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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 May 2006, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Basso victory secures Giro lead
Ivan Basso
Basso broke away on Sunday's final climb
Italy's Ivan Basso, riding for CSC, won eighth stage of the Giro d'Italia and took the overall race lead.

Basso attacked 4km from the finish at the summit of the Passo Lanciano to win by 30 seconds from compatriot Damiano Cunego and Spain's Jose Gutierrez.

In the overall standings he now leads Gutierrez by one minute and 34 seconds, with Cunego third at 1:48.

After two hilly stages, Monday's 127km leg from Francavilla al Mare to Termoli is expected to end in a mass sprint.

Sunday's stage proved to be a nightmare for Basso's other rivals for overall victory.

Defending champion Paolo Savoldelli lost over two minutes to his fellow Italian while former two-time winner, Gilberto Simoni, lost just over a minute.

The CSC team's pace on the 12 km-long final climb also proved too much for Italy's Marzio Bruseghin, the last remaining rider from a bunch who had broken away from the peloton at the 55km mark.

He had a 30-second lead on the chasing pack at the foot of the climb, but the fast pace set by CSC's Spanish climber Carlos Sastre put Basso in control.

He was protected by his team-mates for most of the way before staging his dash for the summit, claiming his third career Giro stage triumph.

"It's a good day for me but there's still a long way to go," Basso said.

"I'm happy with the time I gained on my rivals because we all raced at 100% percent on the climb to the finish.

"But what happened last year, when I lost an hour on one stage in the mountains because of a stomach problem, has left its mark."

Giro d'Italia stage eight results:
1. Ivan Basso (Ita/Team CSC) 4:04:19
2. Damiano Cunego (Ita/Lampre) +30
3. Jose Enrique Gutierrez (Spa/Phonak)
4. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita/Liberty Seguros) +45
5. Luca Mazzanti (Ita/Panaria) +1:09
6. Leonardo Piepoli (Ita/Saunier Duval) +1:15
7. Gilberto Simoni (Ita/Saunier Duval)
8. Danilo Di Luca (Ita/Liquigas) +1:30
9. Jose Rujano (Ven/Selle Italia)
10. Julio Perez Cuapio (Mex/Panaria)

General classification:
1. Ivan Basso (Ita/Team CSC) 31:41:17
2. Jose Enrique Gutierrez (Spa/Phonak) +1:34
3. Damiano Cunego (Ita/Lampre) +1:48
4. Paolo Savoldelli (Ita/Discovery Channel) +2:35
5. Sergei Gontchar (Ukr/T-Mobile) +2:43
6. Danilo Di Luca (Ita/Liquigas) +2:48
7. Gilberto Simoni (Ita/Saunier Duval) +3:20
8. Giampaolo Caruso (Ita/Liberty Seguros) +3:23
9. Tom Danielson (US/Discovery Channel) +3:33

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