SAN PELLEGRINO TERME, Italy -- Eros Capecchi won a three-way sprint to the line to take the 18th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Thursday, while Alberto Contador retained the overall lead.
The Italian won the 93-mile stage that began in Morbegno in 3 hours, 20 minutes and 38 seconds after he attacked off the final bend to race across the line in first place.
Marco Pinotti was second and Kevin Seeldrayers third in the same time.
Contador finished in 41st place among the following pack, 6:04 behind Capecchi. The Spaniard leads the overall standings with a time of 71 hours, 45 minutes, 9 seconds. He maintained his advantage of 4:58 over second-place Michele Scarponi.
"It was a good day and the team did well," Contador said. "We controlled our racing and didn't let the breakaway group get too far ahead."
Riders return to the mountains on Friday with a 129-mile stage from Bergamo to Macugnaga that features two major climbs.
The 21-stage Giro finishes in Milan on Sunday.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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