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Cycling: Cipollini bounces back as Swiss rider collides with motorbike

The Italian rider, Mario Cipollini, has won the fourth stage of the Giro d'Italia one day after being disqualified from the third stage for illegal sprinting.

Cipollini outpaced Russia's Dmitri Konyshev and fellow Italian, Silvio Martinello to win the 235 kilometre race from Scalea to Matera. The victory was Cipollini's 30th in the Giro d'Italia, bringing him level with Costante Giradengo, who has the third highest tally of Giro stages.

The hilly approach to the finish was not ideally suited to the big Tuscan's usual style of cycling. Nevertheless he sprinted ahead in the final 50 metres without the pacing assistance of his teammates. Yesterday's decision to demote Cipollini to last place after he was judged to have left the legal racing line may have helped the Italian find the necessary power.

One Swiss rider, Daniel Schnider, received a push that he could have done without 15 kilometres from the finish when he collided with an official's motorbike. The motorcycle clipped Schnider's handlebars and he crashed heavily, regaining his feet as the pursuing bunch parted to avoid him.

"I didn't know what had happened," Schnider said afterwards. "Suddenly I was on the ground." The Lucerne cyclist completed the stage and was later treated for bruises.

Having broken away from the pack before the accident, Schnider may have also suffered some hurt pride after finally pedalling to the line nine minutes behind Cipolinni.

Italy's Christian Moreni retains the overall leader's pink jersey going into Thursday's 232 kilometre fifth stage from Matera to Peschici.

swissinfo with agencies

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