Diego Ulissi surprises with Tour Down Under stage win

Having started his sprint early, Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) surprised the overall contenders at the Tour Down Under with victory ahead of race leader Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge). The 150km stage from Prospect to Stirling came alive on the final climb with riders looking for the bonus seconds on offer but it was Ulissi who was the big winner.

"I’ve never believed in my chances to win this stage because I had the impression that Simon Gerrans was by far the strongest. I thought he’d be unbeatable but I managed to beat him thanks to the help of the great team I have behind me," Ulissi said post-race.

"It has a lot to do with the serenity I found by winning a few races at the very end of last season, therefore I could train for this one with no worries and prepare well for Milan-San Remo. This is my first time in Australia and I’m amazed by the incredible affection of the fans. The environment of this race is wonderful."

Garmin-Sharp, courtesy of Lachlan Morton, and Tinkoff-Saxo Bank, working for Rory Sutherland had set a fierce tempo on the climb into Stirling ensuring that no attacks could be launched. Ian Stannard (Sky) gained 30 meters on the peloton but was brought back just as a touch of wheels brought down riders at the back of the bunch.

Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp), Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) and Cadel Evans (BMC) then tried their luck in raising the speed of the small bunch but it all came back together. Daryl Impey started his lead-out for Gerrans but it was Ulissi on the other side of the road who had the pace and momentum to steal the stage. He had enough time to celebrate with his arms aloft while behind Gerrans grabbed crucial bonus seconds to keep his lead for another day.

A slightly disappointed Gerrans said post-race that tomorrow will be a testing day for the team as they look to once again defend their lead. "I would have loved to win the stage again today. It was close but I can't win them all. It didn't surprise me to be sprinting against Diego Ulissi in such a finale like Stirling. He's a classy rider. But I wasn't expecting he'd pass me as fast as he did."

"He's obviously a threat for the overall classification but it's a good result for me today as I have a bigger advantage over my other rivals with the time bonus of the second place. My position on GC is just as good as I could have hoped for. Tomorrow is going to be the most decisive stage with the Corkscrew climb so close to the finish."

It was almost a case of déjà vu when Will Clarke (Drapac) made it into the breakaway and was again joined by a UniSA rider. Today it was Campbell Flakemore and the two Australian were joined by Boy van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing).

There had been several attempts to form a break but once the trio has established a small lead they built on their advantage which at several points throughout the day meant van Poppel was the virtual leader on the road.

The break gobbled up the intermediate sprint points with little fuss but it was at the two KOM’s where Clarke and Flakemore tussled hoping to end the day with the polka dot jersey. Clarke, who was awarded the most aggressive rider prize for the second day in a row, spoke to reporters after the race.

"It’s three years in a row that I break away on the way to Stirling. Unfortunately, the last two haven’t been as successful as two years ago when I stayed away and won. The plan was for me or Travis Meyer to go up the road. Travis nearly got in and I sorted of waited until the next one.

"I went for the KOM and we sort of shared the points of the intermediate sprints. In the next day or two, I’ll take it easy. I feel a bit tired so I’ll back off for another attack a bit later in the race."

"He and I had a little argument with 1km to go. He wanted me to go for myself but I kept supporting him."

Having placed third, Evans moved up in the overall classification and is looking to improve in the coming days. "Today I went too early and got swamped at the finish. Maybe I will get it right in the next few days," Evans said.

"I don't know where Diego came from but obviously with his finish yesterday is pretty good and had the legs and the timing to do it today."

Results

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Stage 2 result
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida3:52:14
2Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 1 - Cell 2
3Cadel Evans (Aus) BMCRow 2 - Cell 2
4Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) AstanaRow 3 - Cell 2
5Robert Gesink (NED) BelkinRow 4 - Cell 2
6Richie Porte (Aus) Team SkyRow 5 - Cell 2
7Ben Hermans (Bel) BMCRow 6 - Cell 2
8Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory RacingRow 7 - Cell 2
9Javier Moreno (Esp) MovistarRow 8 - Cell 2
10Daryl Impey (Rsa) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 9 - Cell 2
11Egor Silin (Rus) KatushaRow 10 - Cell 2
12Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJRow 11 - Cell 2
13Steve Morabito (Sui) BMCRow 12 - Cell 2
14Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMCRow 13 - Cell 2
15Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto-BelisolRow 14 - Cell 2
16Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) DrapacRow 15 - Cell 2
17Rory Sutherland (Aus) Tinkoff-SaxobankRow 16 - Cell 2
18Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-SharpRow 17 - Cell 2
19Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-BelisolRow 18 - Cell 2
20Ruben Plaza (Esp) MovistarRow 19 - Cell 2
21Simon Geschke (Ger) Giant-ShimanoRow 20 - Cell 2
22Lieuwe Westra (NED) AstanaRow 21 - Cell 2
23Maxime Bouet (Fra) Ag2r-La MondialeRow 22 - Cell 2
24Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 23 - Cell 2
25Luca Wackermann (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 24 - Cell 2
26Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto-BelisolRow 25 - Cell 2
27Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 26 - Cell 2
28Danilo Wyss (Sui) BMCRow 27 - Cell 2
29Frank Schleck (Lux) Trek Factory RacingRow 28 - Cell 2
30Caleb Fairly (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 29 - Cell 2
31Laurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory RacingRow 30 - Cell 2
32Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJRow 31 - Cell 2
33Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) DrapacRow 32 - Cell 2
34Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) DrapacRow 33 - Cell 2
35Darren Lapthorne (Aus) DrapacRow 34 - Cell 2
36Carlos Verona (Esp) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 35 - Cell 2
37Cameron Wurf (Aus) CannondaleRow 36 - Cell 2
38Eduard Vorganov (Rus) KatushaRow 37 - Cell 2
39Steele von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-SharpRow 38 - Cell 2
40Angelo Tulik (Fra) EuropcarRow 39 - Cell 2
41Philip Deignan (Irl) Team SkyRow 40 - Cell 2
42Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 41 - Cell 2
43Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) AstanaRow 42 - Cell 2
44Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-SharpRow 43 - Cell 2
45Christpher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxobankRow 44 - Cell 2
46Stef Clement (NED) BelkinRow 45 - Cell 2
47Elia Viviani (Ita) CannondaleRow 46 - Cell 2
48Björn Thurau (Ger) EuropcarRow 47 - Cell 2
49Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) EuropcarRow 48 - Cell 2
50Anthony Giacoppo (Aus) UniSARow 49 - Cell 2
51Bram Tankink (NED) BelkinRow 50 - Cell 2
52Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) KatushaRow 51 - Cell 2
53Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Ag2r-La MondialeRow 52 - Cell 2
54Mark O'Brien (Aus) UniSARow 53 - Cell 2
55Valerio Agnoli (Ita) AstanaRow 54 - Cell 2
56Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 55 - Cell 2
57Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto-BelisolRow 56 - Cell 2
58Rick Zabel (Ger) BMCRow 57 - Cell 2
59Matejv Mohoric (Slo) CannondaleRow 58 - Cell 2
60Danny Van Poppel (NED) Trek FactoryRow 59 - Cell 2
61Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Fra) FDJRow 60 - Cell 2
62Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 61 - Cell 2
63Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 62 - Cell 2
64Mark Renshaw (Aus) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 63 - Cell 2
65Matteo Trentin (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 64 - Cell 2
66Ivan Jose Gutierrez (Esp) MovistarRow 65 - Cell 2
67Koen De Kort (NED) Giant-ShimanoRow 66 - Cell 2
68Guillaume Boivin (Can) CannondaleRow 67 - Cell 2
69Mikhail Ignatyev (Rus) KatushaRow 68 - Cell 2
70Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team SkyRow 69 - Cell 2
71Evan Huffman (USA) AstanaRow 70 - Cell 2
72Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto-BelisolRow 71 - Cell 2
73Ian Stannard (GBr) Team SkyRow 72 - Cell 2
74William Bonnet (Fra) FDJRow 73 - Cell 2
75Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJRow 74 - Cell 2
76Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJRow 75 - Cell 2
77Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory RacingRow 76 - Cell 2
78Thierry Hupond (Fra) Giant-ShimanoRow 77 - Cell 2
79Jack Bauer (NZl) Garmin-SharpRow 78 - Cell 2
80Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) AstanaRow 79 - Cell 2
81Guillaume Bonnafond (Fra) Ag2r-La MondialeRow 80 - Cell 2
82Michael Kolar (Slo) Tinkoff-SaxobankRow 81 - Cell 2
83Jack Bobridge (Aus) BelkinRow 82 - Cell 2
84Amael Moinard (Fra) BMCRow 83 - Cell 2
85Damien Gaudin (Fra) Ag2r-La MondialeRow 84 - Cell 2
86Travis Meyer (Aus) DrapacRow 85 - Cell 2
87Alberto Bettiol (Ita) CannondaleRow 86 - Cell 2
88José Juan Lobato (Esp) MovistarRow 87 - Cell 2
89Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJRow 88 - Cell 2
90Jack Haig (Aus) UniSARow 89 - Cell 2
91Nathan Earle (Aus) Team SkyRow 90 - Cell 2
92Robbie Hucker (Aus) DrapacRow 91 - Cell 2
93Julien Berard (Fra) Ag2r-La MondialeRow 92 - Cell 2
94Andriy Grivko (Ukr) AstanaRow 93 - Cell 2
95Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto-BelisolRow 94 - Cell 2
96Bradley Linfield (Aus) UniSARow 95 - Cell 2
97Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Giant-ShimanoRow 96 - Cell 2
98Matthias Krizek (Aut) Cannondale0:02:45
99Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-ShimanoRow 98 - Cell 2
100Imanol Erviti (Esp) MovistarRow 99 - Cell 2
101Axel Domont (Fra) Ag2r-La MondialeRow 100 - Cell 2
102Kevin Reza (Fra) Europcar0:03:20
103George Bennett (NZl) CannondaleRow 102 - Cell 2
104Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 103 - Cell 2
105Lachlan Morton (Aus) Garmin-Sharp0:04:15
106Roberto Ferrari (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:04:40
107Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 106 - Cell 2
108Aleksandr Porsev (Rus) KatushaRow 107 - Cell 2
109Bernard Eisel (Aut) Team Sky4:54:00
110Luke Rowe (GBr) Team SkyRow 109 - Cell 2
111Nicolay Trusov (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxobank4:54:00
112Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff-SaxobankRow 111 - Cell 2
113Nicki Sorensen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxobankRow 112 - Cell 2
114Michael Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxobankRow 113 - Cell 2
115Thomas Peterson (USA) Giant-ShimanoRow 114 - Cell 2
116Rafael Valls (Esp) Lampre-MeridaRow 115 - Cell 2
117Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha5:54:00
118Jérome Cousin (Fra) EuropcarRow 117 - Cell 2
119Jens Voigt (Ger) Trek Factory RacingRow 118 - Cell 2
120Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) AstanaRow 119 - Cell 2
121Rick Flens (NED) BelkinRow 120 - Cell 2
122Marcel Kittel (Ger) Giant-ShimanoRow 121 - Cell 2
123Caleb Ewan (Aus) UniSARow 122 - Cell 2
124William Clarke (Aus) Drapac7:05:00
125Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha7:42:00
126Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge7:48:00
127Matthew Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 126 - Cell 2
128Boy Van Poppel (NED) Trek FactoryRow 127 - Cell 2
129Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 128 - Cell 2
130Andrew Fenn (GBr) Omega Pharma-Quick Step9:10:00
131Thomas Dekker (NED) Garmin-SharpRow 130 - Cell 2
132Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Lotto-Belisol10:45:00
133Neil Van Der Ploeg (Aus) UniSA14:46:00
134Graeme Brown (Aus) BelkinRow 133 - Cell 2
135Maxime Daniel (Fra) Ag2r-La MondialeRow 134 - Cell 2
136Campbell Flakemore (Aus) UniSA0:19:35
DNSJose Joaquin Rojas (Esp) MovistarRow 136 - Cell 2
DNSDavid Tanner (Aus) BelkinRow 137 - Cell 2
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Sprint point 1 - One Tree Hill
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Boy Van Poppel (NED) Trek Factory5pts
2Campbell Flakemore (Aus) UniSA3Row 1 - Cell 3
3William Clarke (Aus) Drapac2Row 2 - Cell 3
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Intermediate sprint point 2 - Balhannah
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1William Clarke (Aus) Drapac5pts
2Boy Van Poppel (NED) Trek Factory3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Campbell Flakemore (Aus) UniSA2Row 2 - Cell 3
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Intermediate sprint point 3 - Stirling (finishline)
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida15pts
2Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge14Row 1 - Cell 3
3Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC13Row 2 - Cell 3
4Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana12Row 3 - Cell 3
5Robert Gesink (NED) Belkin11Row 4 - Cell 3
6Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Javier Moreno (Esp) Movistar7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Daryl Impey (Rsa) Orica-GreenEdge6Row 9 - Cell 3
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KOM point 1 - Golden Grove
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1William Clarke (Aus) Drapac10pts
2Campbell Flakemore (Aus) UniSA6Row 1 - Cell 3
3Boy Van Poppel (NED) Trek Factory4Row 2 - Cell 3
4Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto-Belisol2Row 3 - Cell 3
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KOM point 1 - Checker Hill
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1William Clarke (Aus) Drapac10pts
2Campbell Flakemore (Aus) UniSA6Row 1 - Cell 3
3Boy Van Poppel (NED) Trek Factory4Row 2 - Cell 3
4Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto-Belisol2Row 3 - Cell 3
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Young rider classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luca Wackermann (Ita) Lampre-Merida3:52:14
2Carlos Verona (Esp) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 1 - Cell 2
3Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 2 - Cell 2
4Rick Zabel (Ger) BMCRow 3 - Cell 2
5Matejv Mohoric (Slo) CannondaleRow 4 - Cell 2
6Danny Van Poppel (NED) Trek FactoryRow 5 - Cell 2
7Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Fra) FDJRow 6 - Cell 2
8Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJRow 7 - Cell 2
9Calvin Watson (Aus) Trek Factory RacingRow 8 - Cell 2
10Michael Kolar (Slo) Tinkoff-SaxobankRow 9 - Cell 2
11Alberto Bettiol (Ita) CannondaleRow 10 - Cell 2
12Jack Haig (Aus) UniSARow 11 - Cell 2
13Bradley Linfield (Aus) UniSARow 12 - Cell 2
14Nikias Arndt (Ger) Giant-ShimanoRow 13 - Cell 2
15Lachlan Morton (Aus) Garmin-Sharp0:04:15
16Jay McCarthy (Aus) Tinkoff-Saxobank0:04:54
17Michael Andersen (Den) Tinkoff-SaxobankRow 16 - Cell 2
18Caleb Ewan (Aus) UniSARow 17 - Cell 2
19Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha0:07:42
20Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:07:48
21Maxime Daniel (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale0:14:46
22Campbell Flakemore (Aus) UniSA0:19:35
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Team classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1BMC Racing Team11:36:42
2Orica GreenEDGERow 1 - Cell 2
3Lotto-Belisol TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Trek Factory RacingRow 3 - Cell 2
5Astana Pro TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6Drapac CyclingRow 5 - Cell 2
7Garmin-SharpRow 6 - Cell 2
8Omega Pharma-Row 7 - Cell 2
9Lampre-MeridaRow 8 - Cell 2
10Movistar TeamRow 9 - Cell 2
11Katusha TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Belkin Pro CyclingRow 11 - Cell 2
13FDJ.frRow 12 - Cell 2
14Team SkyRow 13 - Cell 2
15Team EuropcarRow 14 - Cell 2
16CannondaleRow 15 - Cell 2
17Tinkoff-SaxoRow 16 - Cell 2
18AG2R La MondialeRow 17 - Cell 2
19Team Giant-ShimanoRow 18 - Cell 2
20UniSA-AustraliaRow 19 - Cell 2
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Most Competitive Rider
#Rider Name (Country) Team
1William Clarke (Aus) Drapac
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General classification after Stage 2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge7:12:31
2Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:00:07
3Andre Greipel (Ger) Lotto-Belisol0:00:11
4Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC0:00:13
5Steele von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-SharpRow 4 - Cell 2