Ulissi wins opening stage at Tour of Poland

Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) won the opening stage of the Tour of Poland, 184.5km in the Italian Dolomites from Rovereto to Madonna di Campiglio, the first of two days in Italy as the Polish race travelled outside its borders for the first time in its 70-year-history.

The 24-year-old Italian sprinted to victory on the summit finish ahead of Darwin Atapuma (Colombia) and Rafal Majka (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) as part of an elite 15-rider group which formed on the 11km climb to the finish.

Having won today's opening stage, Ulissi earned the first leader's jersey at the 2013 Tour of Poland. With time bonuses factored in Atapuma holds second overall at four seconds, followed by Majka at six seconds. The remainder of the riders finishing in the front group now all trail Ulissi by 10 seconds.

"I was coming back to the races after a month off from competition and I didn't think I'd be so competitive right out of the gate," said Ulissi. "It was hard work but I managed to keep up with the best and so in the final I tried to not give up because I knew I was one of the fastest riders in the little lead group. I'm very happy."

Ulissi's stage win was his third victory of the season and all have come on Italian soil. Earlier this season the Lampre-Merida rider won a stage plus the overall at the Settimana Coppi e Bartali and Ulissi was pleased to add a WorldTour victory to his palmares.

"The Tour de Pologne is a very important World Tour race and moreover this year we took off from Italy and this adds a larger sense of achievement," said Ulissi. "The goal was to come here to try and win a stage and I managed to do so right away. Tomorrow we have a very difficult stage ahead of us with the arrival at Pordoi and other riders are definitely going to try to attack me but I'm going to try to defend this jersey although I know it won't be easy."

The day's early break was comprised of Bartosz Huzarski (Team NetApp-Endura), Serge Pauwels (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Marco Pinotti (BMC), Cédric Pineau (FDJ.fr), Valerio Agnoli (Astana) and Bartlomiej Matysiak (CCC Polsat) and the escapees pushed out a maximum advantage of nine minutes. The break would split with first Agnoli and Matysiak dropping off the pace, then Pinotti and Pineau would lose contact. Huzarski and Pauwels continued in the lead and the pair survived off the front all the way to the early slopes of the finishing climb. Once on the ascent to the category one Madonna di Campiglio summit finish Pauwels dropped Huzarski but both riders would soon be absorbed and dropped by the Cannondale-led peloton.

Cannondale's Cayetano Sarmiento launched the first attack from the peloton, but the Colombian was soon brought back. Tomasz Marczynski (Vacansoleil-DCM) was the next rider to accelerate away from the ever diminishing peloton and the Pole would be joined by teammate Rafael Valls and Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp). This attack, too, would be neutralised with Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) launching a solo counter-attack.

With six kilometres to go the 32-year-old Dutchman's lead stood at 35 seconds with Cannondale spearheading the pursuit. The chase group would fracture as the pace on the climb took its toll and ultimately a group of 14 riders would emerge in the chase of Weening. Last year's third place overall finisher at the Tour of Poland, Sergio Henao (Sky) plus Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R La Mondiale) were among those riding aggressively on the finishing ascent. Notably absent from the pointy end of the race were Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Bradley Wiggins (Sky), both competing for the first time since the Tour of Italy.

Eros Capecchi (Movistar), Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo-Tinkoff) and Croatian champion Robert Kiserlovski (RadioShack Leopard) surged away from the chase group but the RadioShack Leopard rider wasn't able to keep their pace and fell back. Eros Capecchi and Chris Anker Sorensen, however, made contact with Weening just prior to the Madonna Di Campiglio KOM, which was situated 2.5km from the finish line.

The Saxo-Tinkoff Dane led the trio across the KOM line and while the road still sloped upwards for the remainder of the stage, the gradient eased, enabling the riders to shift into their big rings.

Several riders attacked from the 12-rider chase group, but when the dust settled the three-rider break was neutralised and 15 riders were now together at the head of the race inside the final kilometre.

The irrepressible Pieter Weening launched another solo attack, but the Dutchman was caught at approximately 300m to go, resulting in a sprint finale claimed by Ulissi.

Full Results

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1Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida4:59:32
2Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) Colombia
3Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
4Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar Team
5Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
6Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
7Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
8Alex Howes (USA) Garmin-Sharp
9Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack Leopard
10Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge
11Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack Leopard
12Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team
13Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
14Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling
15Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Polsat Polkowice
16Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:00:53
17Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team
18Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ.fr0:01:07
19Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC Racing Team
20Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura
21Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC Racing Team
22Sergei Chernetckii (Rus) Katusha0:01:10
23Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Argos-Shimano
24Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
25Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
26Thomas Peterson (USA) Team Argos-Shimano0:01:23
27Thomas Rohregger (Aut) RadioShack Leopard
28Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:01:30
29Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:57
30Cameron Wurf (Aus) Cannondale Pro Cycling
30Cameron Wurf (Aus) Cannondale Pro Cycling
31Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha0:02:09
32Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:02:33
33Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:02:38
34Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha0:02:55
35Adrian Saez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
36Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC Racing Team
37Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:37
38Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
39Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Cannondale Pro Cycling
40Adrian Honkisz (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
41Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar Team
42Jeffry Johan Romero Corredor (Col) Colombia0:04:19
43Kristof Vandewalle (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
44Paul Voss (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura0:05:28
45Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Argos-Shimano0:06:03
46Mateusz Taciak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice0:06:19
47Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky Procycling
48Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:06:47
49Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:06:54
50Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre-Merida0:07:32
51Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:08:12
52Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ.fr
53Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:09:13
54Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
55Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-Merida
56Robert Vrecer (Slo) Euskaltel-Euskadi
57Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
58Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling
59Ben Swift (GBr) Sky Procycling
60Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team
61Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin-Sharp0:11:02
62Jacek Morajko (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
63Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
64Michal Golas (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step
65Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
66Nikolay Mihaylov (Bul) CCC Polsat Polkowice
67Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) FDJ.fr
68Fabio Andres Duarte Arevalo (Col) Colombia
69Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol0:12:29
70Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol
71Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ.fr
72Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.fr
73Dirk Bellemakers (Ned) Lotto Belisol
74David Tanner (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:12:40
75Petr Ignatenko (Rus) Katusha0:12:59
76Bruno Pires (Por) Team Saxo-Tinkoff0:13:00
77Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:15:06
78Thomas Dekker (Ned) Garmin-Sharp0:16:43
79Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack Leopard
80Maciej Paterski (Pol) Cannondale Pro Cycling
81Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team NetApp-Endura
82Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
83Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura
84Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Team NetApp-Endura
85Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre-Merida
86Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
87Karol Domagalski (Pol) Poland
88Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp-Endura
89Daniele Ratto (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling
90Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
91Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack Leopard
92Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:18:57
93Ricardo Mestre (Por) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:24:41
93Ricardo Mestre (Por) Euskaltel-Euskadi
94Pawel Cieslik (Pol) Poland
95Carlos Julian Quintero (Col) Colombia
96Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC Racing Team
97Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:27:03
98Jacob Rathe (USA) Garmin-Sharp
99Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
100Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
101Robinson Eduardo Chalapud Gomez (Col) Colombia
102Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida0:28:36
103Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Movistar Team
104Arnaud Courteille (Fra) FDJ.fr
105Grega Bole (Slo) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:29:14
106Maxim Belkov (Rus) Katusha0:31:34
107Lukasz Bodnar (Pol) Poland0:32:41
108Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) AG2R La Mondiale0:35:28
109Adam Stachowiak (Pol) Poland
110Pawel Franczak (Pol) Poland
111Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar Team
112Robert Wagner (Ger) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
113Jesse Sergent (NZl) RadioShack Leopard
114Bartlomiej Matysiak (Pol) CCC Polsat Polkowice
115Aidis Kruopis (Ltu) Orica-GreenEdge
116Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Colombia
117Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
118Mark Renshaw (Aus) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
119Nathan Haas (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
120Stef Clement (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
121Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol
122Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC Racing Team
123Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing Team
124Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team
125Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Astana Pro Team
126Miguel Minguez Ayala (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
127Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Argos-Shimano
128Steele Von Hoff (Aus) Garmin-Sharp
129Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha
130Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team Argos-Shimano
131Kamil Gradek (Pol) Poland
132Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale
133Ji Cheng (Chn) Team Argos-Shimano
134Jens Mouris (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge
135Danny Pate (USA) Sky Procycling
136Timothy Duggan (USA) Team Saxo-Tinkoff
137Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
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Points
1Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida20pts
2Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) Colombia19
3Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo-Tinkoff18
4Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar Team17
5Ivan Basso (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling16
6Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale15
7Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi14
8Alex Howes (USA) Garmin-Sharp13
9Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack Leopard12
10Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge11
11Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack Leopard10
12Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team9
13Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff8
14Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling7
15Davide Rebellin (Ita) CCC Polsat Polkowice6
16Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team5
17Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team4
18Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ.fr3
19Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC Racing Team2
20Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura1
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Mountain 1 - Dolomiti Di Brenta (Cat. 1) 57.5km
1Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp-Endura10pts
2Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step7
3Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC Racing Team5
4Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.fr3
5Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team2
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Moutain 2 - Passo Del Durone (Cat. 2) 146km
1Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp-Endura5pts
2Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step3
3Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ.fr2
4Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC Racing Team1
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Mountain 3 - Madonna Di Campiglio (Cat. 1) 182km
1Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo-Tinkoff10pts
2Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar Team7
3Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica-GreenEdge5
4Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack Leopard3
5Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky Procycling2
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Sprint 1 - Trento, 25.5km
1Leon