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Matthews wins stage six to retain Giro lead

(Reuters) - Australian Michael Matthews retained the overall lead in the Giro D'Italia on Thursday after getting the better of compatriot Cadel Evans in a treacherous sixth stage.

Orica-GreenEdge rider Matthews pulled away from Evans and third-placed Tim Wellens inside the final 40 meters to take the 247-kilometre stage from Sassono to Montecassino.

Victory for Matthews increased his lead over Evans to 21 seconds, with third-placed Colombian Rigoberto Uran over a minute further back.

With around 10km remaining the wet conditions caused carnage in the peloton and Italian rider Giampaolo Caruso was taken to hospital after lying motionless on the road following a major crash.

Friday's seventh stage is a 211km ride from Frosinone to Foligno which should favor the sprinters.

(Reporting by Michael Hann, editing by Ed Osmond)

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