Glbert and Petacchi score in Mallorca and Etruschi

European road racing round-up

Mallorca 1: Gilbert too fast for the sprinters

Belgium's Philippe Gilbert held off a threatening pack of sprinters with a late attack to claim victory in the first stage of the Tour of Mallorca on Sunday.

Gilbert, of the Francaise des Jeux team, finished a few metres ahead of the bunch after distancing his pursuers around 1km from the finish line of the 100km stage, which finished in Palma.

Australian Graeme Brown, of Rabobank, finished second ahead of Germany's Robert Forster. Belgian Gert Steegmans, of Quick Step, finished fourth.

"I pulled away at a little over one kilometre to go and saw straight away that I had a chance," said Gilbert, a one-day race specialist whose speciality is launching attacks just before the finish line. "I just kept the head down and didn't look back."

Monday's stage, the second of five, is over 162.7km from Cala Millor to Son Servera.

Results

1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel|Francaise des Jeux) 2:03:04
2 Graeme Brown (Aus|Rabobank)
3 Robert Förster (Ger|Gerolsteiner)
4 Gert Steegmans (Bel|Quick Step)
5 Denis Flahaut (Fra|Saunier Duval-Scott)
6 Jose J. Rojas (Spa|Caisse D'Epargne)
7 Fco.José Ventoso (Spa|Andalucia-Cajasur)
8 Rodrigo Garcia (Spa|Extremadura-G. Galla)
9 Andre Schulze (Ger|PSK Whirlpool-Author)
10 Robert Wagner (Ger|Skil-Shimano)

Etruschi: Petacchi opens season campaign in style

Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi, of Milram, opened his season campaign by winning the 13th edition of the Costa degli Etruschi Grand Prix for the fourth time in a row on Saturday.

After 193km of racing from San Vincenzo to Donoratico Petacchi won a sprint finish ahead of Gabriele Balducci, just as he did a year a go, with Francesco Chicchi finishing third.

Results

1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita|Team Milram) 4:50:10
2 Gabriele Balducci (Ita|Acqua Sapone - Caffè Mokambo)
3 Francesco Chicchi (Ita|Liquigas)
4 Danilo Napolitano (Ita|Lampre)
5 Roberto Ferrari (Ita|LPR Brakes)
6 Yuriy Metlushenko (Ukr|Amore & Vita - McDonald's)
7 Baden Cooke (Aus|Barloword)
8 Alexander Serov (Rus|Tinkoff Credit Systems)
9 Bernardo Riccio (Ita|Tinkoff Credit Systems)
10 Mattia Gavazzi (Ita|Preti Mangimi - Kio Ene)

For full results, report and photos, visit Cyclingnews.com.

© AFP & BikeRadar 2008

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