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  Tuesday, 28 May, 2002, 19:17 GMT 20:17 UK
Cipollini closes in on record
Italy's Marco Cipollini celebrates his victory
Marco Cipollini celebrates victory in the 15th stage
Tuesday's stage results

Mario Cipollini sprinted to his 38th career victory in the Giro d'Italia's 15th stage, edging out Spain's Isaac Galvez Lopez.

It was the fourth stage win in this year's edition of the Giro for the 35-year-old Italian captain of the Acqua e Sapone team.

And the victory leaves Cipollini just three wins from the all-time record of stage wins held by Italian great Alfredo Binda.

Germany's Jens Heppner, of Team Telekom, retained the pink jersey of overall leader for the 10th consecutive day, ahead of two tough uphill stages in the Dolomite mountains which are expected to decide the Giro winner.

Bad spill

Heppner, a 37-year-old veteran cyclist, held a 48-second lead over Australian runner-up Cadel Evans.

American Tyler Hamilton was third overall, 1:06 minutes behind the leader.

All Giro cyclists were given random blood tests before the start of Tuesday's stage and Giro organizers said all results were negative.

The stage was marred by rain and by a bad spill which knocked Colombian champion John Freddy Garcia out of the race.

Garcia, who blamed a collision with Francesco Casagrande for his fall, was taken to hospital and treated for facial cuts and bruises.

Casagrande was later expelled from the race for causing Garcia's crash.

The decision by the jury, which is not open to appeal added more drama to a race already rocked by a doping scandal.

Casagrande is the captain of the Fassa Bortolo team and was favourite for the overall victory in the Giro.

The 20-stage Italian marathon ends in Milan on Sunday.


Tuesday's stage 15 results:

1. Mario Cipollini (Ita) 3hr 42min 49sec
2. Isaac Galvez (Spa)
3. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita)
4. Steven De Jongh (Ned)
5. Zoran Klemencic (Slo)
6. Rene Haselbacher (Aut)
7. Massimo Strazzer (Ita
8. Christophe Detilloux (Bel)
9. Igor Astarloa (Spa)
10. Mathew Hayman (Aus) all same time

Overall standings:

1 Jens Heppner (Ger) Team Telekom 68hrs 12mins 43secs
2 Cadel Evans (Aus) Mapei-Quick Step at 0mins 48secs
3 Tyler Hamilton (USA) Team CSC Tiscali at 1:06
4 Dario Frigo (Ita) Sport-Emmegi at 1:11
5 Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Spa) Kelme-Costa Blanca at 1:15
6 Pietro Caucchioli (Ita) Alessio at 1:20
7 Fernando Escartin (Spa) Team Coast at 1:40
8 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Index Alexia at 1:49
9 Rik Verbrugghe (Bel) Lotto-Adecco at 2:13
10 Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Lampre-Daikin at 2:17

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See also:

26 May 02 | Cycling
25 May 02 | Cycling
24 May 02 | Cycling
24 May 02 | Cycling
23 May 02 | Cycling
22 May 02 | Cycling
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