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Bartoli Takes Tour of Italy Lead

May 21, 1998

FRASCATI, Italy (AP) _ Mario Cipollini sprinted to victory in the fifth stage of the Tour of Italy cycling classic Thursday and matched a record with his 23rd career win.

Michele Bartoli moved into the overall lead, replacing Sergei Gontchar of Ukraine.

Bartoli, who trailed Gontchar by only one second at the start of the stage, led by three seconds when the 127.7-mile run ended.

Cipollini, known as the ``King of Sprints,″ led fellow Italian Silvio Martinello and Russian Sergei Smetanine in a crowded group finish.

It was Cipollini’s first stage victory in this year’s Giro.

With 23 stage wins, Cipollini equaled the record of late Fausto Coppi.

The 22-stage cycling marathon ends in Milan on June 7.

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