Petacchi juggernaut rolls on

Alessandro Petacchi has consolidated his status as the hot favourite for next month's Milan-San Remo

Alessandro Petacchi has consolidated his status as the hot favourite for next month's Milan-San Remo
Alessandro Petacchi has fired his umpteenth warning shot in view of Milan-San Remo, reeling off his second sprint win in two days at the Tour of Valencia. The Fassa Bortolo rider's latest win is his sixth of the season and extends his unbeaten record in bunch finishes so far this season. After parading his improved climbing form with an emphatic win on an uphill finishing-straight yesterday, Petacchi never looked in danger on a more benign stage two run-in. At the end of a 178km stage between Xavia and Porto Sagunto, Isaac Lopez Galvez of Illes Balears and Liquigas's Luciano Pagliarini came home in second and third respectively. The 23-year-old Frenchman Geoffroy Lequatre again hinted at his promise as he finished fourth. Petacchi's second consecutive stage victory has propelled the 31-year-old Italian to the top of the general classification, nine seconds ahead of overnight leader Constantino Zaballa. Tomorrow's stage, on an untaxing 151.5km route between Sagunto and Alzira, presents Petacchi with the perfect opportunity to add to his win tally and consolidate that lead. Friday's penultimate stage features four classified climbs and will end, probably with Petacchi relinquishing his leader's jersey, atop the 5.4km, 6.2 per cent Alt del Campello. Results Stage 2, Xavia - Porto Sagunto 1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 4.27.40 2 Isaac Galvez (Spa) Illes Balears 3 Luciano A. Pagliarini (Bra) Liquigas-Bianchi 4 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Credit Agricole 5 Pablo Urtasun (Spa) Kaiku 6 Fco.Jos Ventoso (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 7 David Mu¤oz (Spa) Comunidad Valenciana 8 Constantino Zaballa (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 9 Marco Velo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 10 Jorge Azanza (Spa) Kaiku 83 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 109 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile Team 110 Andreas Klden (Ger) T-Mobile Team Overall 1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 8.14.03 2 Constantino Zaballa (Spa) Saunier Duval-Prodir 0.09 3 M.A. Perdiguero (Spa) Phonak 0.17 4 Javier Cherro (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 5 Xabier Zandio (Spa) Illes Balears 0.18 6 Koldo Gil (Spa) Liberty Seguros-Wurth 0.19 7 Jos Enriqu Gutierrez (Spa) Phonak 0.20 8 Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Credit Agricole 0.21 9 Marco Velo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo 10 David Mu¤oz (Spa) Comunitat Valenciana 44 Iban Mayo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0.21 96 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) T-Mobile Team 11.36 98 Andreas Klden (Ger) T-Mobile Team 11.36
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