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Page last updated at 17:20 GMT, Monday, 12 May 2008 18:20 UK

Bennati wins third Giro stage

Daniele Bennati
Bennati's win made it two consecutive home victories

Italian Daniele Bennati of the Liquigas team won the third stage of the Giro d'Italia in a sprint finish in Milazzo.

Bennati edged out Milram's German veteran Erik Zabel at the end of the 208km stage, with another German, Danilo Hondo (Diquigiovanni) third.

The stage, which saw Franco Pellizotti retain the leader's jersey, was marred by several crashes, the worst of which ended Australian Brad McGee's Giro.

Briton Mark Cavendish, unable to find a gap in the sprint, finished ninth.

Four of the other British riders finished in the main bunch on the same time: David Millar (40th), Geraint Thomas (94th), Steve Cummings (129th) and Bradley Wiggins (137th).

Charly Wegelius, however, was a further seven minutes 57 seconds back in 187th place.

Italian Riccardo Ricco (Saunier-Duval), who won Sunday's stage and was one of the pre-race favourites to finish in the top three, was also caught up in a crash, and is expected to go to hospital for an X-ray on his hand.

"It's probably broken, we'll see," Ricco said. "This course was too dangerous."

606: DEBATE

Bennati shared Ricco's view about the stage, but was delighted with his win.

"The first days of a stage race are always dangerous, but today was particularly dangerous.

"I've won at the Tour [de France] and the Vuelta [a Espana] but never at the Giro, so this is special," Bennati said.

The Giro moves onto mainland Italy on Tuesday with a 187km leg from Pizzo Calabro to Catanzaro Lungomare.


Stage Three result:

1. Daniele Bennati (ITA/LIQ) 5hr 37min 01sec

2. Erik Zabel (GER/MRM) same time

3. Danilo Hondo (GER/SDA) s.t.

4. Thomas Fothen (GER/GST) s.t.

5. Alberto Loddo (ITA/TCS) s.t.

6. Koldo Fernandez (ESP/EUS) s.t.

7. Tiziano Dall'Antonia (ITA/CSF) s.t.

8. Marlon Perez (COL/GCE) s.t.

9. Mark Cavendish (GBR/THR) s.t.

10. Oscar Gatto (ITA/GST) s.t.

Selected others:

40. David Millar s.t.

94 Geraint Thomas s.t.

129. Steve Cummings s.t.

137. Bradley Wiggins s.t.

187. Charly Wegelius at seven minutes 57 seconds.

Overall Standings (After 3 of 21 stages)

1. Franco Pellizotti, Italy, 11hr 52min 17sec

2. Christian Vandevelde, US, one second behind

3. Danilo Di Luca, Italy, at seven seconds

4. Morris Possoni, Italy, at eight seconds

5. Vincenzo Nibali, Italy, same time

6. Nicki Sorensen, Denmark, at 17 seconds

7. Kanstantsin Siutsou, Belarus, at 18 seconds

8. Paolo Savoldelli, Italy, at 19 seconds

9. Andrea Noe, Italy, at 22 seconds

10. Enrico Gasparotto, Italy, at 25 seconds.

Selected others:

13. Andreas Kloden, Germany, at 28 seconds.

16. Alberto Contador, Spain, at 30 seconds.

18. Riccardo Ricco, Italy, at 33 seconds.

23. Levi Leipheimer, US, at 40 seconds.

76. David Millar, GB, at two minutes 14 seconds.

117. Geraint Thomas, GB, at seven minutes 55 seconds.

118. Steve Cummings, GB, at eight minutes.

126. Charly Wegelius, GB, at eight minutes 51 seconds.

135. Mark Cavendish, GB, at 11 minutes 38 seconds.

137. Bradley Wiggins, GB, s.t.

see also
Ricco secures second Giro stage
11 May 08 |  Cycling
Vandevelde wins first Giro stage
10 May 08 |  Cycling
Pretty in pink
08 May 08 |  Cycling
Astana given place in Giro field
03 May 08 |  Cycling
British pair out of Giro d'Italia
04 Feb 08 |  Riders and Teams
Di Luca cleared of doping charge
16 Apr 08 |  Cycling
Di Luca given doping suspension
17 Oct 07 |  Cycling
Di Luca seals home Giro victory
03 Jun 07 |  Cycling


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