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“Because of the bruises I got in the crashes during the world championships, my felings were not so good this morning. During the race my feelings got better and better even if I was not at my best during the first passage of the Supe...

Photo: Sirotti






02.10.2013 @ 19:06 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Diego Ulissi took the biggest one-day win of his career when he beat several big-name riders in Italy's oldest classic Milan-Turin. Bruises from two crashes at the world championships affected him at the start of the race but he gradually overcame his troubles to launch a furious acceleration on the final climb to the finish.


Diego Ulissi has shown great form lately but until today, the big autumn win had eluded the young Italian. He got close when the finished 2nd behind teammate Michele Scarponi in the GP Costa Degli Etruschi and on stage 19 of the Vuelta a Espana but the win always seemed to escape the young Lampre rider.


Today he finally got everything right when he won Milan-Turin with an impressive burst of speed inside the final 250m of the climb to the finish at Basilica di Superga in Turin. He held off Rafal Majka and Daniel Moreno and thus improved on his 2nd place from last year's edition of the race.


Ulissi was part of the Italian team at Sunday's world championships but crashed twice and was unable to support Vincenzo Nibali as much as he had hoped. The bruises affected the early part of his race.


“Because of the bruises I got in the crashes during the world championships, my felings were not so good this morning," Ulissi explained. "During the race my feelings got better and better even if I was not at my best during the first passage of the Superga climb."


The Superga climb was passed twice in the finale and the Lampre team was active during the first passage. Kristijan Durasek made it into a short-lived breakaway which forced the other teams on the defensive.


"WhenI could arrive at the bottom of the Superga climb for the final time in the best possible condition, it was due to my team," Ulissi said. "My teammates escorted me very well during the race, then Durasek did a masterful job the first time up the hill and again in the finale."


Ulissi bridged across to a duo consisting of Rafal Majka and Domenico Pozzovivo but when the major favourites started to approach from behind, he launched the decisive acceleration.


"In the final kilometer, I joined Pozzovivo and Majka who had escaped from our sextet," he said. "I waited until I noticed that [Daniel] Moreno, [Alberto] Contador and [Alejandro] Valverde had almost bridged the gap. In that moment, I decided to anticipate everyone and with 250 meters to go, I launched the acceleration that gave me the victory."


"Obtaining a victory against such top riders just a few days after the world championships is a huge satisfaction."


Sports director Fabrizio Bontempi was full of praise of his protege.


"I have to congratulate all the boys that have managed themselves perfectly," he said. "At the start, Ulissi was a bit worried about the effect of his crashes in world championships but the competitive spirit led him to overcome the pain. A special praise to Durasek who whittled down the peloton on the first passage of the Superga and kept a high pace on the second to avoid dangerous attacks."


Ulissi will try to put his form on show on Sunday when he lines up as one of the outsiders for the final monument of the season, Il Lombardia.



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