Diego Ulissi held off Simon Gerrans to win stage two of the Tour Down Under in an uphill sprint.

The Lampre-Merida rider moves to second in the overall standings with the stage win while Gerrans remains first overall after finishing second.

The Australian is now just seven seconds ahead of Ulissi with Andre Greipel 11 seconds off the pace.

Ulissi, who has previously won a stage in the Giro d'Italia, was surprised that he managed to win the stage.

The Tour Down Under reports Ulissi said: "I’ve never believed in my chances to win this stage because I had the impression that Simon Gerrans was by far the strongest.

"I thought he’d be unbeatable but I managed to beat him thanks to the help of the great team I have behind me.

"It has a lot to do with the serenity I found by winning a few races at the very end of last season, therefore I could train for this one with no worries and prepare well for Milan-San Remo."

The 150km race took the riders through the Adelaide Hills, before heading on a 20km two lap circuit through and around the finish town of Stirling.

An early breakaway was formed of Will Clarke, Campbell Flakemore and Boy Van Poppel. These riders shared the points on both sprints and King of the Mountain summits.

The first sprint was won by Van Poppel, with the first King of the Mountains going to Clarke. The Australian also went on to pick up maximum points on the second climb of the day.

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