3/25/2013 12:00:00 AM - TEAM NEWS!
Ulissi solos to victory in Coppi e Bartali
Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali 2013
Lampre-Merida rider claims race lead
Building on good form and solid results at Paris-Nice, Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) soloed to victory today in stage 2 at Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali and took over the leader's jersey from Maxim Belkov (Katusha).
The 23-year-old Italian finished 34 seconds ahead of Miguel Rubiano (Androni Giocattoli) and 1:11 up on third place finisher Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida) after an 18-rider lead group split in the stage's endgame on an arduous finishing circuit.
The top three finishers on the stage also comprise the top three on general classification, with Rubiano trailing Ulissi by 58 seconds and Cunego 1:17 in arrears of his Lampre-Merida teammate.
An early six-man break which included Jake Keough (UnitedHealthcare), Dominique Cornu (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Peter Kuzstor (Utensilnord Ora24.eu), Manuel Amaro (Ceramica Flaminia-Fondriest), Lukas Postlberger (Team Gourmetfein Simplon) and Cesare Benedetti (Team NetApp-Endura) remained off the front until approximately 100km had been covered, just prior to the arrival at the four finishing circuits.
The peloton faced a stiff, 18 percent climb of La Ville Monte Tiffi each lap which steadily whittled down the riders in contention at the head of the race.
Entering the penultimate lap just 18 riders remained in the front group: Leopold Konig (Team NetApp-Endura), Ivan Basso and Moreno Moser (Cannondale), Daniele Pietropolli, Damiano Cunego and Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida), Francesco Bongiorno (Bardiani-CSF), Matteo Rabottini and Fabio Taborre (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia), Franco Pellizotti, Emanuele Sella and Miguel Rubiano Chavez (Androni Giocattoli), Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat), Philip Deignan (UnitedHealthcare), Sergop Pardilla (MTN-Qhubeka), Radoslav Rogina (Adria Mobil) plus Matija Kvasina and Riccardo Zoidl (Gourmetfein Simplon).
Rabottini led over the top of the La Ville Monte Tiffi but crashed on the descent. Cunego, Moser, Pietropolli, Taborre and Deignan went on the attack but were brought back prior to the ascent on the final lap. The lead group was reduced to 10 riders on the final climb and then Ulissi made his race-winning move. Rubiano tried to bridge to the Italian but couldn't make contact, settling for second place on the day while Ulissi's teammate Damiano Cunego rounded out the podium 1:11 down.
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Photo credit © Roberto Bettini