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Page last updated at 17:40 GMT, Wednesday, 28 May 2008 18:40 UK

Cavendish hands win to team-mate

Andre Greipel and Mark Cavendish both celebrate at the finish line
The team-mates celebrate together after their one-two finish

Briton Mark Cavendish continued his fine form in the Giro d'Italia as he allowed his High Road team-mate Andre Greipel to win stage 17.

Cavendish, who has already won two stages in Italy, eased up in the final metres to let Greipel to take the first major stage victory of his career.

"I owed Andre this for the job he did for me the other day. He deserved to win," said Cavendish, who was second.

Alberto Contador retained his 41-second overall lead from Riccardo Ricco.

Italian Daniele Bennati finished in third place in the stage, but it was Cavendish's selfless gesture in gifting a prestigious stage win to his team-mate that caught the eye.

"First and second is unbelievable," Cavendish told Cycling Weekly.

"It wasn't something we made up, we didn't decide it going into the sprint, but there were two of us in the last 200m and Andre is really fast, so it was perfect," he said.

"I was just watching Bennati and if he'd started to sprint I'd have gone as well.

"It's great for our team spirit. We showed we can ride a perfect lead out and the whole team was fantastic yet again."

Greipel added: "I think Mark was happy that I won. I did a good job for him when he won and finishing first and second is great for the team.

"It is a team victory, one doesn't win a sprint without it being so."

Stage 17 results:

1. Andre Greipel (Germany, High Road) 3 hours, 27 minutes, 5 seconds.
2. Mark Cavendish (England, High Road) same time.
3. Daniele Bennati (Italy, Liquigas) same time.
4. Erik Zabel (Germany, Milram) same time.
5. Assan Bazayev (Kazakastan, Astana) same time.
6. Alexandre Usov (Belarus, AG2R) same time.
7. Enrico Gasparotto (Italy, Barloworld) same time.
8. Bram De Groot (Netherlands, Rabobank) same time.
9. Alexander Serov (Russia, Tinkoff Credit Systems), same time.
10. Nikolai Trussov (Russia, Tinkoff Credit Systems) same time.

Overall standings:

1. Alberto Contador (Spain) 72 hours, 14 minutes, 40 seconds.
2. Riccardo Ricco (Italy) 41 seconds behind.
3. Gilberto Simoni (Italy) 1:21.
4. Marzio Bruseghin (Italy) 2:00.
5. Franco Pellizotti (Italy) 2:05.
6. Danilo Di Luca (Italy) 2:18.
7. Denis Menchov (Russia) 2:47.
8. Emanuele Sella (Italy) 4:25.
9. Jurgen van den Broeck, (Belgium) 4:26.
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Italy) 5:25.

see also
Sella claims solo Giro stage win
24 May 08 |  Cycling
On Tour with Thomas
20 May 08 |  Cycling
Bruseghin takes time trial stage
20 May 08 |  Cycling
Bennati secures ninth Giro stage
18 May 08 |  Cycling
Ricco sprints to second Giro win
17 May 08 |  Cycling
Bosisio break yields Giro glory
16 May 08 |  Cycling
Priamo grabs Giro stage victory
15 May 08 |  Cycling
Snapped chain ends Millar hopes
14 May 08 |  Cycling
Cavendish secures Giro stage win
13 May 08 |  Cycling
Bennati wins third Giro stage
12 May 08 |  Cycling
Ricco secures second Giro stage
11 May 08 |  Cycling
Vandevelde wins first Giro stage
10 May 08 |  Cycling

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