Paolo Tiralongo wins 19th stage
MACUGNAGA, Italy -- Paolo Tiralongo of Italy finished ahead of overall leader Alberto Contador to win the 19th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Friday.
The pair finished the 129-mile ride from Bergamo to Macugnaga together in 5 hours, 26 minutes, 27 seconds, after the Italian led the attack on the final climb to the finish. Vincenzo Nibali was third, three seconds behind.
"I felt good and wanted to try and go for the win," Tiralongo said of making his move with about three miles left. "Alberto said it would be a good time to attack, and that's why I made my break when I did."
Contador extended his lead over Michele Scarponi in the overall standings by 20 seconds to 5:18. Contador has an overall time of 77 hours, 11 minutes, 24 seconds.
Riders had to deal with heavy rain early in the day and slippery conditions on the roads.
"They were tough roads," Contador said. "When I had the chance I had to attack and that is why I was still able to attack at the end because the legs felt good."
HTC-Highroad rider Craig Lewis of the United States broke his leg and Marco Pinotti of Italy fractured his collarbone after they crashed into a traffic sign in the middle of the road during heavy rain about 28 miles from the finish.
They were taken to a hospital in Domodossola. Pinotti wrote on his Twitter page that they would be rooming together at the hospital.
Riders will stay in the mountains Saturday for the penultimate stage from Verbania to Sestriere.
The 21-stage Giro ends Sunday with a time trial in Milan.
Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press
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