Petacchi Takes Fifth Giro Stage Win
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) has overcome injuries to win his fifth stage of the 2003 Giro.
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) has overcome injuries to win his fifth stage of the 2003 Giro. The Italian sprinter suffered bruises and road rash in a crash during the Stage 15 time trial, but he rebounded to dust Jimmy Casper (La Francaise des Jeux.com) and Jan Svorada (Lampre) in the bunch sprint that ended Stage 16, the flat, 207-km ride from Arco Trento to Pavia. Gilberto Simoni (Saeco) remains the maglia rosa.
From the start, the pace was fast. At 56 km, Sergei Adyeyev (Landbouwkrediet) and Piotr Chmielewski (CCC) escaped and ran up a 3:20 lead by 117 km. The peloton, led by Fassa Bortolo with help from Formaggio Pinzolo Fiave, pursued the fugitives and reeled them in at 161 km.
At 175 km, Frank Hoj (Team Fakta), Oscar Pozzi (Tenax), and Fabiano Fontanelli (Mercatone Uno) attacked. The bunch reeled them in quickly, and after a few abortive sallies, the field stayed together until the sprint.
Daniele Bennati (Domina Vacanze) led the charge for the line, but Petacchi passed him easily. Casper and Svorada followed Petacchi. Bennati settled for fourth.
In the overall, Simoni leads Stefano Garzelli (Vini Caldirola) by 1:58 and Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) by 4:05. Stage 17 probably will not change this state of affairs. The flat, 117-km run from Salice Terme to Asti should end in a sprint finish. The man to bet on is Petacchi. Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and see if he wins!
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