By Shane Stokes in Monteverginie
With a mainly flat profile awaiting the riders for Thursday's fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia, the third bunch sprint of the 2007 race looks likely to be in store. So far the score is 1-1 between Robbie McEwen and Alessandro Petacchi. Milram's Brett Lancaster was part of the latter's success on Monday and said that he was happy that his team captain is back to full speed.
"It was a nice win," he told Cyclingnews on Wednesday morning. "It was good to see Petacchi get up. I don't think being beaten on stage two affected his confidence; it was more a case that he wanted to win even more then. He was strong on stage two, but the finish probably suited McEwen a bit more as they had to jump out of a corner. But the straight line sprint [stage three] suited him very well."
He said that Milram had a tough job to set things up for a bunch sprint. "The team rode on the front for a long time. The break was going so hard that we had to put the whole team on the front and even with that, only just about got them back. Then Alessandro went out and won the sprint on his own, so that shows he has got it and should have a good Giro."
Lancaster stated that Petacchi's leadout train will hold back on the hillier stages. "I am just here to ride for Alessandro. On a stage like today we will just roll our legs over as much as we can, but tomorrow [stage five] will be different as it is a day for a sprint."
He moved to Milram this season and is content with the Italian-German squad. "I am loving the team. It is truly professional. I can't say a thing wrong about it."