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MILAN, Italy (AP) _ Paolo Savoldelli won the Giro d'Italia on Sunday, maintaining a lead of nearly two minutes over American Tyler Hamilton through the final stage.

Italy's Mario Cipollini claimed the final leg for his sixth stage win of the race. He covered the 87-mile leg from Cantu to Milan in 3 hours, 35 minutes, 39 seconds.

Cipollini, of the Acqua e Sapone team, claimed his 40th stage win in the Giro, one short of the career mark held by Italy's Alfredo Binda.

The 29-year-old Savoldelli, of the Index-Alexia team, had considered retirement after a winless season last year. He claimed the pink jersey of overall leader from Australia's Cadel Evans on Thursday and defended it in a final attack by Hamilton in Saturday's time test at Monticello Brianza.

Hamilton, of the Danish-based team Tiscali, finished 13 seconds behind Savoldelli on Saturday and failed to make up for an initial overall gap of more than one minute.

``I did my best and now I'm aware that I can compete with the top riders,'' Hamilton said. ``Savoldelli was stronger in the key stages. I must accept the result.''

Sticking to tradition, cyclists avoided attacks during the closing stage and Savoldelli had on to the opportunity to toast with champagne along with teammates and rivals while pedaling toward Milan.