Diego Ulissi climbs to victory on Superga to take Milano-Torino
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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Diego Ulissi climbs to victory on Superga to take Milano-Torino

by Ben Atkins at 2:46 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Runner-up from 2012 goes one better despite bruises from Worlds road rac

diego ulissiDiego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) took his fourth victory of the 2013 season, as he sprinted away from a group of hot favourites in the final metres of Milano-Torino to win by a comfortable three-second margin. The 24-year-old, who had finished second in the previous edition of the historic race, managed to distance a group of riders that included 2012 winner Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) and World Championship bronze medallist Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), despite still suffering the ill effects of crashing during the Worlds road race just three days before.

Contador’s Saxo-Tinkoff teammate Rafal Majka was to take second place, those three seconds behind Ulissi, with Dani Moreno (Katusha) beating Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) into third.

"Because of the bruises I got in the crashes I was involved in during the World Championships, my feelings were not so good this morning,” Ulissi said afterwards. “Anyway, during the race my condition was better and better, even if I was not at the top on the first passage on Superga hill.

“Then, I could approach the final climb to Superga in the best way, also thanks to the support of my team mates and especially by [Kristijan] Durasek,” he added.
So, in the final kilometre, I joined Pozzovivo and Majka who had escaped from our six men group, then I waited until I noticed that Moreno, Contador and Valverde were close to neutralise the gap. At that moment, I decided to anticipate everyone and so, at 250 metres, to go, I began the action that gave me the victory.

“Taking a victory over such top riders, just few days after the World Championships, is a huge satisfaction,” he concluded.

The early kilometres of the 193.5km race saw an attack from Josef Cerny (CCC Polsat), Jay Thomson (MTN-Qhubeka) and Bjorn Thurau (Europcar). The trio was soon joined by Maurits Lammertink (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Cesare Benedetti (NetApp-Endura) to make a group of five, but Cerny, Lammertink and Benedetti were soon distance by Thomson and Thurau, and caught by the peloton shortly afterwards.

The remaining duo were able to build a lead of 7’40” over the peloton, before Movistar, Katusha and Saxo-Tinkoff began chasing them down, and Thomson and Thurau were eventually caught as they arrived at the foot of the Superga climb for the first time.

Over the first ascent of the climb with ten kilometres to go, the peloton was down to just 30 riders and, as the second and final time up the climb began, the anticipated attacks started.

The first move came from former Italian champion Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela), but he was passed by Majka and Pozzovivo. Ulissi proved to be the strongest on the steep gradients up to the Basilica di Superga, however, and outpaced both as he launched his move for the line.

1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
2. Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ 3s
3. Daniel Moreno (Spa) Katusha Team @ 5s
4. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale @ 7s
5. Alberto Contador (Spa) Team Saxo-Tinkoff @ 11s
6. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team @ 15s
7. Mauro Finetto (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
8. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar
9. Matteo Rabottini (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia
10. Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela


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