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The return of Ulissi

After a year on the sidelines for huffing and puffing too hard on his inhaler, Diego Ulissi returned to his winning ways at the Giro by taking the marathon 264 km stage to Fiuggi in an uphill sprint. JJ Lobato and Simon Gerrans took second and third. Race leader Alberto Contador got through the stage seemingly without too much problems from his shoulder injury.


Ulissi and his Lampre team were clearly emotional about the successful return at the finish line. The Lampre riders year turned sour after a brilliant Giro in 2014 when he tested positive for excessive levels of Salbutamol and he was ultimately suspended for 9 months and free to return to racing in the Tour of the Basque Country. His spring has been anonymous until today when he came across a stage that suited his qualities to a t. A long sapping stage with a demanding finish that eliminated much of the fast opposition with a long continues uphill that sent tired riders out the back. The strong Ulissi though had enough of a sprint left in him to hold off even specialists like Gerrans.

You'd like to be able to say that a lot happened on a stage that was longer than any Monument but the fact is that it was a predictably pale stage. A hopeless breakaway got away, the peloton chugged along slowly in the headwind and the break was caught in comfortable time to set up the finale. Cannondale did theirs to catch the break but got nothing out of it, Tinkoff took the front to keep Contador out of trouble and then Lotto dictated the pace in the final kms to see if maybe Greipel could be a factor in the sprint. He couldn't. Orica led out Gerrrans but no one could answer the late surge by Diego Ulissi. The End.


1 ULISSI Diego ITA LAM 7:22:21 0:00 10"
2 LOBATO Juan ESP MOV 7:22:21 0:00 6"
3 GERRANS Simon AUS OGE 7:22:21 0:00 4"
4 BELLETTI Manuel ITA STH 7:22:21 0:00
5 BATTAGLIN Enrico ITA BAR 7:22:21 0:00
6 COLBRELLI Sonny ITA BAR 7:22:21 0:00
7 FELLINE Fabio ITA TFR 7:22:21 0:00
8 BOLE Grega SLO CCC 7:22:21 0:00
9 REZA Kévin FRA FDJ 7:22:21 0:00
10 LAGUTIN Sergey RUS KAT 7:22:21 0:00