Alessandro Petacchi put his stamp on the 2006 Niedersachsen Rundfahrt in the ultimate way: by winning all five stages and taking the overall title. And although all five stages of the 2007 race starting on Wednesday are also expected to have sprint finishes, the Italian Milram sprinter doesn't expect to repeat his success this year.
"It will definitely be hard to continue the success from last year," he said. "But we are extremely motivated and will give everything."
Petacchi is still recovering from injuries he suffered last year, and has not come back as quickly as he had hoped. "I made some misjudgments and may have done too much over the winter. So I have been rather tired lately. But I am sure that not too much is now missing from the Petacchi of last year."
He will share the captain's role with fellow sprinter Erik Zabel.