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Bettini wins; Basso firmly in overall lead at Giro d'Italia

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Paolo Bettini broke his dry spell at the 2006 Giro d'Italia bike race with a sprint win in Brescia.

The QuickStep cyclist's win didn't threaten anyone at the top of the overall classification, as Ivan Basso held onto the leader's pink jersey for the 8th day.

Unlike like last Monday's premature finish line celebration with raised hands, Italy's Bettini definitely beat T-Mobile's Olaf Pollack in the wheel-to-wheel battle to the finish. Among Pollack's escorts to the finish line was Jan Ullrich, who took several turns at the front of the train.

The peloton had let a small breakaway dangle out front for more than 90 miles on Monday. T-Mobile, Milram and QuickStep shared the burden of pulling them back with just 5 miles to go.

Basso and the other leaders sat comfortably in the peloton all day, preparing for Tuesday's rugged climbing in the Dolomites. The 107-mile Stage 16 starts in Rovato and leads cyclists over a couple of mountain passes before finishing atop Monte Bondone.

More news and updates at CyclingNews and VeloNews. Live video streaming of the Giro is available at the OLN website.

1. Ivan Basso (Team CSC)
2. José E.Gutierrez Cataluna (Phonak), at 3:27 behind
3. Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery), at 5:30
4. Wladimir Belli (Colombia – Selle Italia), at 7:35
5. Gilberto Simoni (Saunier Duval), at 8:00
6. Sandy Casar (Francaise des Jeux), at 8:01
7. Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas-Bianchi), at 8:14
8. Tom Danielson (Discovery Channel), at 8:35
9. Damiano Cunego (Lampre), at 8:58
10. Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas-Bianchi), at 10:36

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2006/05/22/bettini-wins-basso-firmly-in-overall-lead-at-giro-ditalia/

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