Tour of Poland: Diego Ulissi takes opening stage on the Madonna di Campiglio
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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tour of Poland: Diego Ulissi takes opening stage on the Madonna di Campiglio

by Ben Atkins at 1:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour of Poland
Italian outsprints a select group of 15 on the mountaintop finish

diego ulissi

Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) took his biggest victory of the 2013 season as he sprinted away from a select group of 15 riders to take the opening stage of the Tour of Poland, between Rovereto and the Madonna di Campiglio. The 24-year-old Italian beat Colombian Darwin Atapuma (Colombia) into second place, with Polish rider Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) taking third place as his home tour made its first ever start in Italy.

"I'm really happy to have hit the victory today, for myself and for the whole team,” said Ulissi. “I thank my teammates because they have really shown that we are a united group and that when everything runs perfectly - including the bad luck - we can be there to fight with the best riders out there. Now the first step is done we must continue on this path and try to bring home more wins before the end.”

The 184.5km stage saw a long breakaway from Serge Pauwels (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Bartosz Hutarsji (NetApp-Endura), Cedric Pineau ( and Marco Pinotti (BMC Racing), who took the points and bonus seconds at the ensuing sprints and climbs. Pineau and Pinotti were left behind by the other two on the penultimate climb of the Passo del Durone, and Pauwels struck out alone as the final climb to the Madonna di Campiglio began.

The Belgian was soon pulled in by the Cannondale-led peloton, however, as the counterattacks began.

Tomasz Marczynski (Vacansoleil-DCM) was the first rider to get a real gap, and the Polish rider was joined, and then dropped, by Spanish teammate Rafa Valls and American Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp). The new duo was soon passed by a big attack from Dutchman Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge), who was able to get more than 30 seconds clear.

Eros Capecchi (Movistar) and Chris Anker Sørensen (Saxo-Tinkoff) managed to bridge up to Weening in the closing kilometres but, as the rest of the chase group reeled the three riders in, Weening went again. The road was flattening out by now, however, and the Dutchman was not able to get far this time; he was chased down in the final corners as the group approached the finishing straight.

Ion Izagirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi) was the first to opening up his sprint, but Ulissi flew pst the Basque rider in the finishing straight and went on to take the victory. Bonus seconds on the line saw the Lampre-Merida rider take the first yellow jersey of the race, with third place in the “Attractivity” classification meaning that Sørensen ended the day equal on time with the Italian.

Result stage 1
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
2. Darwin Atapuma (Col) Colombia
3. Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
4. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar Team
5. Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
6. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
7. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
8. Alex Howes (USA) Garmin-Sharp
9. Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack-Leopard
10. Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge

Standings after stage 1
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
2. Chris Anker Sørensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
3. Darwin Atapuma (Col) Colombia @ 4s
4. Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ 6s
5. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar Team @ 10s
6. Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
7. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
8. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
9. Alex Howes (USA) Garmin-Sharp
10. Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack-Leopard


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