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Mazzanti Wins Giro's Fourth Stage, Bettini Penalized


Italian cyclist Luca Mazzanti has won the fourth stage of the Tour of Italy after overall leader and Olympic champion Paolo Bettini was stripped of the win for an irregular sprint.

Australia's Baden Cooke and Bettini were involved in a tangle in the final straight and the race jury decided Bettini was at fault. The Italian was moved from first to fourth place in the stage results.

Cooke fell when his bike hit barriers near the finish as he tried to overtake Bettini. The Australian later walked across the finish line.

Mazzanti crossed in second place and was awarded the stage win in 5:10:09. Bettini also lost the 20-second bonus awarded to stage winners. However, he remains the overall leader, 13 seconds ahead of countryman Danilo Di Luca.

Thursday's fifth stage covers a difficult 223 kilometers between Celano and L'Aquila. The Tour ends May 29 in Milan.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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