Felline wins, Jungels second in Critérium International time trial
The Critérium International second stage was contested a few hours after the first Saturday, but it did little to slow down Fabio Felline and Bob Jungels who blazed around the short 7-kilometer flat course to finish within one second of each other and claim the top two spots of the leaderboard.
Fabio Felline has shown fantastic form this season, just missing out on victory at La Drôme Classic with a second place finish March 1. This is his first win with Trek Factory Racing and his first professional victory since 2013 and comes one day ahead of his 25th birthday – no better early present for the amiable Italian.
“This afternoon I did not expect to win, not with Bob [Jungels] and a lot of other TT specialists here, but I know that I am feeling good – today was the 9th time this year that I finish in the top 10,” said an elated and surprised Felline. “So I wanted to make a good result. But now I am here, I have won, and I am super happy!
“To be honest, it was the stage this morning where I was targeting the victory, not this afternoon! But then the breakaway arrived at the finish, and in the end I did not make a good sprint. This makes up for that, but I have to say I am a little surpirsed.”
Bob Jungels was the first of the two Trek Factory Racing teammates to assume the hot seat when he set a new best time of 9:12 and then had a nervous wait with some 30 riders still to arrive.
But when teammate Fabio Felline flew across the line and stopped the clock at 9:11 to knock him into second place, a disappointed Jungels could only smile. Finishing so close to the win is always a hard pill to swallow, but today it was made a little easier with a teammate doing the besting.
“Finishing one and two is always great, this is fantastic for the team,” said Jungels. “It’s always a bit of a strange time trial here – I was five seconds faster than last year. I gave it all of course and I am disappointed to not win, but when it’s a teammate that is beating you, then it’s not so bad. Of course, I came into today really wanting to win, but on the other hand I am very happy for Fabio. If you have to finish second, then it’s best that you finish second to a teammate.”