Every year I finish my racing season at the Chrono des Nations, which is a time trial that is getting more and more important. This year at the start there were, among others, the fresh world champion Tony Martin, David Millar, Gustav Erik Larsson and Laszlo Bodrogi.
When I saw the start list I noticed that the only Italian at the start was Fabio Felline, the new golden boy of Italian cycling. He has just finished his second year as a professional and he has four victories already in his pocket along with a lot of good placings in big races.
In 2010 he won two stages and the final general classification at the Circuit de Lorraine and this year he won one stage at the Brixia tour in Italy. He is one of those riders that never seem in difficulty. He has a good style and a perfect tecnique in handling the bike.
The day before the Chrono des Nations he rode the Tour of Lombardy where he finished 22nd at only one minute behind the winner Oliver Zaugg. Obviously in the time trial he was a little bit tired, but I think he rode well considering that it was his first time trial over 25 kilometers.
He told me: “I turned Pro very young but that it is not a problem if you have the head and the physical skills. I felt at ease in the pro peloton from the first races, and in my first races in Belgium I was in the breakaway with the big guys Boonen and Cancellara, but then I had a flat tire. After two days [racing] I finished 10th in the GP E3 in Harelbeke. I am not scared about the difficulties of Belgium, I like the pave and the fight for positions.”
In fact, he does not mind going out in the rain to train around his hometown Torino. He says he is not bothered by wet roads, but he is nervous when the other riders don’t feel at ease in the rain.
“Torino is a beautiful city,” he said, “where you can train easy but also you can do really hard rides with long climbs if you want. Living in a big city in this case it is not a problem, I don’t mind to go out even in the afternoons if I have to do a short training, and I have a commission to do in the morning, it is just like the times when I went to school. ”
He finished business management in high school, but like me, he turned pro before going to the university. He doesn’t like to do divide his time into two major focuses, and instead prefers to concentrate on one big thing which is cycling.
“When I am racing I am very concentrated,” he said definitively, “and I don’t mind if I have all the responsibilities of the team for the day. Sometimes it seems hard for a young rider like me to get the priority in the big races, but I demonstrated that I can do well when I have this priority.”
Fabio gets all my support because I remember how hard it was to build a good position in a big team as a young rider.
He was born in the magical year of 1990 (like Peter Sagan) and he grew in Torino. In the junior categories he mixed track racing with the road races. He was dicovered by Mauro Gianetti when he was 15 years old and he turned pro at only 19. He even had to pay a fine to the Italian Federation because he turned pro one year younger than the age prescribed in the Italian rules.
Fabio is really an all rounder; he can sprint in a mass group, climb well and he is good in the short time trial. His favourite rider of the past is Gianni Bugno, a rider that is really like him both phisically and temperamentally.
His favourite races are the Milano Sanremo and the Giro di Lombardia, but he likes the Belgian Classics as well. In the next years a big objective will be the Maglia Azzurra at the world championships. Who knows if he will be the one to bring back the rainbow jersey to Italy in the future?
Thanks for reading!