Giro 3: Daniele Bennati wins

Liquigas teammate Franco Pellizotti still in leader's pink jersey

Italian cyclist Daniele Bennati won stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia into Milazzo on Monday to record his first ever success in the race.

His Liquigas team-mate Franco Pellizotti retained the overall leader's pink jersey.

Bennati - winner of two stages in the Tour de France and three in the Tour of Spain last year - edged out German veteran Erik Zabel in a sprint finish at the end of the 221 kilometres ride. Zabel's compatriot Danilo Hondo was third.

However, the stage saw the end of Australian rider Bradley McGee's challenge as the 32-year-old - who wore the pink jersey for two days in the 2004 Giro - took a crashing fall around 20 kilometres from the finish. McGee broke his collarbone.

Another of CSC's Australian riders, Stuart O'Grady, picked up an identical injury from a seperate fall and despite struggling on to cross the finish line, the winner of the 2007 Paris-Roubaix had to pull out of the race.

Another group crash involved Sunday's stage winner Riccardo Ricco, but the Italian was able to resume the race, though, he suffered a suspected fracture of the index finger of his left hand.

Bennati was far from complimentary about Monday's circuit.

"I'd prefer not to talk about it as I'd only be too harsh on it. What I will say is that we all saw dangerous roads that suddenly narrowed, with railings along the roadside, and so on and so on," the 27-year-old complained.

The Giro moves from Sicily to the Italian mainland on Tuesday with the fourth stage, a 183km ride from Pizzo Calabro to Catanzaro lungomare.

For a full report and photos, visit Cyclingnews.com.

© BikeRadar & AFP 2008

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