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Having made it into a select front group on the descent from the main climb, Fedi attacked on the descent from Capo Mele and held off his chasers to win Trofeo Laigueglia; Colbrelli beat Bole in the sprint for second

Photo: Sirotti

ANDREA FEDI

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SONNY COLBRELLI

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TROFEO LAIGUEGLIA

RACE PROFILE
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VINI ZABU KTM

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14.02.2016 @ 16:18 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Andrea Fedi (Southeast) confirmed that he has a huge potential in the hilly one-day races when he claimed an impressive solo victory in the big Italian one-day race Trofeo Laigueglia. Having first made it into a 10-rider group on the descent from the main claimb of Colla Micheri, he made a solo move on the descent from Capo Mele with less than 3km to go and managed to hold off a select chase group to take his first professional win. Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani) won the sprint for second ahead of Grega Bole (Nippo-Vini Fantini).

 

In 2014, many were hugely surprised to find the name of neo-pro Andrea Fedi in second place on the results sheets from the WorldTour race GP Plouay. The result proved that the young Italian had the potential to become one of the next big Italian classics riders but he disappeared into anonymity when health issues plagued him in 2015.

 

However, Fedi bounced back in the final part of the year, most notably by taking second at the Giro del’Emilia. This made him confident that he would finally be able to flourish in 2016 and after just two races he has fully confirmed his potential.

 

Fedi made his season debut last weekend at the GP Costa degli Etruschi and rode strongly to fourth place despite having been set back by a puncture on the final climb. Today he had no such misfortune in the bigger race of Trofeo Laigueglia and no one managed to stop the Southeast rider who rode to a solo victory.

 

The race was held on a tougher course than usual as the riders tackled three laps of a tough 11.2km finishing circuit in the finale. It included the steep Colla Micheri climb whose top was located just 10km from the finish, and the small Capo Melo climb just 3km from the finish in Laigueglia.

 

Everything was back together at the start of the second passage of Colla Micheri where Edward Ravasi (Italy) became one of several riders to be taken out by a crash. Here Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani) tried a second attack and he managed to take off in a solo move. Meanwhile, two of the outsiders Gianfranco Zilioli (Nippo-Vini Fantini) and Niccolo Bonifazio (Italy) were 40 seconds behind after earlier misfortune.

 

While Matteo Rotondi and Filippo Fortin (GM Europa) abandoned the race, Manuele Mori (Lampre-Merida) led the chase of the lone Bardiani rider who was first at the top followed by Pierre-Roger Latour (Ag2r) and Jan Polanc (Lampre-Merida). Latour managed to catch the Italian on the descent.

 

The peloton had split into two groups, with the first one trailing the leaders by 7 seconds and the second group following at 15 seconds. Meanwhile, Ravasi abandoned the race after his crash.

 

Zardini and Latour managed to push their advantage out to 18 seconds at the bottom of Capo Mele where a 40-rider chase group had gathered. However, the pair were brought back by the time they started the final lap and hit the Colla Micheri again.

 

Damiano Cunego (Nippo-Vini Fantini) attacked right from the bottom while Androni took up the pursuit. However, it was Fabio Felline (Italy) who got clear in a lone attempt to join the 2014 Giro winner.

 

Felline never made it and he was passed by Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) who also tried to catch Cunego. However, he had no success either and it was a 20-rider group that was in pursuit of Cunego as they approached the top.

 

Cunego failed to stay clear and so it was a compact group that reached the summit where Arthur Vichot (FDJ) led Ulissi and Cunego across the line. However, Vichot kept forcing the pace on the descent and he managed to escape in a solo move.

 

Ulissi and Latour took off in pursuit and were quickly joined by Matteo Busato (Southeast). The trio rejoined Vichot and later Andrea Fedi (Southeast) and Francesco Gavazzi (Androni) also made it across to make it a 6-rider front group.

 

There was no cooperation in the front group and so Fedi decided to make a solo move. Vichot joined him while Fabio Felline (Italy), Matteo Montaguti (Ag2r), Sonny Colbrelli (Bardiani), and Grega Bole (Nippo-Vini Fantini) joined Ulissi, Latour, Busato and Gavazzi.

 

The 8 chasers caught Vichot and Fedi at the bottom of the Capo Mele but there was still no cooperation. Ulissi tried several attacks on the climb but he was given no freedom.

 

Instead, Fedi tried again on the descent and he passed the flamme rouge with a 100m advantage. He managed to hold off his chasers to claim a fantastic solo win before Colbrelli beat Bole in the sprint for second.

 

The Italian cycling season will now take a three-week break before racing is resumed with a busy first weekend in March when both Strade Bianche and GP Industria are on the menu. However, many of the Italian teams will be in action in two weeks at the GP Lugano.

 

A harder course

The 53rd edition of the Trofeo Laigueglia was held on a hilly 192.5km course around the city of Laigueglia. First the riders did one lap of a big circuit that included two major climbs and then they tackled a lap of a circuit with the famous Testico climb. In the end, the race was decided on three laps of and 11.2km finishing circuit that included the steep Colla Micheri climb with 10km to go and the easier Capo Mele just 3.9km from the finish.

 

It was a relatively sunny day when the riders gathered for the start. Jose Marquez (GM Europa) was the only absent rider when they headed out for their neutral ride.

 

Lots of attacks

As it is always the case in Italian one-day races, the pace was high right from the start and there were lots of attacks before the right break was formed. Davide Ballerini (Italy) was one of the first riders to get a significant advantage but he was brought back.

 

Italy and Bardiani were among the most active teams but no one had managed to escape at the 10km mark. Here four riders, including Marco D’Urbano (Roth) escaped but it came back together.

 

Gaffurini attacks

The peloton was still together at the 21km mark where D’Urbano made a solo move but he was quickly brought back. Nicola Gaffurini (MG.Kvis) was the next to make a solo move after 27km of racing and that would be the foundation of the early break.

 

Genki Yamamoto (Nippo-Vini Fantini) took off in pursuit but he was quickly brought back. However, he refused to give up and when he went again he was joined by Danilo Celano (Amore & Vita).

 

A trio is formed

The two chasers joined Gaffurini at the 31km mark where they had a 35-second advantage. Meanwhile, sprinter Mattia Gavazzi (Amore & Vita) found the going too tough and left the race.

 

The peloton was content with the situation and allowed the gap to go out to 2.11 at the 37km mark. This is where Lampre-Merida hit the front but they were not chasing yet and the gap had gone out to 3.03 at the end of the first hour during which 41.7km had been completed.

 

Lampre-Merida up the pace

The gap continued to grow and was already five minutes at the 50km mark and it was 7.18 when the riders started to climb the Cima Paravenna climb. Here Filippo Pozzato (Southeast) worked his way back to the peloton after a puncture.

 

The pace was slow on the climb and when the front trio approached the top, they had extended their advantage to 9.12. Moments later, Gaffurini beat Yamamoto and Celano in the KOM sprint. Lampre-Merida accelerated in the second part of the climb and by the time they crested the summit, the gap was 8 minutes.

 

Androni come to the fore

The riders had averaged 37.1km/h during the first two hours and Lampre-Merida continued their faster pace while Andrea Zordan (Roth) abandoned. The gap was down to 7.25 at the 75km mark but after the descent, the Italian team stepped off the gas and allowed the gap to grow to 7.50.

 

Androni came to the fore to cooperate with Lampre-Merida and Simone Petilli (Lampre-Merida) and Luca Pacioni (Androni) led the peloton across the finish line for the first time 7.15 behind the escapees. Meanwhile, Quentin Jauregui (Ag2r) abandoned.

 

The gap comes down

One of the pre-race favourites, Grega Bole (Nippo-Vini Fantini), rejoined the peloton after a puncture while Androni and Lampre-Merida continued to reduce the gap. At the end of the third hour, they had brought it down to 6.26 after having had an average speed of 39.4km/h.

 

Yukinori Hushinuma (Amore e Vita) and Lucas Gaday (Roth) abandoned the race at the bottom of the Testico climb where the Ag2r started to move up in the peloton. At this point, the gap was only 4.53.

 

FDJ up the pace

As they hit the climb, FDJ joined forces with Androni and Lampre-Merida and they had reduced the gap to less than 3 minutes when Gaffurini led Celano and Yamamoto over the top. At the 130km mark, it was down to only 1.30 and as they went down the descent, it dropped to less than a minute.

 

The gap stabilized in the downhill section and after it had been down to just 48 seconds, it was back up to 1.18 when they entered the final 50km. In fact, it reached 1.45 at the end of the fourth hour where the average speed had dropped to 37.8km/h due to the tough climbing.

 

The break splits up

With 42km to go, the gap was 1.40 and the progress of the peloton was briefly halted when Andrea di Renzo (GM Europa) and Joshua Stritzinger (Christina Jewelry) hit the deck. Nonetheless, the peloton accelerated again under the impetus of Eugert Zhupa (Southeast) and at the start of the first lap of the finishing circuit, the gap had been reduced to just 1.08.

 

As they hit the Colla Micheri for the first time, Yamamoto got dropped from the break and moments later it was also over for Celano. Gaffurini did his best to stay away but as Lampre-Merida was accelerating hard, he was caught just after the top where he had been closely followed by Valerio Conti (Lampre-Merida).

 

Bad luck for Bonifazio

Gianfranco Zilioli (Nippo-Vini Fantini) had a very untimely mechanical before a double crash and a mechanical took Niccolo Bonifazio (Italy) out of contention. Alberto Nardin (Androni) also hit the deck while Lampre-Merida continued to ride fast on the front.

 

Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani) attacked on the Capo Mele while Michele Gazzara (MG.Kvis) took off in pursuit. He was joined by Conti and Pierre-Roger Latour (Ag2r) and the trio joined the lone Bardiani rider just before the top of the climb. However, the peloton was in hot pursuit and they were back in the fold as they started the descent. Hence, it was a compact group that started the final two laps where the main action unfolded.

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