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T-Mobile rider Honchar takes overall lead

5/11/2006

CREMONA, Italy -- Ivan Basso led Team CSC to victory in the fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia on Thursday.

Team CSC finished the 35-kilometer time trial from Piacenza to
Cremona in 36 minutes, 56 seconds, traveling nearly 35 mph as the
race returned to Italy after four stages in Belgium.

Ukraine veteran Sergiy Honchar took the overall leader's pink
jersey as his T-Mobile team -- with Jan Ullrich and Michael Rogers -- finished runner-up by one second.

Stefan Schumacher had previously held the pink jersey.

Matthias Kessler lost ground on the last stretch and crossed a
few seconds behind his teammates to cost T-Mobile the stage win.
Defending champion Paolo Savoldelli and his Discovery Channel team
was third, 39 seconds back. Schumacher and his Gerolsteiner team
finished 1:03 behind.

Former Giro winners Damiano Cunego (Lampre) and Gilberto Simoni
(Saunier Duval) lost more than a minute because their squads do not
include time trial specialists.

The 36-year-old Honchar leads Jens Voigt and Rogers by six
seconds overall. Basso moved up to fifth, 11 seconds back.

Basso, who will race in the Tour de France this year, said his
team fought hard for the stage win.

"We are very happy. I improved overall, but it's a very tough,
difficult Giro. Every day poses a new challenge," said Basso, who
finished second to Lance Armstrong in last year's Tour de France.

Armstrong, who retired after clinching his seventh Tour de
France title last year, followed the time trial in the car of his
former team, Discovery Channel.