Joy after pain for Diego Ulissi
Joy after pain for Diego Ulissi
In cycling joy and pain can be agonisingly close as Diego Ulissi had to experience this week: After the rider of TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA had won his second stage, he lost substantial time due to a crash. But on the next day Ulissi rebounded, finishing in a sensational 2nd place in the individual time trial.
The second week of the Giro d'Italia brought some more top results for TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA, but also a temporary setback. On the day after his second stage win, Diego Ulissi again showed his prime form on the tough stage to Sestola. Two early attackers went for the stage win and Domenico Pozzovivo managed to get away from the group of favourites on the final ascent. But Ulissi remained unfazed by all of this and lead the group of overall contenders home, crossing the finish line in 4th.
On the next day the mainly flat stage had bunch sprint written all over it. Although Team Sky set a horrendous pace on the small climb preceding the final kilometres, they did not manage to enforce a preliminary decision. For the third time in this year's Giro d'Italia Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni proved to be the fastest sprinter. Roberto Ferrari as TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA's fast man could not fully keep up with the pace of the fastest rivals on the final 400 metres, but he still crossed the finish line in 4th, securing another top5 finish and precious Worldtour points.
Measuring 249 kilometres, the 11th stage was the second-longest of this year's race. Some 70 kilometres into the stage Diego Ulissi was caught up in a crash with a number of other riders. Although Przemyslaw Niemiec and Manuele Mori managed to pilot him back into the main group, Ulissi had to let that group go as he suffered from pain in his left knee and in his back. Thus TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA's Tuscan lost some valuable four and a half minutes, dropping out of the top10 in the overall standings.
Just one day after his crash Diego Ulissi showed some huge morale: He went into the individual time trial over 42.2 kilometres just one minute after his team mate Damiano Cunego, and he passed him before the first intermediate time check. After posting a strong best time there, Ulissi continued to pace himself masterfully aboard MERIDA's WARP TT time trial bike through Piedmont's vineyards, not making any mistakes on the tricky descents either. The reward for this great performance was a 2nd place on the stage for Ulissi, only beaten by the Giro's new overall leader Rigoberto Uran.
Thanks to his strong performance in the individual time trial, Diego Ulissi moved up from 21st to 14th in the Giro d'Italia's overall standings. The entire TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA is performing well, occupying a 5th place in the team standings after 12 stages.
97th Giro d'Italia 2014
Stage 9, Lugo - Sestola (172km)
1. Pieter Weening, NED, in 4:25.51 hours
2. Davide Malacarne, ITA, st
3. Domenico Pozzovivo, ITA, + 0.42
4. Diego Ulissi, ITA/TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA, + 1.08
Stage 10,Modena - Salsomaggiore Terme (173km)
1. Nacer Bouhanni, FRA, in 4:01.13 hours
2. Giacomo Nizzolo, ITA, st
3. Michael Matthews, AUS, st
4. Roberto Ferrari, ITA/TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA, st
Stage 11, Collechio - Savona (249km)
1. Michael Rogers, AUS, in 5:48.07 hours
2. Simon Geschke, GER, + 0.10
3. Enrico Battaglin, ITA, st
Stage 12, Barbaresco - Barolo: ITT (42.2km)
1. Rigoberto Uran, COL, in 57.34 minutes
2. Diego Ulissi, ITA/TEAM LAMPRE-MERIDA, + 1.17
3. Cadel Evans, AUS, + 1.34