Steven De Jong of the Netherlands slipped past to win the stage, while Michele Bartoli, the world No 1, retained his narrow overall lead with one day left in the event, a warm-up for the World Cup season.
With around 75 metres left, Minali, Cipollini and Fabio Baldato touched bicycles and toppled to the road. Minali, who won two stages at the 1997 Tour de France, slammed into roadside advertising signs before colliding with Giuseppe Palumbo. Minali was taken to hospital with leg injuries and a possible broken right wrist. Baldato may have a broken collar-bone, while Palumbo injured a shoulder. Cipollini escaped with bruises and cuts.
De Jong covered the 160 kilometres from Alba Adriatica to Civitanova Marche on the Adriatic coast in 4hr 19min 10sec. He edged out Poland's Zbigniew Spruch at the finish. Bartoli, the defending World Cup champion, was 10th across the line.Reuse content