Cipollini Wins Stages
May. 31, 2002
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BRESCIA, Italy (AP) _ Mario Cipollini outsprinted Alessandro Petacchi and the main group at the finish line of Friday's race to earn his fifth stage victory in the Giro d'Italia.
Paolo Savoldelli, of Index Alexia, retained the pink jersey of overall leader going into the last two legs of the Italian cycling marathon, which ends in Milan on Sunday.
It was the 39th career triumph in Giro stages for the 35-year-old captain of the Acqua e Sapone team.
Cipollini, Italy's best sprinter, nicknamed ``SuperMario'' by his fans, moved two short of the record of 41 Giro wins long held by Alfredo Binda.
He also tied Belgian great Eddy Merckx with 153 wins in multistage races.
Cipollini came from behind to beat Petacchi by half a wheel as he completed the 88.6-mile distance from Rovereto to Brescia in 4 hours, 12 minutes, 44 seconds.
Austrian Rene Haselbacher placed third.
Savoldelli, who snatched the pink jersey from Australian Cadel Evans in Thursday's uphill stage, held a 55-second lead over Pietro Caucchioli and 1:28 over American Tyler Hamilton.
Savoldelli will try to defend the race leadership in Saturday's 26.5-mile individual time test from Cambiago to Monticello Brianza.
Hamilton won his only Giro stage in a time test at Numana last Sunday, beating Savoldelli by 1:36 for 18.7 miles.