Coppi e Bartali: Diego Ulissi solos into the race lead on Sogliano al Rubicone circuit
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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Coppi e Bartali: Diego Ulissi solos into the race lead on Sogliano al Rubicone circuit

by Ben Atkins at 2:49 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Lampre-Merida rider attacks late in the stage to take a double victory

diego ulissiDiego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) took the overall lead of the 2013 Settimana Coppi e Bartali with a solo attack on the penultimate lap of the Sogliano al Rubicone finishing circuit at the end of stage two. The 23-year-old, who finished second in the 2012 edition of the race, jumped clear of a group of ten riders with just ten kilometres of the 162.3km stage to go, and managed to hold off the chase of Miguel Angel Rubiano (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) all the way to the finish.

Rubiano crossed the line in second place, 34 seconds behind Ulissi, with Ulissi’s Lampre-Merida teammate Damiano Cunego winning the sprint for third place at the head of the shattered chase group.

"I'm so satisfied I won such demanding stage and I'm very happy I could finally win, at the end of a period in which my shape was very good but I couldn't win,” said Ulissi afterwards. “The opponents teams made the race very tough, but Cunego, [Daniele] Pietropolli and me could be manage the situation very well.

“Then, in the decisive moments, I talked with Damiano and we decided to cooperate in attacking one after the other,” Ulissi explained. “Cunego's attempt was good, but the other riders managed to chase him down; then I put in my attack. I knew I had the strenght and so I could avoid the group’s chase.

Ulissi’s victory was more than enough for the 2011 Giro d’Italia stage winner to take the red jersey from overnight leader Maxim Belkov (Katusha), with Rubiano moving into second place, 58 seconds back.
“The classification situation is good for me and Damiano,” Ulissi said “but it will be important to recover our energy and to pay attention in view of the next demanding stages.”

The stage comprised two laps of a flat 17km loop, before a short leg across to a hilly 22.1km circuit, based on the climb of Monte Tiffi, which was to be completed four times. There was an early attack from Jacob Keough (UnitedHealthcare), Dominique Cornu (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise), Peter Kuzstor (Utensilnord-Ora24.eu), Manuel Amaro (Ceramica Flaminia-Fondriest), Lukas Postlberger (Gourmetfein-Simplon) and Cesare Benedetti (Team Netapp Endura), who escaped after 34km.

The group was only able to get 3’45” ahead, however, and - after dropping Keough and Conu - was caught shortly after the finish of the first hilly circuit.

With the peloton all together Ulissi and Cunego began to attack, along with Ivan Basso (Cannondale), and a group of 18 riders emerged on the penultimate lap. There was an attack from Matteo Rabottini (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia), but the 25-year-old crashed before he could get far ahead; the chase reduced the front group to just ten, however.

With twelve kilometres to go Cunego attacked and, when the others chased him down, Ulissi countered and, despite a concerted chase from Rubiano, stayed away to take the victory and the race lead.

Result stage 2
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
2. Miguel Angel Rubiano (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela @ 34s
3. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida @ 1’11”
4. Radoslav Rogina (Cro) Adria Mobil
5. Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Team Gourmetfein-Simplon @ 1’15”
6. Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Polsat Polkowice
7. Francesco Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
8. Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura @ 1’16”
9. Sergio Pardilla (Spa) MTN-Qhubeka @ 1’20”
10. Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling @ 1’38”

Standings after stage 2
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
2. Miguel Angel Rubiano (Col) Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela @ 58s
3. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida @ 1’17”
4. Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Polsat Polkowice @ 1’40”
5. Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura @ 1’42”
6. Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
7. Francesco Bongiorno (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox @ 1’46”
8. Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Team Gourmetfein-Simplon @ 1’52”
9. Sergio Pardilla (Spa) MTN-Qhubeka @ 2’06”
10. Philip Deignan (Irl) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling @ 2’12”

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