Tirreno-Adriatico 2: Illiano wins sprint

Six man break dumps rest of field

Italian Raffaele Illiano won the second stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico over 203km from Civitavecchia to Gubbio on Thursday, edging out countryman Enrico Gasparotto in a sprint finish.

The two riders were part of a six-man breakaway that went clear of the peloton on the last climb of the day, about 25km from home.Illiano, of the Diquigiovanni-Androni team, had actually been involved in a crash on Wednesday's first stage and was riding with five stitches but he still had the strength to come through at the finish.

His team-mate Niklas Axelsson was third while German Linus Gerdemann and Saunier Duval pair Riccardo Ricco and Eros Capecchi made up the rest of the escape group.

"I'm more than happy, I've been waiting for this victory for seven years," Illiano told Rai TV cameras. "There are so many people I have to thank. I worked hard for this victory, I always had faith and I think it paid off."

Barloworld's Gasparetto may have missed out on the stage win but he did take the leader's red and yellow jersey.

Race favourites Daniele Di Luca, Fabian Cancellara and Paolo Savoldelli came home 40sec behind the winner.

For full results, report and photos, see Cyclingnews.com.

© AFP 2008

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