Ulissi Wins Stage 17 of Giro; Visconti Relegated
Diego Ulissi (Lampre) has won Stage 17 of the 2011 Giro.
Diego Ulissi (Lampre) has won Stage 17 of the 2011 Giro. Ulissi was awarded the stage win when race jurors ruled that Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini), the man who crossed the finish line first, shoved the Lampre rider. Pablo Lastras (Movistar) took second place when Visconti was relegated to third. Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) remains the maglia rosa.
After four consecutive mountain stages, many thought that an escape would be easy. Such was not the case, however. Only at 55 km did a group get clear. The group was 15 strong and was composed of Visconti and teammate Leonardo Giordani (both from Farnese Vini), Christian Le Mevel (Garmin), Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma), Robert Kiserlovski (Astana), Konstantin Sivtsov (HTC), Jesus Hernandez (Saxo Bank), Ben Gastauer (Ag2r), Pablo Lastras (Movistar), Ulissi (Lampre), Eduard Vorganov and Alberto Losada (both from Katusha), Mathias Frank (BMC), Fabio Taborre (Acqua & Sapone), and Addy Engels (Quick Step). Hubert Dupont (Ag2r) bridged up to the group later.
Liquigas, which lacked a man in the break, chased. The fugitives' advantage maxed out at 5:00. Geox joined Liquigas at the front and cut the lead to less than four minutes. On the day's last climb, the break members began to attack each other. Eleven riders descended together.
On the descent, Lastras attacked. His companions reeled him in at the base of the descent. The 11-man break regrouped, and the escapees resumed attacking each other.
With three km left, Bakelants attacked, and Lastras, Visconti, and Ulissi joined him. Lastras led the quartet into the last km. With 700 m left, Ulissi attacked but was reeled in. With 150 m left, the Lampre man burst into the lead on the left side of the road.
Visconti attempted to take the lead on the left against the barriers and shoved Ulissi twice. The Italian road champion fought his way through for what appeared to be the win. The race jury, however, had a different opinion.
In the overall, Contador leads Michele Scarponi (Lampre) by 4:58 and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) by 5:45. Stage 18, a hilly 151-km ride from Morbegno to San Pellegrino Terme, will not change this state of affairs. It, too, will be decided by a long break by no hopers. Who will the no hopers be? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!