Benat Intxausti wins 16th Giro stage
IVREA, Italy -- Benat Intxausti of Spain won the 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday, and favorite Vincenzo Nibali retained the overall lead as the race entered the final week.
Intxausti won in 5 hours, 52 minutes, 48 seconds, beating Tanel Kangert and Przemyslaw Niemiec in a final sprint of the hilly 148-mile stage.
Nibali maintained his lead of 1 minute, 26 seconds over Cadel Evans and remains on course to win his country's biggest cycling race for the first time. He finished third and second in his last two Giro d'Italia races.
American Taylor Phinney was forced to retire midway through the stage because of saddle sores. He had hoped for a stage win, while also working for team leader Evans.
Mauro Santambrogio started the day fourth but lost more than 2 minutes to slip to sixth.
Monday was a rest day after two tough mountain stages in snowy conditions.
The 17th stage Wednesday is a flat 158 miles from Busseto to Cherasco. It could be ideal for Mark Cavendish -- who celebrated his 28th birthday on Tuesday -- to claim a fifth stage victory in this year's race.
The Giro ends May 26 in Brescia.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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