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Paolo Bettini (Mapei) secured the overall victory in the 2nd Giro Riviera Ligure Ponente after he won his second stage in a row in Santa Margherita Ligure today. The 27 year old beat Fabio Sacchi (Saeco-Longoni Sport) and Massimiliano Gentili (Acqua & Sapone) as the stage finished in a group sprint. In the overall classification, Bettini finished with 10 seconds advantage over Sacchi, who was disappointed that he could not turn the tables.
"Thanks to my teammates, I could avoid all the risks and I could play my cards with confidence, while seeing Bodrogi, Evans and Cioni at my side in the last kilometre. With 200m to go I was in front and all I had to do was to stop Sacchi's attack," said Bettini afterwards.
Bettini is aiming for Milan-San Remo in four weeks time, and will do the important Belgian races Het Volk and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne next weekend.
1 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 4.03.51 (39.762 km/h) 2 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco Longoni Sport 3 Massimiliano Gentili (Ita) Acqua Sapone Cantina Tollo 4 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) De Nardi Pasta Montegrappa 5 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Index Alexia 6 Luca Mazzanti (Ita) Mercatone Uno 7 Mauro Zinetti (Ita) Index Alexia 8 Fausto Dotti(Ita) Cage Maglierie 9 Kim Kirchen (Lux) Fassa Bortolo 10 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Panaria Fiordo Final general classification 1 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Mapei-Quick Step 15.29.01 2 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco Longoni Sport 0.10 3 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) De Nardi Pasta Montegrappa 0.14 4 Laurent Dufaux (Swi) Alessio 5 Massimiliano Gentili (Ita) Acqua Sapone Cantina Tollo 0.16 6 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita) Index Alexia 7 Giuliano Figueras (Ita) Panaria Fiordo 0.20 8 Ivan Gotti (Ita) Alessio 0.24 9 Sasa Gajicic (You) Mobilvetta Formaggi Trentini 10 Rodolfo Massi (Ita) Amore Vita Beretta