Petacchi eyes up next targets

After checking over the closing sections of the Milan-San Remo route today, Alessandro Petacchi is s

After checking over the closing sections of the Milan-San Remo route today, Alessandro Petacchi is s
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM With a clutch of wins already to his credit this season and apparently in the form of his life, Alessandro Petacchi is spending today looking over the final sections of the Milan-San Remo route. Accompanied by team-mates Marco Velo and Fabio Sacchi, and Fassa Bortolo DS Alessandro Giannelli is scheduled to ride the crucial Cipressa and Poggio climbs twice. "I don't want to leave anything to chance," said Petacchi of the reconnaissance, which he hopes will lead to his a first-ever victory in the Italian Classic on March 19. Petacchi will be able to gauge the form of several of his likely San Remo rivals at next week's Tirreno-Adriatico, including past San Remo winners Mario Cipollini, Paolo Bettini, Oscar Freire and Erik Zabel. The result of any sprint finishes at Tirreno will be keenly observed with San Remo in mind. Running from March 9-15, Tirreno starts with a stage out of and then back into Civitavecchia (160km), where a finishing circuit should see the first clash between Petacchi, Cipollini and Freire. The second stage runs 181km from Civitavecchia to Tivoli, and a climb towards the end might favour defending Tirreno champion Bettini. The third stage looks the toughest, running 215km from Tivoli to Torricella Scura and crossing the Capannelle (1,283m) and Crognaleto (1,105m) passes on the way. Like much of the rest of Europe, the weather on these mountains in recent days has been poor and the forecast is not good going into next week. Stage four runs 160km from Teramo to Servigliano, and the following day on a 170km ride around a circuit at Saltara should bring back happy memories for Bettini as he won the Italian road title there in 2003. The second event of the ProTour concludes with a stage around the Adriatic town of Civitanova Marche (164km). As reported in another story on the site today, Tirreno will be covered live on Eurosport for the first time, and should offer some gripping viewing.

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