Ulissi gives Italy first stage win of Giro

Ulissi gives Italy first stage win of Giro
Updated 17 May 2014

Ulissi gives Italy first stage win of Giro

Ulissi gives Italy first stage win of Giro

VIGGIANO, Italy: Diego Ulissi gave Italy their first stage win of the Giro d’Italia and his second career victory in the race on Wednesday when he won the 203 kilometers fifth stage from Taranto to Viggiano.
The 24-year-old Lampre rider, who won his previous stage in the Giro three years ago, beat home veteran Australian Cadel Evans while Julian Arredondo of Colombia was third in stage affected by strong winds and heavy downpours.
Evans’s compatriot Michael Matthews retained the overall leader’s pink jersey.
Matthews’s Orica team had performed impressively in running down an 11-man breakaway which at one point had a lead of six minutes over the peloton.
A further attack by Italian Gianluca Brambilla was also brought to an end 1500 meters from the finish as the Katusha team of experienced Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez reeled him in.
Evans launched the sprint for the line but Ulissi went past him and eased home, for his third stage win of the season, while Matthews was sixth.
Thursday’s sixth stage is one of the longest of the race at 247km from Sassano to Montecassino, with the closing stages a 8.7km climb.

Wiggins hold onto Tour of California lead
Meantime, former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins maintained the overall lead after the third stage of the Tour of California which was won by Australian Rohan Dennis on Tuesday.
Team Sky’s Wiggins, who dominated the second stage time trial in Folsom, now has a 24 second overall lead on Dennis with five stages remaining in the race.
Dennis, of Garmin-Sharp, powered his way through hot and mountainous conditions Tuesday to complete the 174 kilometer road course from San Jose, California, to Mount Diablo in four hours, 56 minutes and two seconds.
Wiggins took the lead with about six kilometers to go but Dennis jumped clear of the pack in the final kilometer to take the victory in sweltering conditions where the temperatures reached about 33 Celsius (92 Fahrenheit).
Wiggins said he was satisfied with his finish in the tough conditions.
“It doesn’t get much hotter in a race and my biggest concern today was just exploding,” the Brit said. “On the last climb I just wanted to ride a good tempo. I did that and then it was just about getting to the top at the end.”
Wiggins, who followed up his 2012 Tour de France triumph by winning Olympic time trial gold in London, finished the third stage in ninth place, 20 seconds adrift of Dennis.
Portugal’s Tiago Machado was second in the stage which finished with a seven kilometer climb up Mount Diablo. American Lawson Craddock was third, two seconds behind Machado and eight seconds back of the leader.
“It was difficult to know who was in the group riding on the front. That was probably the only mistake I made as Rohan Dennis took a little bit of time. I perhaps underestimated that he’d be there so we just need to keep a closer eye on him on the next ones,” Wiggins said.
“Hopefully today was about as hard as it should get for the boys. I think the next two days should, fingers crossed, be a bit more straightforward.”
Omega Pharma rider Mark Cavendish said he was glad the day was over.
“Grim day in the mountains. Whoever wants to do a 30 kilometer climb is either lying or sick,” he said.
Dennis is second overall, 24 seconds behind Wiggins while Machado is third, 65 seconds back.
The Tour of California continues Wednesday with the 166-kilometer scenic fourth stage from Monterey to Cambria on the Pacific coast.