Visconti wheels to another stage victory

Giovanni Visconti wins second Giro d'Italia stage in four days as Italy's Vincenzo Nibali maintains overall lead.

    Visconti wheels to another stage victory
    Visconti crossed the line first in Vicenza to seal a third-straight success for his Movistar team [EPA]

    Former three-time Italian champion Giovanni Visconti said he had paid his dues for past doping misdemeanours after notching his second stage win inside a week on the Giro d'Italia on Wednesday.

    Visconti launched an ambitious attack 17 km from the finish of the 214 km stage between Caravaggio and Vicenza to finish 19sec ahead of the chasing peloton.

    It was his second win on the 96th edition after he climbed to victory on stage 15 when, due to adverse weather conditions, it finished 4.2 km short of the planned summit finish of the Galibier in the French Alps.

    Looking tired after his win - the Movistar team's fourth on the race after Britain's Alex Dowsett won the stage eight time trial and Benat Intxausti's win on Tuesday - Visconti was also emotional as he described the recent 'dark period' in his life.

    "When you make a mistake, you pay, you close the chapter and talk about another "

    - Italian rider Giovanni Visconti

    At the end of last season the 30-year-old Italian was among several riders suspended for collaborating with banned sports doctor Michele Ferrari - the man accused of doping Lance Armstrong and may other riders on the disgraced American's former team, US Postal.

    It is a crime for any athlete in Italy to work with Ferrari and Visconti, like Filippo Pozzato and Michele Scarponi, was handed a three-month ban.

    Although it ended in January, Visconti suffered from depression before beginning the new season hoping to re-build his battered reputation.

    It is only now he feels his career is taking off again, and he said he has learned his lesson.

    "When you make a mistake, you pay, you close the chapter and talk about another," said the Italian.

    When asked what had learned from his experience, he said: "When I look back I see that you have to learn to trust your own means and have faith in yourself without looking elsewhere."

    Since the Armstrong revelations broke late last year, Ferrari has been handed a lifetime ban by the US Anti Doping Agency (USADA), which other top sports bodies are expected to follow and implement.

    SOURCE: AP


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