Diego Ulissi of Lampre-Merida has won the first Italian stage of the Giro d’Italia after holding off the powerful chase of Tom Dumoulin of GIANT-Alpecin to win with Steven Kruijswijk of LottoNL-Jumbo in third.  Dumoulin’s reward for his efforts was a return to the maglia rosa.

Cantanzaro to Praia a Mare was a 200km trek that heralded the start of the Italian stages after three days of the Giro d’Italia in the Netherlands.  The stage was not quite mountainous enough for  minutes to open up between the riders, but the hills were very much placed at just the right point to break the field up and perhaps lure attacks from those who fancied their chances at a late attack.

The chances of Marcel Kittel holding onto the maglia rosa were slim.  Despite a brilliant opening time trial and two back-to-back stage wins, his reputation is not as a climber and he was expected to relinquish pink by the day’s end.  Nevertheless Etixx-Quick Step did marshal the peloton in the early stages, leading them as a break charged up the road.  In the move were Joey Rosskopf of BMC Racing, Matthias Brändle of IAM Cycling, Matej Mohoric of Lampre-Merida and Nicola Boem of Bardiani-CSF.

It was interesting though that the peloton were not more forgiving with their chase towards the break.  Whereas a sprint stage might see a break swept up inside the final 5-10km, this time the break was caught with 50km of racing still to tackle on the climb of San Pietro.  Maybe this was in part down to the awareness and nervousness of the peloton and the desire of riders like Nibali, Valverde, Dumoulin, Chaves and co to be at the front and well positioned for what was to come.

But what was to come?  The two category three climbs were the only major rises of the day to negotiate and they’d done that; but from here on the stage would be lumpy.  Three sections of short rises interspersed with short sections of flat would feature, with the final rise being particularly interesting.

After descending the climb of San Pietro an attack went courtesy of AG2R La Mondiale’s Hubert Dupont and Guillaume Bonnafond; and that triggered plenty of action back in the bunch.  The move wasn’t brought back as such, rather a group of 15 were drawn out of the peloton to join him.  In the move were Lotto Soudal’s Tim Wellens, Etixx-Quick Step’s Bob Jungels, BMC Racing’s Alessandro De Marchi and Diego Ulissi, who was chasing a fifth stage win in the Giro d’Italia.

The break reached the climb up BV Per Via Del Fortino just before the dash to the line and it was here that Ulissi made his move.  Although a short climb it was fierce, with an average of 7.7% and a maximum gradient of 18%.  And it was on the steep section that Ulissi went to the front of the break and pushed the pace to escape.  No one could catch the Italian and he crested the top of the climb and began his descent with a slender lead over the chasers behind.

But interestingly one of two sure fire contenders for the GC had been caught out.  With the descent now in full swing for Ulissi and the break that was merging with the peloton, Trek-Segafredo’s Ryder Hesjedal found himself in the wrong group and being forced to chase.  Meanwhile most of the main contenders had made it to the front group.  Vincenzo Nibali, Alejandro Valverde, Rigoberto Uran, Mikel Landa all were present.  But they couldn’t catch Ulissi.

It was a close game of chase that unfolded as Ulissi held off the group of 26 riders around 10 seconds or less.  In a flat stage you would expect him to be caught but not this time.  Tom Dumoulin and Steven Kruijswijk attacked late in the dying kilometres, but one gets the impression that their attack could have had as much to do with the prospect of gaining a little time over their rivals as it did on trying to wrestle the stage from the Italian.

Ulissi crossed the line with 5 seconds in hand over Dumoulin, who together with Kruijswijk had gained a second over Alejandro Valverde who led the main contenders home.  Sadly for Ryder Hesjedal though he was the day’s biggest loser in the GC standings, surrendering 37 seconds to the Valverde group.

Sam Bewley, back on the bike after yesterday’s rest day gave him a little opportunity to ease the pain from the crash the day before; arrived home in the last group on the road with Elia Viviani, Orica GreenEDGE teammates Svein Tuft and Michael Hepburn and Matteo Pelucchi amongst those with him.  Bewley’s work, on behalf of Esteban Chaves paid off well, with the Colombian securing 9th on the stage to now slot into the top 10 overall.

Results:

Rank Name Nat. Team Result
1 Diego ULISSI ITA LAM 4:46:51
2 Tom DUMOULIN NED TGA +5
3 Steven KRUIJSWIJK NED TLJ +5
4 Alejandro VALVERDE BELMONTE ESP MOV +6
5 Gianluca BRAMBILLA ITA EQS +6
6 Vincenzo NIBALI ITA AST +6
7 Ilnur ZAKARIN RUS KAT +6
8 Matteo BUSATO ITA STH +6
9 Jhoan Esteban CHAVES RUBIO COL OGE +6
10 Nicolas ROCHE IRL SKY +6
11 Sergey FIRSANOV RUS GAZ +6
12 Rafal MAJKA POL TNK +6
13 Georg PREIDLER AUT TGA +6
14 Domenico POZZOVIVO ITA ALM +6
15 Kanstantsin SIUTSOU BLR DDD +6
16 Rigoberto URAN URAN COL CPT +6
17 Rein TAARAMAE EST KAT +6
18 Pavel KOCHETKOV RUS KAT +6
19 Jakob FUGLSANG DEN AST +6
20 Mikel LANDA MEANA ESP SKY +6
21 Bob JUNGELS LUX EQS +6
22 Michele SCARPONI ITA AST +6
23 Davide FORMOLO ITA CPT +6
24 Stefano PIRAZZI ITA BAR +6
25 David LOPEZ GARCIA ESP SKY +6
26 Sonny COLBRELLI ITA BAR +6
27 Enrico BATTAGLIN ITA TLJ +42
28 Jay MCCARTHY AUS TNK +42
29 Manuele MORI ITA LAM +42
30 Andrey AMADOR BIKKAZAKOVA CRC MOV +43
31 David DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO ESP EQS +43
32 Moreno MOSER ITA CPT +43
33 Carlos VERONA QUINTANILLA ESP EQS +43
34 Giovanni VISCONTI ITA MOV +43
35 Andrey ZEITS KAZ AST +43
36 Andre Fernando S. Martins CARDOSO POR CPT +43
37 Kristian SBARAGLI ITA DDD +43
38 Pawel POLJANSKI POL TNK +43
39 Darwin ATAPUMA HURTADO COL BMC +43
40 Matteo MONTAGUTI ITA ALM +43
41 Igor ANTON HERNANDEZ ESP DDD +43
42 Ryder HESJEDAL CAN TFS +43
43 Sebastian HENAO GOMEZ COL SKY +43
44 Ian BOSWELL USA SKY +43
45 Francesco Manuel BONGIORNO ITA BAR +43
46 Tanel KANGERT EST AST +43
47 Egor SILIN RUS KAT +43
48 Ivan ROVNY RUS TNK +43
49 Luka MEZGEC SLO OGE +1:08
50 Aleksei TCATEVICH RUS KAT +1:08
51 Damiano CUNEGO ITA NIP +1:08
52 Maxime MONFORT BEL LTS +1:11
53 Matteo TRENTIN ITA EQS +1:11
54 Giacomo NIZZOLO ITA TFS +1:11
55 Sacha MODOLO ITA LAM +1:11
56 Valerio CONTI ITA LAM +1:11
57 Nathan BROWN USA CPT +1:11
58 Joseph Lloyd DOMBROWSKI USA CPT +1:11
59 Philip DEIGNAN IRL SKY +1:11
60 Merhawi KUDUS GHEBREMEDHIN ERI DDD +1:11
61 Hubert DUPONT FRA ALM +1:11
62 Stefan KUENG SUI BMC +1:11
63 Carlos Alberto BETANCUR GOMEZ COL MOV +1:11
64 Hugo HOULE CAN ALM +1:11
65 Marcel WYSS SUI IAM +1:35
66 Alessandro BISOLTI ITA NIP +1:45
67 Nikias ARNDT GER TGA +1:45
68 Bram TANKINK NED TLJ +1:59
69 Eros CAPECCHI ITA AST +2:11
70 Pieter SERRY BEL EQS +2:51
71 Ignatas KONOVALOVAS LTU FDJ +2:56
72 Arnaud DEMARE FRA FDJ +2:56
73 Amets TXURRUKA ESP OGE +2:56
74 Davide MALACARNE ITA AST +2:56
75 Heinrich HAUSSLER AUS IAM +2:56
76 Guillaume BONNAFOND FRA ALM +2:56
77 Laurent DIDIER LUX TFS +2:56
78 Gianfranco ZILIOLI ITA NIP +2:56
79 Simone PETILLI ITA LAM +2:56
80 Valerio AGNOLI ITA AST +2:56
81 Evgeny PETROV RUS TNK +2:56
82 Manuel BELLETTI ITA STH +2:56
83 Tim WELLENS BEL LTS +2:56
84 Sean DE BIE BEL LTS +2:56
85 Tobias LUDVIGSSON SWE TGA +3:07
86 Filippo POZZATO ITA STH +4:12
87 Jose Joaquin ROJAS GIL ESP MOVE +4:12
88 Ruben PLAZA MOLINA ESP OGE +4:12
89 Mikel NIEVE ITURALDE ESP SKY +4:12
90 Mirco MAESTRI ITA BAR +4:12
91 Lars Ytting BAK DEN LTS +4:12
92 André GREIPEL GER LTS +4:12
93 Adam HANSEN AUS LTS +4:12
94 Damien HOWSON AUS OGE +4:12
95 Stefan DENIFL AUT IAM +4:12
96 Alessandro DE MARCHI ITA BMC +5:04
97 Manuel QUINZIATO ITA BMC +5:18
98 Manuele BOARO ITA TNK +5:18
99 Matteo TOSATTO ITA TNK +5:18
100 Viacheslav KUZNETSOV RUS KAT +5:18
101 Cristian RODRIGUEZ MARTIN ESP STH +5:34
102 Ivan SAVITSKIY RUS GAZ +6:00
103 Alexander KOLOBNEV RUS GAZ +6:00
104 Jos VAN EMDEN NED TLJ +6:00
105 Chad HAGA USA TGA +6:00
106 Eugenio ALAFACI ITA TFS +6:00
107 Alberto BETTIOL ITA CPT +6:00
108 Riccardo ZOIDL AUT TFS +6:00
109 Daniel OSS ITA BMC +6:00
110 Giulio CICCONE ITA BAR +6:00
111 Javier MORENO BAZAN ESP MOV +6:00
112 Pavel BRUTT RUS TNK +6:00
113 Simon CLARKE AUS CPT +6:00
114 Benoît VAUGRENARD FRA FDJ +6:00
115 Ramunas NAVARDAUSKAS LTU CPT +6:00
116 Jurgen ROELANDTS BEL LTS +6:00
117 Jelle VANENDERT BEL LTS +6:00
118 Christian KNEES GER SKY +6:10
119 Daniel MARTÍNEZ COL STH +6:47
120 Axel DOMONT FRA ALM +6:47
121 Leigh HOWARD AUS IAM +8:10
122 Rory SUTHERLAND AUS MOV +8:10
123 Ilia KOSHEVOY BLR LAM +8:10
124 Przemyslaw NIEMIEC POL LAM +8:10
125 Johann VAN ZYL RSA DDD +8:10
126 Matej MOHORIC SLO LAM +8:10
127 Rick ZABEL GER BMC +8:10
128 Joseph ROSSKOPF USA BMC +8:10
129 Moreno HOFLAND NED TLJ +8:10
130 Martijn KEIZER NED TLJ +8:10
131 Twan CASTELIJNS NED TLJ +8:10
132 Pim LIGTHART NED LTS +8:10
133 Liam BERTAZZO ITA STH +8:10
134 Bakhtiyar KOZHATAYEV KAZ AST +8:10
135 Alexander FOLIFOROV RUS GAZ +8:10
136 Olivier LE GAC FRA FDJ +8:10
137 Aleksey RYBALKIN RUS GAZ +8:10
138 Arnaud COURTEILLE FRA FDJ +8:10
139 Alexander SEROV RUS GAZ +8:10
140 Jesus HERNANDEZ BLAZQUEZ ESP TNK +8:10
141 Lawrence WARBASSE USA IAM +8:10
142 Marcel KITTEL GER EQS +8:10
143 Fabio SABATINI ITA EQS +8:10
144 Manuel SENNI ITA BMC +8:10
145 Eugert ZHUPA ALB STH +8:10
146 Anton VOROBYEV RUS KAT +8:10
147 Roberto FERRARI ITA LAM +8:10
148 Giacomo BERLATO ITA NIP +8:10
149 Songezo JIM RSA DDD +8:10
150 Tom STAMSNIJDER NED TGA +8:10
151 Boy VAN POPPEL NED TFS +8:10
152 José HERRADA LOPEZ ESP MOV +8:10
153 Vegard Stake LAENGEN NOR IAM +8:10
154 Jaco VENTER RSA DDD +8:10
155 Roger KLUGE GER IAM +9:44
156 Patrick GRETSCH GER ALM +9:44
157 Fabian CANCELLARA SUI TFS +9:44
158 Caleb EWAN AUS OGE +10:16
159 Andrei SOLOMENNIKOV RUS GAZ +11:57
160 Cheng JI CHN TGA +12:35
161 Marco COLEDAN ITA TFS +16:12
162 Elia VIVIANI ITA SKY +16:12
163 Paolo SIMION ITA BAR +16:12
164 Mickael DELAGE FRA FDJ +16:12
165 Maarten TJALLINGII NED TLJ +16:12
166 Marc SARREAU FRA FDJ +16:12
167 Matteo PELUCCHI ITA IAM +16:12
168 Artur ERSHOV RUS GAZ +16:12
169 Alexander PORSEV RUS KAT +16:12
170 Maxim BELKOV RUS KAT +16:12
171 Lukasz WISNIOWSKI POL EQS +16:12
172 Jasha SÜTTERLIN GER MOV +16:12
173 Nicola RUFFONI ITA BAR +16:12
174 Murilo Antonio FISCHER BRA FDJ +16:12
175 Grega BOLE SLO NIP +16:12
176 Eduard Michael GROSU ROU NIP +16:12
177 Iuri FILOSI ITA NIP +16:12
178 Riccardo STACCHIOTTI ITA NIP +16:12
179 Biel KADRI FRA ALM +16:12
180 Artem OVECHKIN RUS GAZ +16:12
181 Omar FRAILE MATARRANZ ESP DDD +16:12
182 Julen AMEZQUETA ESP STH +16:12
183 Nicola BOEM ITA BAR +16:12
184 Michael HEPBURN AUS OGE +16:12
185 Matthias BRANDLE AUT IAM +16:12
186 Jack BOBRIDGE AUS TFS +16:12
187 Sam BEWLEY NZL OGE +16:12
188 Albert TIMMER NED TGA +16:12
189 Bert DE BACKER BEL TGA +16:12
190 Svein TUFT CAN OGE +16:12
191 Jay Robert THOMSON RSA DDD +16:12
192 Jakub MARECZKO ITA STH +16:12
193 Primož ROGLIC SLO TLJ +16:12
194 Genki YAMAMOTO JPN NIP +16:12
195 Simone ANDREETTA ITA BAR +16:12
DNF Alexandre GENIEZ FRA FDJ

 

Photo: Sirotti

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