Petacchi wins third Tirreno stage

Alessandro Petacchi takes his 11th victory of the season in the final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, ty

Alessandro Petacchi takes his 11th victory of the season in the final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, ty
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Tirreno-Adriatico ended it as it started, with Alessandro Petacchi leading the rest of the field home for his third stage win in Italy's opening ProTour event. The 10-second time bonus the Italian received for finishing ahead of Mario Cipollini and Danilo Hondo was not enough to deprive Oscar Freire of the overall title. The Spaniard also won three stages and the points gained for those victories allied to his overall victory lifted him above Paris-Nice winner Bobby Julich into first position in the ProTour standings. The battle for that title recommences on Saturday at Milan-San Remo. The final stage around a tight circuit in the Adriatic town of San Benedetto del Tronto concluded with Liquigas and Panaria challenging Fassa Bortolo for the right to set up their sprint, for the veteran Cipollini and the upcoming Paride Grillo respectively. But there was to be no derailing of the Fassa 'train'. They led Petacchi into the final 300 metres with a gaggle of riders battling to get on his wheel. Cipollini won that fight, and pushed Petacchi close in the sprint, but the Fassa man looked the winner all the way to the line. Attention now switches to San Remo, with Petacchi making Freire the pre-race favourite for that title. Of course, there is an element of one-upmanship going on here, but Freire has been a class apart at Tirreno. Whether that will translate into a successful defence of his San Remo title on the long, flat straight of San Remo's Via Roma remains to be seen, though. Stage 7, San Benedotto del Tronto circuit 1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 164km in 4.23.22 (37.36kph) 2 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Liquigas-Bianchi 3 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Gerolsteiner 4 Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Cofidis 5 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Phonak 6 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Franaise des Jeux 7 Ivan Quaranta (Ita) Domina Vacanze 8 Julian Dean (NZ) Crdit Agricole 9 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step 10 Giosue Bonomi (Ita) Lampre-Caffita 19 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel 23 Baden Cooke (Aus) Franaise des Jeux 28 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank 52 Matt Wilson (Aus) Franaise des Jeux 58 Roger Hammond (GB) Discovery Channel 83 Matt White (Aus) Cofidis DNF Robbie McEwen (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto Final overall 1 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank 32.37.19 2 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 0.09 3 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Phonak 0.25 4 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Gerolsteiner 5 Laurent Brochard (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 0.33 6 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel 0.36 7 Angel Vicioso (Spa) Liberty Seguros 0.37 8 Marcus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner 0.40 9 Patrice Halgand (Fra) Crdit Agricole 10 Andreas Klier (Ger) T-Mobile 0.42 57 White 8.05 83 Hammond 15.17 88 O'Grady 17.08 99 Cooke 20.51 122 Dean 37.27 128 Renshaw 41.16 134 Wilson 44.48
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