Petacchi Wins Stage 8 of Giro
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) has won his fourth stage of this year's Giro. Petacchi took a bunch sprint from Robbie McEwen (Lotto) and Tomas Vaitkus (Landbouwkrediet) to win the rolling, 214-km run from Giffoni to Policoro in 4:52:49. Damiano Cunego (Saeco) remains the maglia rosa.
From the start, the racing was aggressive. After a number of abortive sallies, Alessandro Bertolini (Alessio), Jacky Durand (Landbouwkrediet), Julio Perez (Panaria), Mariano Piccoli (Lampre), and Marco Velo (Fassa Bortolo) rolled off of the front at 52 km. Marlon Perez (Colombia-Selle Italia) and Renzo Mazzoleni (Tenax) joined them, although the latter returned to the bunch.
The seven riders forged a 7:05 lead by the midpoint of the stage. Lotto and Formaggio Pinzolo began to chase, and Tenax joined them at the front. When Gerolsteiner, Domina Vacanze, and Fassa Bortolo joined the pursuit, the escapees' fate was sealed. With 15 km left, the bunch reeled in the break.
For the last 10 km, Fassa Bortolo dominated at the front. With 250 m remaining, Olaf Pollack (Gerolsteiner) started the sprint, but he need not have bothered. Petacchi simply glanced at him and accelerated away from the field.
In the overall, Cunego leads teammate Simoni by 0:10 and Franco Pellizotti (Alessio) by 0:28. Stage 9 should be another sprinter's stage. The flattish, 142-km run from Policoro to Carovigno is tailor-made for a bunch sprint. Will Petacchi win again? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!
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