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By VeloNews Interactive wire services , Copyright AFP2002
Rabobank’s rider Erik Dekker won the 37th edition of Tirreno-Adriatico in San Benedetto Del Tronto Wednesday.
Dekker triumphed overall after the 162km stage around San Benedetto on Italy’s Adriatic coast which was won by Italian veteran Mario Cipollini. Cipollini, riding for the Acqua e Sapone team, pipped Germany’s Erik Zabel and Lithuania’s Saulius Ruskys in a sprint finish.
Dekker had stamped his authority on the race by winning Sunday’s time trial in Rieti, taking over the leader’s red and yellow jersey from Italian Danilo Di Luca.
Many had expected Di Luca to take it back but Dekker, voted the Netherlands’ male sports personality of the year last December, held off a spirited challenge to retain an 18-second lead going into Wednesday’s last stage.
With the final stage little more than a procession with no significant climbs, Dekker’s performance on Wednesday ensured that it was the Dutchman who triumphed in the ‘Race of Two Seas’ which starts on the western Tyrrhenian coast before crossing Italy to San Benedetto on the Adriatic shoreline.
1. Mario Cipollini (ITA) 4:34:38
2. Erik Zabel (GER) s.t.
3. Saulius Ruskys (LIT) s.t.
4. Massimo Strazzer (ITA) s.t.
5. Jan Svorada (CZE) s.t.
6. Endrio Leoni (ITA) s.t.
7. Moreno Di Biase (ITA) s.t.
8. Nicola Minali (ITA) s.t.
9. Paolo Bettini (ITA) s.t.
10. Gennadi Mikhailov (RUS) s.t.
1. Erik Dekker (NED) 28h 45:24
2. Danilo Di Luca (ITA) at 18
3. Oscar Freire (SPA) s.t.
4. Paolo Bettini (ITA) at 23
5. Ruslan Ivanov (MOL) s.t.
6. Guido Trentin (ITA) at 24
7. Paolo Savoldelli (ITA) at 29
8. Jan Hruska (CZE) at 30
9. Franco Pellizotti (ITA) at 32
10. Jorg Jaksche (GER) at 36
Stage-by-stage (the day’s winner and overall leader)
1. Massa Lubrense – Sorrento 124km (Zabel/Zabel)
2. Sorrento – Frosinone 212km (Bettini/Zabel)
3. Anagni – Rocca di Cambio 180km (Di Luca/Di Luca)
4. Rieti – Rieti ITT 12.7km (Dekker/Dekker)
5. Rieti – Torricella Sicura 150km (Di Luca/Dekker)
6. Rapagnano – Montegranaro 208km (Pellizotti/Dekker)
7. S. Benedetto – S. Benedetto 162km (Cipollini/Dekker)