Italian cyclist Mario Cipollini won the seventh stage of the Tour of Spain Friday in a massive sprint. Cipollini covered the 196.8 kilometer stage in a time of 4:33:47 hours, finishing ahead of Germans Erik Zabel and Sven Teutenberg.
Cipollini plans to abandon the event after stage nine in Cordoba to prepare at home for the world championships road-race in Belgium in October.
It was Cipollini's third victory in this year's La Vuelta, after earlier taking the third and fourth stages. Spain's Oscar Sevilla maintained the overall lead, 14 seconds ahead of Alexander Vinokourov of Kazakhstan.
Five riders - German Nieto, Mariano Piccoli, Nicolas Portal, Elio Aggiano and Jurgen Van Goolen - broke away from the pack early and at one point had a five-minute lead. But they were caught with 20 kilometers to go, allowing Cipollini to edge ahead of the pack in the final meters and win the stage.
Saturday's eighth stage is a 173-kilometer stretch between the towns of Malaga and Ubrique.