Friday, July 23, 2010

Petacchi Once Again in Green at the Tour de France

After losing the green jersey again on Stage 16, Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) was able to regain it today on Stage 18. Finishing in 3rd place in the sprint Petacchi gained enough points to pass Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) again. The stage was won by Mark Cavindish (his fourth; HTC-Columbia) with Julian Dean (Garmin-Transitions) finishing 2nd. Hushovd finished in 13th.

"I performed the sprint with two targets," said Petacchi. "One aim was to try to battle against Cavendish, who's now the strongest sprinter in the bunch. The other one was to take back the green jersey. When I noticed that Hushovd was not so brilliant in the moment before the sprint, I decided to anticipate and so I started to accelerate. Cavendish reacted in a quick way and he could overtake me, so I focused my attention on preceding Hushovd. I struggled because I'm not as brilliant as in the early part of Tour de France, and also because of bronchitis. But, thanks to the support by my team mates, I could come back to first place in the points standing. I know that the battle will end in Paris: Hushovd and Cavendish won't give up".

Daniel Oss, Liquigas-Doimo, won the most aggressive rider award today. Oss made a solo effort to win from the 14 km mark but was caught by the peleton at 3.5 km from the finish.

Photo: Bettini

Top 5 in green jersey points classification:
1 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini 213 pts
2 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervelo Test Team 203
3 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Team HTC - Columbia 197
4 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 167
5 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Katusha 162

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