Ulissi 'left with regret' following second place at Gran Piemonte

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 A dejected Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) had to settle for second place at the 2020 Gran Piemonte
A dejected Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) had to settle for second place at the 2020 Gran Piemonte

UAE Team Emirates' Diego Ulissi said that he's been "left with regret" after being unable to catch Gran Piemonte winner George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma) on the final climb to the finish in Barolo on Wednesday, with the Italian having to settle for second place. Bennett had attacked the front group with around seven kilometres to race, and a spirited chase by Ulissi and his teammates in the final kilometres looked as though it was going to be enough to reel the New Zealander back in.

"When you get this close to winning and you can't take it, you are left with regret," Ulissi said in a team press release on Wednesday.

"The team was fantastic," he added. "They were close to me at the key moment, trying to close the gap on Bennett after I tried to fight back on the last climb, having not had the legs to follow the New Zealander.

"My teammates were great in reducing the gap, and then on the last climb I went from very far out to try to bridge across, but I didn't make it," said Ulissi.

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The 31-year-old finished in the same time as Bennett after 187km in what had been hot racing conditions until the rain came down in the final few kilometres, while Alpecin-Fenix's Mathieu van der Poel completed the podium, coming home four seconds down.

Ulissi will get a further opportunity at this Saturday's Il Lombardia, where he'll again line up alongside teammate Fabio Aru, who finished 21st at the Gran Piemonte on Wednesday, and is preparing for the rescheduled Tour de France, which starts in Nice later this month.

Six-time Giro d'Italia stage winner Ulissi, however, is not set to line up at this year's Tour, but will target the Giro, which will take place in October this season.

"The condition is good, and I hope a victory will come soon," Ulissi said.