Petacchi Wins Stage 1 of Giro
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) has stolen Mario Cipollini's (Domina Vacanze) thunder.
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) has stolen Mario Cipollini's (Domina Vacanze) thunder. The cycling world has wanted to see the Lion King win Stage 1 to tie Alfredo Binda's career record for Giro stage wins. Petacchi, however, had other ideas and powered past Cipo to win the flat, 201-km stage from Lecce to Lecce in 5:16:03. Angelo Furlan (Alessio) took third.
The early pace was leisurely, and the peloton was together at 150 km. At that point, Frank Hoj (Team Fakta) and Cristian Frattini (Tenax) attacked. The peloton, led by Domina Vacanze and by Lotto, kept the fugitives on a short leash (0:45) and reeled them in with 12 km left.
Domina Vacanze took over at the front, and the pace quickened. Furlan, Petacchi, Isaac Galvez (Kelme), Robbie McEwen (Lotto), and Graeme Brown (Panaria) fought for Cipollini's wheel. Petacchi won the battle, and when Cipo came around teammate Giovanni Lombardi, the Fassa Bortolo rider was ready. Petacchi passed the Lion King on the right to win.
In the overall, Petacchi leads Cipollini by 0:08 and Furlan by 0:12. Tomorrow's stage will be more challenging than today's, but it will still be a sprinter's stage. The 174-km run from Copertino to Matera will feature three small rises in the last 30 km, one of which will be at the finish. Will Cipo break through? Will Petacchi score again? Will McEwen win? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!
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