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The result had no significant bearing on the general classification, which ensured Puccio remained level on time with Ovechkin at the top of the standings after crossing the line just 0.4seconds behind the Rusvelo rider in Thursday’s...

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SALVATORE PUCCIO

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19.06.2015 @ 22:11 Posted by Andy Pedersen

Salvatore Puccio defended his second place at the Tour of Slovenia by sprinting to fifth place on stage two. Puccio – wearing the red points jersey for overnight leader Artem Ovechkin – kept himself out of trouble in the dour conditions and was one of three Team Sky riders in a 53-man peloton who battled it out for victory.

 

The 25 year old produced a solid kick down the finishing straight, but it was Pier Paolo De Negri (Nippo - Vini Fantini) who took the spoils by narrowly outpacing his Italian compatriots Antonio Parrinello (D’Amico) and Simone Ponzi (Southeast).

 

The result had no significant bearing on the general classification, which ensured Puccio remained level on time with Ovechkin at the top of the standings after crossing the line just 0.4seconds behind the Rusvelo rider in Thursday’s opening time trial.

 

The action had got off to a wet start, but that didn’t deter three riders from working their way clear shortly before the first intermediate sprint.

 

Rusvelo immediately assumed control at the head of the peloton, and never allowed the escapees’ lead to stretch over the three-minute mark.

 

The trio were eventually caught on the first-category ascent to Strma, and although Mauro Finetto (Southeast) produced a determined counter move before the summit, he too was swept up in the last 12km.

 

The peloton split as the pace ramped up on a fast run in to Kocevje, and it was De Negri who emerged triumphant for his first win of the season.

 

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