Petacchi Wins Stage 14 of Giro
Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) has won his seventh stage of this year's Giro. The Italian sprinter outlegged Fred Rodriguez (Acqua e Sapone) and Marco Velo (Fassa Bortolo) to win Stage 14, a rolling, 175-km ride from Trieste to Pola. Yaroslav Popovych (Landbouwkrediet) remains the maglia rosa.
From the start, the racing was aggressive. At 16 km, Ruggero Marzoli (Acqua e Sapone), Giuseppe Muraglia (Formaggio Pinzolo), Andrej Hauptman (Lampre), and Pavel Tonkov (Vini Caldirola) attacked. Tonkov and Hauptman wound up back in the peloton, but the others forged a 3:15 lead over the Landbouwkrediet-led bunch with 68 km left.
Fassa Bortolo, Lotto, and Vini Caldirola joined Landbouwkrediet at the front, and the break's lead began to drop. With eight km left, the field was together. Fassa Bortolo took over and led the field to the finish.
With four km remaining, Nicola Loda (Tenax) and Graziano Gasparre (De Nardi) attacked. The bunch reeled them in. With 500 m left, Simone Cadamuro (De Nardi) attacked, but he crashed. Petacchi jumped and held off Rodriguez for the win.
In the overall, Popovych leads Sergei Gontchar (De Nardi) by 0:03 and Brad McGee (La Francaise des Jeux.com) by 1:02. Stage 15 should be more of the same. The 234-km stage, the longest one of this year's Giro, will run from Parenzo to San Vendemiano. It will be pancake flat, tailor made for a bunch sprint. Will anyone derail Petacchi and the Fassa Bortolo express? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!
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