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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 August, 2003, 17:02 GMT 18:02 UK
Bettini wins in Hamburg
Paolo Bettini
Bettini was the overall World Cup champion last year
Italian Paolo Bettini won the Cyclassics World Cup cycle race around Hamburg on Sunday.

Bettini, last year's overall World Cup champion, finished the 253.2km course in a time of five hours 58 minutes and 20 seconds to steal the thunder from local hero Jan Ullrich.

The German had to settle for third behind Bettini and another Italian, Davide Rebellin.

The trio were among a five-man breakaway who escaped from the peloton after the last climb of the steep Waseberg hill.

Spaniard Igor Astarloa came fourth ahead of Italian Mirko Celestino, with German Erik Zabel winning the sprint of the peloton for sixth place, three seconds back.

"This is a great race, no matter what people say," said Bettini.

"Some criticise it because the course is relatively undemanding but look how exciting it was.

"I'm delighted with this victory and I'm looking forward to winning this race again."

Ullrich, who was cheered on by hundreds of thousands of German fans lining the course in stifling heat, was left still chasing his first World Cup win.

"I knew I had to try something because I would have had no chance in a mass sprint," Ullrich said.

"It didn't work out but if you don't try, you don't get anything."

Belgian Peter van Petegem retains the overall lead in the series after six of 10 races, with Bettini now second three points behind.

The next race is the Clasica San Sebastian in Spain on Saturday.

Cyclassics World Cup placings:

1. Paolo Bettini (Italy) Quick Step - five hours 58 minutes 20 seconds
2. Davide Rebellin (Italy) Gerolsteiner
3. Jan Ullrich (Germany) Bianchi
4. Igor Astarloa (Spain) Saeco
5. Mirko Celestino (Italy) Saeco
6. Erik Zabel (Germany) Team Telekom
7. Fabio Baldato (Italy) Alessio
8. Giovanni Lombardi (Italy) Domina Vacanze
9. Stefano Zanini (Italy) Saeco
10. Andrea Ferrigato (Italy) Alessio

Overall World Cup placings:

1. Peter Van Petegem (Bel) 203 pts
2. Paolo Bettini (Ita) 200
3. Michael Boogerd (Ned) 140
4. Mirko Celestino (Ita) 127
5. Davide Rebellin (Ita) 123
6. Dario Pieri (Ita) 117
7. Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz) 100
8. Frank Vandenbroucke (Bel) 92
9. Erik Zabel (Ger) 86
10. Fabio Baldato (Ita) 83

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