petrov (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo0:04:07
114Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ.frRow 113 - Cell 2
115Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 114 - Cell 2
116Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:38
117Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La MondialeRow 116 - Cell 2
118Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 117 - Cell 2
119Mario Costa (Por) Lampre-MeridaRow 118 - Cell 2
120Martijn Keizer (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 119 - Cell 2
121Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 120 - Cell 2
122Kevin De Weert (Bel) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 121 - Cell 2
123Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory RacingRow 122 - Cell 2
124Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory RacingRow 123 - Cell 2
125Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 124 - Cell 2
126Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ.frRow 125 - Cell 2
127Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 126 - Cell 2
128Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 127 - Cell 2
129Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:06:35
130Omar Fraile (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:08:18
131Maxim Belkov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 130 - Cell 2
132Thierry Hupond (Fra) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 131 - Cell 2
133Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 132 - Cell 2
134Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 133 - Cell 2
135Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdgeRow 134 - Cell 2
136Carlos Betancur (Col) AG2R La Mondiale0:12:22
137Danny Pate (USA) Team Sky0:12:29
138Fredrik Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 137 - Cell 2
139Cheng Ji (Chn) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 138 - Cell 2
140Caleb Fairly (USA) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 139 - Cell 2
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Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing25pts
2Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEdge20Row 1 - Cell 3
3Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal16Row 2 - Cell 3
4Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Etixx - Quick-Step14Row 3 - Cell 3
5Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team12Row 4 - Cell 3
6Kévin Reza (Fra) FDJ.fr10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Gianni Meersman (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha5Row 10 - Cell 3
12David Tanner (Aus) IAM Cycling4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge1Row 14 - Cell 3
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Sprint 1 - Treviño, 121,7 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal3pts
2Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kevin De Weert (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 2 - Imiruri, 150,4 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal3pts
2Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 3 - Treviño, 157,7 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal3pts
2Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Mountain 1 - Alto de Orduña, 49,0 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA10pts
2Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling8Row 1 - Cell 3
3Thierry Hupond (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin6Row 2 - Cell 3
4Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal4Row 3 - Cell 3
5Kevin De Weert (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo2Row 4 - Cell 3
6Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team1Row 5 - Cell 3
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Mountain 2 - Alto de Salinas de Añana, 75,0 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA3pts
2Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Thierry Hupond (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Mountain 3 - Alto de San Martín de Zar, 113,0 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling3pts
2Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Kevin De Weert (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Mountain 4 - Alto de Zaldiarán, 130,0 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA3pts
2Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Mountain 5 - Alto de Vitoria, 146,0 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA3pts
2Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Mountain 6 - Alto de Zaldiarán, 166,0 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Sky3pts
2Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr2