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Casagrande takes lead in Giro d'Italia

Francesco Casagrande (centre) takes the leader's pink jersey

(Keystone)

The Italian, Francesco Casagrande, who won the ninth stage of the Giro d'Italia cycling race, has also taken the overall lead. Meanwhile, Switzerland's Niki Aebersold is in the 63rd place overall, with his compatriot Daniel Schnider in 98th position.

Francesco Casagrande finished the stage one minute and 39 seconds ahead of his opposition. He crossed the finish line after a gruelling 130 kilometre stretch approachîng the summit of the San Pelegrino mountain.

Stefano Garzelli of Italy and his compatriot Dario Frigo finished in third and fourth place.

Twenty-nine-year-old Casagrande broke away from the pack 33 kilometres away from the summit.

He had been suspended from cycling competitions for testing positive on performance-enhancing drugs. But his recent win of the Tour De Suisse signalled his comeback.

The ninth stage of the Giro d'Italia was dedicated to the memory of Gino Bartelli - a veteran cyclist and three-times winner of the race.

swissinfo with agencies

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