Diego Ulissi might be worth watching this season

Stage two didn’t thin out as I’d expected – 97 riders finished in the front group. In the grand scheme of things, they were racing for bonus seconds really. Simon Gerrans got a handful for finishing second. Diego Ulissi, however, jumped into second place overall after taking the win.

Who’s Diego Ulissi?

He doesn’t have a spectacular palmares but that’s largely because he’s only 24 and appears to be at the start of an upward curve. However, he won the Junior World Road Race Championships two years in a row and has also won the Tour of Slovenia and Milano-Torino, which is a reasonably high profile one-day race (they call it a ‘semi-classic’ as if semis are any good to anyone).

Ulissi can sprint, but he can also climb well enough to have finished 21st in the Giro in 2012 and seventh in Paris-Nice last year. Keep your eye out.

Stage three

Okay, this one’ll definitely thin out. I promise. The Corkscrew Road climb tops out with 7km to go and it’s serious enough (2.4km at 9%) that many of the riders will be distanced. Geraint Thomas reached the summit first last year and then won the sprint from a front group of just four riders.