Italian sprint king Alessandro Petacchi gained revenge on Oscar Freire by claiming the fourth stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico over 166km from Porto Recanati to Civitanova Marche on Saturday.
Three days ago Petacchi was edged out by Freire in the race's opening stage. But this time the Team Milram rider turned the tables on the Spanish Rabobank leader with Italian Filippo Pozzato of Liquigas in third.
Those three are the big favourites for the important Milan-San Remo classic on March 22.
"We are near a great race (Milan-San Remo) and it is clear that everyone wants to see how I am doing," said Petacchi. "Second the other day and winning today is good for the morale. I have always been up there in the last years at San Remo."
Sweden's Niklas Axelsson finished amongst the leaders and maintained the leader's blue jersey he claimed on the previous stage.
For full results, report and photos, see Cyclingnews.com.
© BikeRadar & AFP 2008