Team LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini won the opening team time trial stage of the Settimana Ciclista Lombarda yesterday in Brignano Gera d'Adda, Italy. The Italy-based team bettered Katusha by six seconds and sent out a signal for the Giro d'Italia next month.
"It is nice for all of us to get up on the podium," said Petacchi to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "It is good to try our tactics prior to the Giro. The team time trial will be more important in Venice, we have to limit time losses for [Danilo] Di Luca."
Petacchi took the leader's jersey thanks to his win on day one. The following two stages are sprinters' stages and he should maintain his overall lead.
At the Giro d'Italia there is a more important jersey up for grabs, the maglia rosa. If LPR wins the 20.5-kilometre team time trial or places a close second Petacchi could take the pink top.
"I have in my head the Giro. I am not going to risk it all here in these sprint stages. ... The opening stages are suited to me, but the finale will be for Di Luca."
Di Luca won the Lombarda race last year when LPR dominated the overall classification. It placed Paolo Savoldelli second and Daniele Pietropolli third.
LPR is making the most out of this week in Italy. The team will not travel north for the Ardennes Classics in two weeks because the race organisers refused an invitation. Di Luca is a winner of Flèche Wallonne (2005) and Liège-Bastogne-Liège (2007).
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