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Page last updated at 11:35 GMT, Monday, 21 April 2008 12:35 UK

Cunego sprints to Amstel Gold win

Damiano Cunego is victorious at the finish line
Damiano Cunego is victorious at the finish line

Italy's Damiano Cunego won the Amstel Gold Race beating Frank Schleck and Alejandro Valverde in an uphill sprint to the finish line in Holland.

The Italian finished in six hours, 35 minutes and 29 seconds after breaking away with eight other riders from the peleton with 11 miles remaining.

Great Britain's David Millar came 74th, five minutes and 25 seconds back.

It was Cunego's first Amstel race, and the Lampre team cyclist is the new leader of the UCI ProTour.

"I always knew I could win this race and it's hugely satisfying to do it at the first attempt," Cunego said.

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"I think I won because I'm more relaxed in the way I approach races and because I've really started to believe in my ability.

"I won the Giro d'Italia in 2004 but it was only after winning the Tour of Lombardy last October that I started to have confidence in myself in the big one-day races."

The 26-year-old, who took over the ProTour lead from Andre Greipel, rides his second race of the so-called 'Ardennes Week' on Wednesday, in La Fleche Wallonne.

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