Alessandro Petacchi gives MILRAM the first season win

Italian Star Sprinter wins his home race GP Costa degli Etruschi for the fourth time in a row

Dortmund, 09 February 2008. MILRAM’s Alessandro Petacchi has started the season with an impressive victory. The sprinter from the German ProTour team won his home race the GP Costa degli Etruschi (09.02/UCI 1.1) for the fourth time in a row on Saturday. With a win in the mass sprint over his countrymen Gabriele Balducci (Aqua e Sapone) and Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas), the 34 year-old Ligurian gave himself and his Team MILRAM the first victory of the 2008 road season.

MILRAM’s Alessandro Petacchi

“I felt very good during the whole race. I worked hard over the winter, and unlike last year, I had no problems with my knee,“ Alessandro Petacchi said. He broke his kneecap in a crash during the Giro d’Italia in May 2006 and suffered from problems associated with the injury for a long time. “My teammates did very good work. About one and a half km before the finish line I lost Marco Velo’s rear wheel. But in the last curve, Marco was back in front of me and in the last few meters set me up very well. “

“This success at the beginning of the season is very imporant for us,” said team manager Gerry van Gerwen, who was happy with the first competitive success of his team in the current season. “Now it can happen! This victory is super for the team’s morale and it will strengthen Petacchi’s self-confidence.”

At first it looked like another rider would be the man of the day. The Lithuanian Dainius Kairelis took the initiative only 17 km after the start in Donoratico and set off on a solo escape. The pro from the Italian Team Ceramica Flamina built up a lead over the peloton of up to 20 minutes during his 170 km solo flight. This meant hard wok for the sprinter teams in the finale of the Italian classic. Under the leadership of MILRAM, the peloton set its sights on the escapee, and nine km before the finish line, Kairelis’ solo came to an end. In the finale, Team MILRAM didn’t allow any more escapes and prepared a picture-perfect sprint for its captain Petacchi. The GP Costa degli Etruschi was run this year for the 13th time.

Results:

1. Alessandro Petacchi (ITA) Team MILRAM

2. Gabriele Balducci (ITA) Acqua é Sapone

3. Francesco Chicchi (ITA) Liquigas

4. Danilo Napolitano (ITA) Lampre

5. Roberto Ferrari (ITA) LPR

6. Juri Metluschenko (UKR) Amore & Vita

7. Baden Cooke (AUS) Barloworld

8. Alexander Serov (RUS) Tinkoff

The Team MILRAM line-up: Alessandro Petacchi (ITA), Volodymyr Diudia (UKR), Matej Jurco (SVK), Martin Müller (GER), Alberto Ongarato (ITA), Marco Velo (ITA), Elia Rigotto (ITA), Fabio Sabatini (ITA), Niki Terpstra (NED)

Directeur Sportif: Antonio Bevilacqua (ITA)

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