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CYCLING: Rodriguez still in pink as Bak wins 12th stage

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SESTRI LEVANTE: Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez retained the Tour of Italy race leader's pink jersey after Thursday's 12th stage won by Denmark's Lotto rider Lars Bak.

Bak finished 11 seconds ahead of France's Sandy Casar and five other members of a breakaway group, with the peloton at 3min 34sec at the end of the 155km ride from Seravezza to Sestri Levante on the Ligurian coast in northwestern Italy.

It was a first Giro stage victory for the 32-year-old Dane, who counts several national road racing titles among his accolades.

Rodriguez, of the Katusha team, lies 17 seconds ahead of Canadian Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda), although Casar moved into third place in the overall standings, at 26 seconds.

"I won a team time trial at the Giro d'Italia last year but this is my first solo win for about three years and my first stage victory in a grand tour," said Bak.

"I always believed I could win a big race and dreamed of winning a stage in a grand tour. Now I've done that. It seems everything is coming slowly to me." AFP


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