96th Milan-San Remo

With a powerful sprint up the Via Roma with 250m to go, Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) has...

Petacchi gets it right

With a powerful sprint up the Via Roma with 250m to go, Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) has claimed victory in the 96th Milan-San Remo, the first time that he has ever won the classicissima. A group of around 50 riders made it over the Cipressa and Poggio to contest the finish, and Petacchi kept his head all the way, not panicking when Bettini led out early to try to induce him into a long sprint.

"I am happy, I realised the dream of my life," said Petacchi after crossing the finish line. "I was at my best for this race and even though the sprint was not what I imagined because Bettini moved over in the last 250 metres leaving me in the wind. I did a long sprint, as I had decided, and rode everyone off the wheel and did it."

In second place was German sprinter Danilo Hondo (Gerolsteiner), who held off a fast finishing Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole). But there was no catching Petacchi today.

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