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  Monday, 13 May, 2002, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
Garzelli moves ahead
Stefano Garzelli
Former winner Garzelli is one of this year's favourites
  Photo Gallery: See this story in pictures

Former champion Stefano Garzelli won the second stage of the prestigious Giro D'Italia on Monday.

Garzelli's win in the 209km ride from Cologne to Ans saw the Mapei rider take the leader's pink jersey.

The Italian, winner of the 2000 Giro, won a mass sprint to pip compatriot Francesco Casagrande, who had lead the decisive attack on the final six-kilometre climb to the line.

The leading group, who all timed five hours 25 minutes 12 seconds, also included Jens Heppner of Germany, who finished third, Italian Davide Rebellin, American Tyler Hamilton, Dutch rider Michael Boogerd and Belgian Rik Verbrugghe.

Champion struggles

Defending champion Gilberto Simoni came in 25 seconds behind the leaders, with 1998 champion Marco Pantani 33 seconds adrift.

Italian sprinter Mario Cipollini, who wore the pink jersey leaving Cologne in the morning, was overwhelmed on the final climb and finished more than a minute after the leaders.

The 28-year-old Garzelli finished second in April's Liege-Bastogne-Liege, which finishes in the same place as this Giro stage.

In that one-day classic, he helped his team-mate Paolo Bettini to victory, has a 13-second lead in the overall standings from Italy's Fabrizio Guidi.

The Giro crosses from Belgium to Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg in Tuesday's 206km third stage.

Stage two results:

1. Stefano Garzelli (Ita) Mapei 5hr 25min 12sec
2. Francesco Casagrande (Ita) same time
3. Jens Heppner (Ger) s.t.
4. Davide Rebellin (Ita) s.t.
5. Tyler Hamilton (USA) s.t.
6. Michael Boogerd (Ned) s.t
7. Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) s.t.
8. Cadel Evans (Aus) at 03sec
9. Mykhaylo Khalilov (Ukr) 03
10. Juan Carlos Dominguez (Spa) 03

Overall standings:

1. S Garzelli (Ita) Mapei 11 hours 10 minutes 45 seconds
2. F Guidi (Ita) at 13 seconds
3. R Verbrugghe (Bel) at 19 secs
4. JC Dominguez (Spa) at 21 secs
5. M Kessler (Ger) at 27 secs
6. F Casagrande (Ita) at 31 secs
7. M Khalilov (Ukr) at 33 secs
8. M Buxhofer (Aut) at 34 secs
9. C Evans (Aus) at 37 secs
10. D Frigo (Ita) at 41 secs

See also:

12 May 02 |  Cycling
Super Mario in pink
11 May 02 |  Cycling
Dutch delight for Dominguez
13 May 02 |  Photo Galleries
Garzelli claims second stage
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