Giro 3: Petacchi returns for stage win; Gasparotto back in pink

The Milram Train controlled stage 3 when it mattered most, reeling in the day's breakaway and delive


The Milram Train controlled stage 3 when it mattered most, reeling in the day’s breakaway and delive

PIC: Enrico Gasparotto (courtesy Team Liquigas) The Milram Train finally uncorked one for Alessandro Petacchi, reeling in the day’s breakaway before positioning Petacchi for victory over Gerolsteiner’s Robert Frster in stage 3 of the 2007 Giro d’Italia. “I suffered so much,” said Petacchi, referring to his hard-fought comeback after shattering his kneecap in stage 3 of the 2006 Giro. “I am so happy. I want to thank everyone that stuck with me for the last year; my wife, my family, my friend Michele Bartoli… thanks; thanks to everyone.” Milram focused its collective team effort to bring back Mikhail Ignatiev (Tinkoff Credit Systems) and Giovanni Visconti (Quickstep-Innergetic) with a titch more than four kilometres remaining before setting up Petacchi’s lead-out. Irishman Nicholas Roche (Crdit Agricole) launched an attack after Rabobank and Gerolsteiner tried their best. By this time, Milram was spent and it was purely up to Petacchi with 300 meters to go. The Italian led down the left-hand side with Danilo Napolitano (Lampre-Fondital) smartly glued to his wheel. Napolitano couldn’t hang as Frster moved up alongside the barriers. Petacchi held off the courageous German to win his first Giro stage since May 29, 2005. “I had to restart my career from the top,” Petacchi said. “I thought I had returned to full strength, but to win a Giro stage is another thing. Winning this stage today seemed like winning my first stage. “Today, I really had better sensations and felt that I had better legs,” the Italian said. “It seemed as it was the best sprint in my career.” Enrico Gasparotto (Liquigas), in second place at the start of stage 3, went for victory in the stage but ended up with the maglia rosa. “This morning we decided that Gasparotto would try for the sprint,” said Danilo Di Luca (Liquigas) who passed the leader’s jersey back to Gasparotto, after wearing it following Sunday’s crash-marred stage. Norwegian sprinter Thor Hushovd (Crdit Agricole), Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Fondital) and Gilberto Simoni (Saunier Duval-Prodir) were reportedly involved in a late crash but all are reportedly without injury. 2007 Giro d’Italia Stage 3: Barumini – Cagliari (181km) 1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita, Milram) 4:22:57 (41.072km/h) 2 Robert Forster (Ger, Gerolsteiner) 00:00:00 3 Maximilian Ariel Maximilian (Arg, Ceramica Panaria) 4 Robbie Mc Ewen (Aus, Predictor-Lotto) 5 Danilo Napolitano (Ita, Lampre) 6 Aliaksandr Usau (Blr, Ag2r Prevoyance) 7 Lloyd Mondory (Fra, Ag2r Prevoyance) 8 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita, Liquigas) 9 Rojas Gil Jose Joaquin (Spa, Caisse d’Epargne) 10 Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr, Discovery Channel) General classification after stage 3 1 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita, Liquigas 10:03:48 2 Danilo Di Luca (Ita, Liquigas) 00:00:00 3 Andrea Noe’ (Ita, Liquigas) 00:00:00 4 Franco Pellizotti (Ita, Liquigas) 00:00:00 5 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita, Liquigas) 00:00:00 6 Charles Wegelius (GBr, Liquigas) 00:00:00 7 Paolo Savoldelli (Ita, Astana) 00:00:13 8 Eddy Mazzoleni (Ita, Astana) 00:00:13 9 Andrey Mizourov (Kaz, Astana) 0:000:13 10 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz, Astana) 00:00:13