Thursday, July 15, 2010

Alessandro Petacchi Takes Green Jersey in Tour

Alessandro Petacchi finished in 2nd place today in a chaotic sprint in the 11th stage of Tour de France (Sisteron-Bourg les Valence, 184.5 km). He isn't bitter though as the 30 points for 2nd place makes him the new leader in the green jersey points competition. Cavendish was the stage winner.

"Cavendish and his team performed a perfect sprint. It was very difficult to precede them, even if Lampre-Farnese's work was very good," Petacchi commented. "I'm sorry I didn't win, but I'm happy for conquering the green jersey: it's a beautiful prize for my teammates' effort and I'll try to keep it with me as long as possible".

"It's not going to be easy to keep the green jersey until we reach Paris," Petacchi said. "Yesterday I went for the intermediate sprint because Hushovd, McEwen and I are very close in the points classification. We'll probably fight for other intermediate sprints. I'm confident after the good work done by my team today. The way Danilo Hondo brought me back to the front was exceptional."

"My position now makes me think of the 2003 Tour de France," Petacchi explained. "Seven years ago, I didn't have the grinta (determination) that I have now to finish the Tour and win the green jersey. My directeur sportif at the time, Giancarlo Ferretti, was very upset when I pulled out of the Tour although I had the green jersey."

Mark Renshaw, the main lead-out man for Cavindish, has been ejected from the Tour for dangerous actions during the final which included head butting Julian Dean:

The top five 5 in the Points competition after today:
1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini 161 pts
2 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team 157
3 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha 138
4 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team HTC - Columbia 132
5 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 122

Photos: Bettini

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