Proni breaks away to win 131-mile stage four

Updated: June 18, 2007, 12:56 PM ET
Associated Press

NAUDERS, Austria -- Alessandro Proni earned his first career victory Monday by winning the third stage of the Tour de Suisse after a 131-mile breakaway, and Fabian Cancellara kept the leader's yellow jersey.

After an early breakout with Daniel Navarro Garcia and Luis Pasamontes Rodriguez in the 142-mile stage from Brunnen to this Austrian town, Proni took command over the final five miles to win in 6 hours, 2 minutes, 17 seconds.

"It's not only the biggest win of my career, it's the first win of my professional career," the 24-year-old Quick Step rider from Italy said. "I'm used to winning as an amateur but not as a pro. This is still hard for me to believe."

Proni finished the third and longest stage of this year's tour seven seconds ahead of the peloton. Xavier Florencio of Spain was second, while Kim Kirchen of Luxembourg was third.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press