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Page last updated at 16:07 GMT, Thursday, 28 May 2009 17:07 UK

Scarponi secures Giro stage win

Michele Scarponi
Scarponi won the 18th stage but the overall lead is still held by Menchov

Italian Michele Scarponi won the 18th stage of the Giro d'Italia from Sulmona to Benevento on Thursday.

The Serramenti rider, 29, came home in a time of four hours, seven minutes and 41 seconds.

Russian Denis Menchov of Rabobank finished safely in the peloton - almost four minutes behind - to maintain his overall lead.

Menchov leads Italian 2007 champion Danilo Di Luca by 26 seconds ahead of Friday's uphill stage.

Liquigas rider Franco Pellizotti is two minutes behind Menchov in third and 2006 winner Ivan Basso is fourth.

Last year's Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre lies just behind Basso in fifth while American Lance Armstrong, gaining fitness for a tilt at an eighth Tour de France title in July after coming out of retirement, is in a creditable 12th position overall.

Friday's 19th stage is a 164-kilometre (102-mile) leg from Avellino to Mount Vesuvius, and is the race's final uphill finish.

Scarponi, 29, finished ahead of Colombian Felix Cardenas of Barloworld on Thursday with American Danny Pate of Garmin in third.

Stage 18 results (Thursday):

1. Michele Scarponi (Italy / Diquigiovanni) 4 hrs 7 mins 41 secs
2. Felix Cardenas (Colombia / Barloworld) same time
3. Lars Bak (Denmark / Saxo Bank) same time
4. Danny Pate (U.S. / Garmin) same time
5. Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukraine / Team ISD) +6
6. Dries Devenyns (Belgium / Quick-Step) +20
7. Jason McCartney (U.S. / Saxo Bank) +24
8. Giovanni Visconti (Italy / Team ISD) +37

Overall Standings:

1. Denis Menchov (Russia / Rabobank)
2. Danilo Di Luca (Italy / Team LPR) +26 sec
3. Franco Pellizotti (Italy / Liquigas) +2:00
4. Ivan Basso (Italy / Liquigas) +3:28
5. Carlos Sastre (Spain / Cervelo) +3:30
6. Levi Leipheimer (U.S. / Astana) +4:32
7. Michael Rogers (Australia / Columbia) +7:05
8. Stefano Garzelli (Italy / Acqua & Sapone) +8:03

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see also
Pellizotti secures Giro stage win
27 May 09 |  Cycling
Sastre up to third after Giro win
25 May 09 |  Cycling
Bertagnolli earns Giro stage win
24 May 09 |  Cycling
Gerrans climbs to Giro stage win
23 May 09 |  Cycling
Team pulls Cavendish out of Giro
22 May 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish takes third Giro stage
22 May 09 |  Cycling
Speedy Menchov steals Giro lead
21 May 09 |  Cycling
Di Luca extends overall Giro lead
19 May 09 |  Cycling
Protest overshadows Cavendish win
17 May 09 |  Cycling
Horrillo out of coma after crash
17 May 09 |  Cycling
Hagen sprints to Giro stage win
15 May 09 |  Cycling
Scarponi takes Giro stage victory
14 May 09 |  Cycling
Menchov powers to Giro stage win
13 May 09 |  Cycling
Di Luca takes Giro fourth stage
12 May 09 |  Cycling
Petacchi grabs overall Giro lead
11 May 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish keeps overall Giro lead
10 May 09 |  Cycling
Cavendish nabs historic Giro lead
09 May 09 |  Cycling

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