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  Thursday, 25 July, 2002, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Frigo sprints to victory
Dario Frigo celebrates his Tour victory
Dario Frigo has had a turbulent six months
Dario Frigo sprinted his way to a fine win on stage 17 of the Tour de France on Thursday as Laurent Jalabert all but retained his King of the Mountains crown.

Italian Frigo secured the first-ever stage win for the Tacconi Sport team as he timed his challenge to perfection to outgun Mario Aerts, who finished second, and Giuseppe Guerini.


I'm really happy to have won this stage, especially as it was in the Alps
Dario Frigo

But no one made any significant impression on Lance Armstrong's overall lead, with the American controlling his main rivals to remain five minutes ahead of Joseba Beloki.

Aerts' dominated the day's intermediate sprints, to move into second place in the race for the polka dot jersey.

But he will need a miracle to catch France's Jalabert, who picked up enough points to move within a whisker of ensuring the coveted King of the Mountains title for the second successive year.

Laurent Jalabert
Laurent Jalabert has made the polka dot jersey his own

Frigo, the first Italian to win a stage in this year's Tour, was delighted with his success.

"I'm really happy to have won this stage, especially as it was in the Alps," he said.

The Italian, who in March this year finished a six-month suspension for possession of illegal susbstance, added: "The Tour is not the best race for me for the overall standings but today I wanted to show that I could do something."

The trio were someway clear of the chasing group, who themselves led the peloton by about three minutes.

The biggest mover was Colombian Santiago Botero, winner of stage 15, who powered through late in the stage to rise from seventh to fourth place overall.

Carlos Sastre of Spain also rode well to move 10th overall.

On the final day of climbing in the Alps, the peloton seemed content to ride the stage at an easy pace, although a number of challenging climbs made sure it was never going to be a stroll.

After a number of early breakaways, a grop of riders including the top three finishers were allowed to break free.

Although a number of counter-attacks were made, mainly by Jalabert, Frigo's group held on till the end.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Simon Brotherton
"Frigo had the extra kick to get to the line first"
All the actiion from the world's greatest bike race

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