Daniele Bennati leads Tour of Sardinia

Joao Cabreira handed two-year doping ban

Liquigas rider Daniele Bennati took the overall lead in the Italian Tour of Sardinia Friday, after he won the 147km fourth stage to Cagliari.

He now leads compatriot Oscar Gatto by six seconds.

Bennati timed 3:28:59, edging out fellow Italians Mirco Lorenzetto (Lampre), Mattia Gavazzi (Diquigiovanni) and Alessandro Ballan (Lampre) as well as Ukrainian Yury Metlushenko (Amore & Vita) in a dash for the line.

Ballan, current road world champion, is 10 seconds off the pace in third spot overall.

Cabreira given two-year doping ban

Reigning Portuguese cycling champion Joao Cabreira was handed a two-year doping ban by the Portuguese Cycling Federation Friday.

Cabreira, a 26-year-old who won the Tour of the Algarve in 2006, was found guilty of "using a masking substance", according to the federation, prior to providing a recent sample to doping controllers.

It is the second doping sanction for Cabreira in a year.

In August 2008 he was handed a 10-month ban for missing a doping control, although Cabreira successfully appealed that sanction.

Formerly with Portugal's number one team, LA-MSS - who have been investigated amid suspicions of systematic doping - Cabreira had returned to competition earlier this month with the CC Loule team.

© BikeRadar & AFP 2009

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