31 May 2009

Dean features in Giro stage finish

12:54 pm on 31 May 2009

The New Zealand cyclist Julian Dean has been influential for his team on the Giro d'Italia event.

The Italian Michele Scarponi won the 18th stage from Sulmona to Benevento, and Dean set up his Garmin-Slipstream team-mate Danny Pate for third place in a sprint finish.

Dean finished 23rd.

Russian Denis Menchov of Rabobank finished safely in the peloton - almost four minutes behind - to maintain his overall lead.

Last year's Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre lies in fifth while American Lance Armstrong, gaining fitness for a tilt at an eighth Tour de France title in July after coming out of retirement, is in a creditable 12th position overall.

The tour finishes this weekend.