Giro d’Italia 2020 : Stage 2 – Ulissi has the kick; LBL 2020 : Roglic stays the course

It was a double-header today for men’s cycling, with Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia raced today. The Giro was fairly straightforward, but LBL – well! That’s a different story!

 Giro Stage 2

It was an uphill finish for Stage 2 and it was another Italian winner, with UAE’s Diego Ulissi who had the legs to keep Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) and Mikkel Honoré (Deceuninck-Quickstep) behind him as he crossed the finish line. Ineos’s Filippo Ganna keeps the maglia rosa for another stage.

The top 10 shuffle

Although the stage was fairly uneventful until the flamme rouge, it did shake up the GC top 10. Geraint Thomas moved up a place to third; Jan Tratnik moved from 11th to 7th; Simon Yates moved up from 17th to 8th and Diego Ulissi catapulted himself from 38th to 10th place. Still early days …

Results

1 Diego Ulissi (UAE) 3:24:58

2 Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe) same time

3 Mikkel Honoré (Deceuninck-Quickstep)

4 Michael Matthews (Sumweb) +0:05

5 Luca Wackermann (Vini Zabu KTM) same time

GC Top 10

1 Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) 3:40:27

2 Joao Almeida (Deceuninck Quickstep) +0:22

3 Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:23

4 Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) +0:31

5 Josef Cerny (CCC) +0:36

6 Matteo Sobrero (NTT) +0:40

7 Jan Tratnik (Bahrain McLaren) +0:42

8 Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) +0:49

9 Tanel Kangert (EF Pro-Cycling) same time

10 Diego Ulissi (UAE) +0:54

All the Jerseys

Leader’s jersey Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers)

Points jersey Diego Ulissi (UAE Emirates)

King of the Mountains Peter Sagan (Bora-hansgrohe)

Best Young Rider Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers)

For full race reviews, go to cyclingnews.

Official race website: Giro d’Italia

Liege-Bastogne Liege

It was a controversial finish to the third Monument of the season. The nailbiting final kilometre, had Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep), Marc Hirschi (Sunweb), Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and Tadej Pogacar (UAE) staving off a chasing pack led by yesterday’s bold BinckBank Tour winner, Mathieu van der Poel. With latecomer Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Merida) catching up with the elite of the elite about 500m before the line, it was a tense wind-up to the sprint finish.

Reckless riding

So tense, in fact, that the World Champion left his panache at home and instead brought some severe misjudgements. In what can only be described in Fabianese as #unclass, Alaphilippe drastically changed his line a couple of times during the final few hundred metres – once so severely, he actually clipped Hirschi, putting the Swiss rider out of contention (but thankfully not on the ground or in hospital).

 

Instant karma

Then, as Alaphilippe sprinted for the finish line, he thought he was home free and sat up, spreading his wings wide in victory. Except while LouLou was … let’s call it what it was … showboating, Roglic kept *his* line and his speed and took the win away from the rainbow jersey. In a way, he did a Pogacar on Alaphilippe.

Rainbow relegation

While the winner was not in doubt, the runner-up certainly was. Commissaires had a word with Hirschi and then Alaphilippe got on his bike to go back to the bus, as he was relegated to the back of the group, from second to fifth, for changing his line.

The winner

Although I would have been thrilled with a straightforward, non-deviating Alaphilippe win, I am so happy for Primoz Roglic, who has his first Monument under his belt. While his loss of the Tour title will be with him forever, today showed that he’s a fine competitor … and knows where the finish line is. A real bright spot in his 2020 season. And a dramatic finish that will be replayed over and over and over

By the way, what with the EF Ducks and this finish, Tuesday’s Tweets of the Week is going to be mahoosive!

The last word

Top 10 Results

1 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 6:32:02

2 Marc Hirschi (Sunweb) same time

3 Tadej Pogacar (UAE) s/t

4 Matej Mohoric (Bahrain McLaren) s/t

5 Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep)

6 Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix) +0:14

7 Michael Woods (EF Pro Cycling) same time

8 Tiesj Benoot (Sunweb) s/t

9 Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic) s/t

10 Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos Grenadiers) s/t

For full race reviews, go to cyclingnews.

Official race website: Liege-Bastogne-Liege 

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