After a year of suffering the effects of a broken kneecap sustained during the 2006 Giro d'Italia, Italian Alessandro Petacchi rediscovered his Grand Tour stage winning speed on the third stage of this year's Tour of Italy. The relief of knowing that he still can win was so intense that it brought the Milram sprinter to tears. Cyclingnews' Hernan Alvarez found out just how much that one day meant to the humble Italian.
To watch Alessandro Petacchi winning bunch sprints in Grand Tours is something so familiar that it's almost predictable, especially in his favourite race, the Giro d'Italia. The man who holds the record for stage wins in a single Giro - nine in 2004 - had a disastrous 2006 Giro when he broke his kneecap in a crash on stage 3 and had to abandon. He had an operation on the knee days later, but what followed was a long and demanding recovery period.
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