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Bettini wins in Zurich

Bettini raises his arms as he crosses the finish line

(Keystone)

Italy's Paolo Bettini won a furious sprint finish to claim victory ahead of Germany's Jan Ullrich in the Zurich world cup cycling event.

After more than six hours and six punishing laps around the Swiss banking capital, the 248-kilometre race was reduced to a tense battle between Bettini, Ullrich, Italy's Francesco Casagrande and Spain's Fernando Escartin over the final few metres.

The four-man group raced along the lakeside promenade and Bettini came off Ullrich's back wheel with 30 metres to go to snatch the win, leaving the German as runner-up for the third time in five years.

Three-times Tour de France winner and reigning Tour de Suisse champion Lance Armstrong failed to complete the course, calling it a day midway through the second lap.

Dutch rider Erik Dekker crossed the line in fifth place to extend his lead at the top of the world cup standings to 105 points with just two races remaining.

Nick Aebersold was the highest placed Swiss rider, finishing in eighth place one minute and nine seconds behind Bettini. Former world champion Oscar Camenzind made it home in 11th place, while Beat Zberg came 17th.

swissinfo with agencies


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