Remember Luca Paolini, the winner of two stages (to Sheffield and London) in last year?s Tour of Britain? The 29-year-old Italian Classics specialist - who took the points jersey in the 2005 T. of B. thanks to his two wins - romped home in first place on stage 12 of the Vuelta on Thursday, his first ever victory in a three-week Tour.

Now with Liquigas, Paolini is expected to be an integral part of the Italian line-up in the World Championships on September 24th in Salzberg and at the tricky stage 12 finish in Guadalajara, he showed exactly why.

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