Petacchi Wins Stage 3 of Giro d'Italia
What a difference a year makes! In the third stage of the 2006 Giro d?Italia, Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) crashed and broke his kneecap. In the third stage of this year?s Giro, Petacchi won his biggest victory in a year. The Italian, who spent the summer and fall of 2006 recovering and attempting to regain confidence, burst away from the field in the last 300 m to win the rolling, 181-km ride from Barumini to
The riders wasted no time getting going in the warm, sunny conditions. At four km, Mikhail Ignatiev (Tinkoff) and Alexandre Pichot (Bouygues Telecom) escaped, and Elio Aggiano (Tinkoff), Mickael Buffaz (Cofidis), and Giovanni Visconti (Quick Step) joined the pair. The quintet?s lead topped out at 7:40 at 60 km. The peloton began to ride tempo and the gap had dropped to about 7:00 when the field reached the feed zone at Case Picci (93 km). After lunch, the bunch got going.
The peloton picked up the pace and cut the quintet?s advantage to 5:40 by the time that the leaders reached the unrated climb at Castladas (111 km). Ignatiev attacked his companions, and only Visconti could follow.
Predictor and Milram went to the front. The bunch?s pace picked up, but for a time, it appeared that the peloton had waited too long to chase. Ignatiev and Visconti led by 5:15 at 136 km, 4:27 at 146 km, and 2:44 at 161 km.
CSC joined Predictor and Milram at the front, and the three teams redoubled their efforts. With three km left, the peloton reeled in Ignatiev and Visconti.
Matteo Tosatto (Quick Step) countered. Milram led the field in pursuit of the Quick Stepper. He was reeled in, and Milram led the peloton into the last km. Nicolas Roche (Credit Agricole) attacked, while his teammate Thor Hushovd crashed and split the field.
Roche was reeled in, and Petacchi attacked with 300 m left. The Italian held off Forster and Richeze for the win.
In the overall, Gasparotto leads Di Luca and teammate Andrea Noe. Tomorrow will be the Giro?s first rest day. The rest will be premature but necessary because the race will move to the mainland for Stage 4, a 195-km ride from