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GIRO’20 Stage 2: Ulissi the Best in Agrigento!

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Stage 2 Race Report: Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) won the second stage of the Giro d’Italia. After 149 kilometres he was the best on the hilly finish in Agrigento. Ulissi beat Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) and Mikkel Honoré (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) in a sprint just ahead of the peloton as the three had escaped in the last hard meters. Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) held the overall lead.

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A clever win from Diego Ulissi

The first part of this short stage is quite intricate, wavy and curvy, cutting across the Trapani area and heading towards the Valle del Belice. The second part runs mostly on fast roads, with no urban areas along the route. After leaving Alcamo, the route undulates continuously through Calatafimi, Salemi, Santa Ninfa and Partanna, all the way to the trunk road that will lead the peloton through some mild undulations along the coast to just outside Agrigento, at the Valley of the Temples, 4km before the finish.

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Stage 2 profile

The final kilometres run entirely uphill at 5%, with peaks around 9%, 3km before the finish. The road is wide and well-surfaced, featuring two wide hairpins in the first part, followed by a succession of short straight stretches and mild bends. The home straight (250m) is on 8m wide tarmac.

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Ganna – Good in pink

Thomas De Gendt was the instigator of the first break of the 2020 Giro. After some attacks, the Belgian took four riders with him. Etienne van Empel (Vini Zabù-Brado-KTM), Ben Gastauer (AG2R-La Mondiale), Alessandro Tonelli (Bardiani-CSF-Faizanè) and Mattia Bais (Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec).

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The roll-out from Alcamo

The five got a maximum lead of 5 minutes. INEOS Grenadiers took up the chase for time trial winner Filippo Ganna. Early in the stage, there was a crash by Van Empel in the leading group on one of the slippery roads in a small Sicilian village, but the Dutchman was able to quickly continue and reconnect with his fellow escapees.

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First break of the 2020 Giro and that man Thomas De Gendt is in it

Sunweb and UAE Team Emirates also lent a hand in the pursuit work. Those teams had two favourites for the stage win with Michael Matthews and Diego Ulissi. Aleksandr Vlasov was in trouble at the back of the peloton. The Russian climber had stomach problems and got off with 70 kilometres to go. After the crash of Miguel Ángel López on stage 1, this is the second setback for Astana.

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Nice day in Sicily

Sunweb, UAE Team Emirates and also BORA-hansgrohe reduced the lead to less than a minute with 30 kilometres to go. It got a bit restless in the peloton and so there were more crashes. Brent Bookwalter and Nicolas Edet, among others, went to down, but they could continue.

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INEOS Grenadiers looking after Ganna

Due to the high pace of the peloton, the early break was caught 9 kilometres from the finish line. Before that; De Gendt had won an intermediate sprint. Various classification riders put their trains on the front in the run-up to the final climb towards the Piazzale Vittorio Emanuele (3.7 km at 5.3%) in Agrigento.

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The narrow Sicilian roads caused a few crashes

Groupama-FDJ dropped Arnaud Démare first at the bottom of the climb, while Geraint Thomas and Peter Sagan were well placed. A fast pace was held, but the peloton remained relatively large. There was no attack until 1.5 kilometres from the finish. Valerio Conti accelerated for his leader Diego Ulissi.

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Should have been a day for Matthews

Conti pulled the peloton into a long line and dragged his teammate into the last kilometre. Luca Wackermann opened the attack and Mikkel Honoré and Ulissi were on his wheel. When Sagan threatened to cross, Ulissi attacked. He had Honoré on his wheel and saw Sagan also connect in the last straight before the line. In a sprint from the three, it was Ulissi who had the fastest kick.

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Stage win ahead of Peter Sagan for Diego Ulissi

Five seconds behind; Matthews won the sprint from the pursuers. Pink jersey Ganna finished in the middle of the chasing peloton and kept his overall lead and will wear the pink jersey on the third stage to Mount Etna.

Stage winner, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates): “I am really happy to get my seventh career victory at the Giro. It is a great personal satisfaction, but also for the team: we got off to a great start in this Corsa Rosa, putting into practice what we planned in the team meeting. Bjerg, Gaviria, Richeze all did great work on the flats. Then, on the final climb, I asked Conti to up the pace, to tire out the sprinters: Valerio was perfect and laid the foundations to allow me to play my cards in what was a difficult sprint, especially when Sagan came back.”

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Giro d’Italia Stage 2 Result:
1. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates in 3:24:58
2. Peter Sagan (Slo) BORA-hansgrohe
3. Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
4. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb at 0:05
5. Luca Wackermann (Ita) Vini Zabù-KTM
6. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
7. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
9. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren
10. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
11. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
12. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
13. Andrea Vendrame (Ita) AG2R-La Mondiale
14. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
15. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
16. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
17. Rafal Majka (Pol) BORA-hansgrohe
18. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma
19. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott
20. Patrick Konrad (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe
21. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Pro Cycling
22. Fausto Masnada (Ita) CCC
23. Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain-McLaren
24. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
25. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 2:
1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) INEOS Grenadiers in 3:40:27
2. João Almeida (Por) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 0:22
3. Geraint Thomas (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 0:23
4. Tobias Foss (Nor) Jumbo-Visma at 0:31
5. Josef Černý (CZ) CCC at 0:36
6. Matteo Sobrero (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling at 0:40
7. Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain-McLaren at 0:42
8. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott at 0:49
9. Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling
10. Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 0:54
11. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb at 0:58
12. Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates at 0:59
13. Mikkel Frølich Honoré (Den) Deceuninck – Quick-Step
14. Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain-McLaren
15. Ben O’Connor (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling at 1:00
16. Chris Harper (Aus) Jumbo-Visma at 1:03
17. Lawrence Warbasse (USA) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:04
18. Jacopo Mosca (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
19. Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
20. Sam Oomen (Ned) Sunweb at 1:11
21. James Knox (GB) Deceuninck – Quick-Step at 1:13
22. Jai Hindley (Aus) Sunweb at 1:15
23. Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 1:18
24. Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:19
25. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 1:21.

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