May 25, 2011 - Italian Diego Ulissi of the Lampre team won the 17th stage of the Tour of Italy over 230km from Feltre to Tirano on Wednesday after Giovanni Visconti was demoted for pushing in the finish.
Visconti was first over the line but after going for a non-existent gap down the inside between Ulissi and the barriers in the run-in, he pushed his 21-year-old rival out of the way.
That also forced Pablo Lastras to swerve out of Ulissi's path. Italian champion Visconti was then demoted to third with Ulissi given the victory and Lastras second place.
In the heat of the moment, seconds after the end of the race, Visconti accused his rival of riding dangerously.
"It's incredible, sometimes it's us ourselves who put our lives at risk," he said. "I shouted several times at Ulissi, I was arriving at twice his speed, if I hadn't lifted my hand I wouldn't have managed to stay on the bike. Ulissi is young and he behaves that way, he's very rude, I'm happy I overtook him but bitter about what happened."
Asked about the risk of being disqualified, he added: "The one who tried to make me fall is at risk."
However, the judges ruled against Visconti and the winner claimed his focus was only on the finishing line.
"I was ahead, I was trying to maintain my position and concentrating on the finish," said Ulissi. "Then I felt myself being pushed and only then did I change my line. But the judges have made their decision and that's it."
Overall race leader Alberto Contador, the reigning Tour de France champion, kept hold of the pink jersey after finishing in the peloton.
Although the stage was hilly there were no punishing mountains and the leading contenders spent the day in the peloton, leaving Michele Scarponi still second, almost five minutes back, with fellow Italian Vincenzo Nibali third.
A flood of early attacks eventually settled into a 16-man breakaway that at one point had opened up a lead of 7min 30sec.
That gradually started to come down but with 30km left, the breakaway riders made an extra effort to hold off the chasing pack.
The pace proved too much for Garmin's Christophe Le Mevel and Dutchman Ben Gastauer, who were the first to crack.
On the last, short, category three climb HTC-Highroad's Kanstantin Svitsov pushed the pace as he had the most to gain in the overall standings.
His efforts proved worthwhile as he moved up from 12th to fifth overall by the end of the day.
He could not hold on as Spaniard Lastras led the charge on the descent down to Tirano, though, as the breakaway group was shredded to just four riders.
Belgian Jan Bakelants found himself leading out the sprint as a game of cat and mouse was being played out.
Eventually Ulissi made the break for home with Visconti trying to hook onto his wheel.
However, he swept across from the right hand side of the road to the left and then tried to go down a gap that was gradually closing as Ulissi veered towards the barrier.
Visconti pushed Ulissi out of his way and gesticulated wildly in a bizarrre finish in which both he and his young rival sat up before the line while only Lastras, who by now was having to take a long route around, was still going flat out.