Diego Ulissi of Lampre-ISD won today's Stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia after the race jury relegated Italian National Champion Giovanni Visconti. Visconti received third place, the last placing in the group where he finished. Here's your replay of the final sprint.
Visconti is all over the road on this one. First he goes right, then he goes left, then he tries to pass Ulissi on the barricades. I'm not sure what Visconti was thinking with that barricades move, and from my couch, it looked like Visconti could have won the stage if he had hit out straight for the line. Pinched between Ulissi and barricades, Visconti committed the ultimate sin and took his hands off the bars. Pushing and shoving, so not allowed in the final kilometers. Worse still, Visconti shoved Ulissi into the line of Lastras, which forced the Movistar rider to go wide. Sketchy all around.
After the stage, Visconti complained that Ulissi had ridden dangerously. Apparently, there were some tensions earlier in the day during their long ride in the breakaway. "Sometimes it's ourselves who put our lives at risk," said Visconti, who was noticeably angry at the finish. RAI brought both riders on to the processo post-race show, and they had a chat. Visconti seemed a bit cheered up after all.
Spare a thought for Ulissi, a young rider who just won the biggest race of his career. Too bad it had to be overshadowed by Visconti losing his shit and making polemica. The 21-year-old Ulissi is riding his second season as a professional, and has only one previous pro victory. This season he has had a couple near-misses with a second in stage 8 of Paris-Nice and second overall at the Settimana Ciclista Internazionale Coppi-Bartali. In 2007, Ulissi was the junior road race World Champion.