Tour de Pologne 2013: stage one - report

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Diego Ulissi wins mountainous opening stage of 2013 Tour of Poland

Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) has won the opening stage of the seventieth Tour of Poland on its grand partenza from the mountainous Trentino region of northern Italy. 

Ulissi won on home soil at the summit of the Madonna di Campiglio, a ski resort high in the Italian Dolomites.

The 24-year-old, overall winner of the prestigious Coppi e Bartali three-day stage race in March, saw off the challenge of an elite climbing group on the first category denouement to the opening 184.5km stage from Roverto.

Diego Ulissi, the 24-year-old Italian winner of the Coppi e Bartali, celebrates another win on home soil on the Tour de Pologne’s Grand Partenza in the Dolomites

Ulissi said: “I’m really happy to have claimed the victory today, for me and for the whole team.

“I thank my team mates because they have really shown that we are a united group.

“Now the first step is done so we must continue on this path and try to bring home more wins until the end.”

The Italian claimed the first leader’s jersey of the race by virtue of his victory, but is level on time with Chris Anker Sörensen, thanks to time bonuses accrued by the Dane.

Darwin Atapuma (Colombia) finished second, continuing a hugely significant year for his countrymen, while Rafal Majka (Saxo-Tinkoff) was third.

But in a disastrous opening stage for the pre-race favourites, former Tour de France champion, Sir Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), winner of this year’s Giro d’Italia, rolled in together, some 9.13 after Ulisi.

Two-time Giro winner, Ivan Basso (Cannondale), proved to be the strongest of the heavyweight contenders today, finishing fifth on the stage, with the same time as Ulissi. Time bonuses accrued by his rivals mean that he is sixth overall.

An experiment by the race organisers mean the teams have only been allowed to enter six-man squads. Britain’s Team Sky has sent one of its strongest line-ups, including the Colombian climbing duo of Sergio Henao and Rigoberto Uran.

Uran, who finished second overall at the Giro d’Italia in May, today sacrificed his ambitions for countryman, Henao, who finished with the leaders and is just 10 seconds behind Ulissi on the general classification, in fourteenth place.

The riders will race for a second day in the Dolomites tomorrow, where they will face a 206.5km route from Marilleva Val di Sole to Passo Pordoi Val di Fassa.

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Tour of Poland 2013: stage one – result

1) Diego Ulissi (ITA) – Lampre-Merida – 4.59.22
2) Darwin Atapuma (COL)  – Colombia +4″
3) Rafal Majka (POL) – Saxo-Tinkoff +6″
4) Eros Capecchi (ITA) – Movistar +10″
5) Ivan Basso (ITA) – Cannondale
6) Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale
7) Jon Izaguirre (ESP) – Euskaltel-Euskadi
8) Alex Howes (USA) – Garmin-Sharp
9) Ben Hermans (BEL) – Radioshack-Leopard
10) Pieter Weening (NED) – Orica-GreenEDGE

General classification

1) Diego Ulissi (ITA) – Lampre-Merida – 4.59.22
2) Chris Anker Sörensen (DEN) – Saxo-Tinkoff
3) Darwin Atapuma (COL)  – Colombia +4″
4) Rafal Majka (POL) – Saxo-Tinkoff +6″
5) Eros Capecchi (ITA) – Movistar +10″
6) Ivan Basso (ITA) – Cannondale
7) Domenico Pozzovivo (ITA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale
8) Jon Izaguirre (ESP) – Euskaltel-Euskadi
9) Alex Howes (USA) – Garmin-Sharp
10) Ben Hermans (BEL) – Radioshack-Leopard

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