Sport Cycling Simon Gerrans keeps lead after stage two

Simon Gerrans keeps lead after stage two

Simon Gerrans
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Australian cycling star Simon Gerrans retains his overall lead in the Tour Down Under, despite Italian Diego Ulissi winning stage two.

Ulissi sprinted clear on Wednesday to beat Gerrans and Cadel Evans on the uphill finish at Stirling.

The Lampre rider started the stage fifth overall at 11 seconds and is now placed second behind Gerrans at seven seconds.

Evans (BMC) finished third on the stage, just behind Gerrans.

By finishing second and picking up the six-second bonus, Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) gained time on everyone except Ulissi, 24, who won the junior world road title in 2006 and ’07.

The 150km stage through the Adelaide Hills came down to a sprint featuring all the title contenders.

Richie Porte (Sky) led them out, but was unable to maintain his attack.

Australians Will Clarke (Drapac) and Campbell Flakemore (UniSA) joined with Dutchman Boy Van Poppel (Trek) in a breakaway that went clear early in the stage.

But they were never allowed to build a lead of more than three minutes.

Flakemore dropped off with 31km left and, when the race came through Stirling for the third and last time with 21km to go, the peloton was only four seconds behind Clarke and Van Poppel.

Australian David Tanner did not start on Wednesday after he had surgery on Tuesday night for the broken collarbone he suffered in a stage-one crash.