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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 May 2006, 16:03 GMT 17:03 UK
Verbrugghe claims stage success
Belgian Rik Verbrugghe
Verbrugghe claimed his 16th career stage victory
Belgian Rik Verbrugghe made a late solo breakaway to claim victory in Saturday's seventh stage of the Giro d'Italia.

The Cofidis rider held off the challenge of defending champion Paolo Savoldelli close to the line.

The 236km stage from Cesena to Saltara is the longest of the Tour.

Ukrainian Sergei Gontchar regained the overall lead from Germany's Olaf Pollack who had taken top spot from him on Friday.

Verbrugghe was in a group of six riders who led the main group by up to six minutes at one stage but as their advantage disappeared, he launched his attack with five kilometres to go.

Although the peloton, led by Savoldelli, tried to chase him down, the Belgian triumphed by 14 seconds.

But the Italian was boosted by 12 bonus seconds for finishing second and he is now just five seconds behind Gonchar with Ivan Basso in third a further six seconds back.


Stage result
1. Rik Verbrugghe (Belgium / Cofidis) 6:42:15"
2. Paolo Savoldelli (Italy / Discovery Channel) +14"
3. Luca Mazzanti (Italy / Panaria)
4. Jose Enrique Gutierrez (Spain / Phonak)
5. Davide Rebellin (Italy / Gerolsteiner) +16"
6. Ivan Basso (Italy / Team CSC) +17"
7. Sergei Gontchar (Ukraine / T-Mobile)
8. Gilberto Simoni (Italy / Saunier Duval)
9. Laurent Lefevre (France / Bouygues Telecom) +20"
10. Michele Scarponi (Italy / Liberty Seguros)

Overall standings
1. Sergui Gonchar (Ukr) T-Mobile 27:37.08sec
2. Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) +5 seconds
3. Ivan Basso (Ita) +11
4. Michael Rogers (Aus) +32
5. Davide Rebellin (Ita) +53
6. Jose Luis Rubiera (Sp) +55
7. Tom Danielson (USA) +56
8. Jose Enrique Gutierrez (Sp) +1.02
9. Danilo Di Luca (Ita) +1.06
10. Jens Voigt (Ger) +1.09


SEE ALSO
Gontchar takes overall Giro lead
11 May 06 |  Cycling
Third Giro stage win for McEwen
12 May 06 |  Cycling
Schumacher leads Giro d'Italia
08 May 06 |  Cycling
McEwen powers to Giro sprint win
07 May 06 |  Cycling
Savoldelli opens Giro defence
06 May 06 |  Cycling


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