LPR Brakes held an official presentation Wednesday morning for its new rider Alessandro Petacchi, who was signed in early July. The Italian sprinter will return to racing effective September 1. He has two objectives: the Tour of Great Britain and Paris Tours.
Already looking to 2009, Petacchi's longer term objectives include Milano San Remo, Tirreno, the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France. "Returning to racing this year is already a beautiful victory," said Petacchi to www.tuttobiciweb.it. He was welcomed by new team-mates and team support staff at the start of stage one of the Brixia Tour.
"When I heard that Petacchi was negotiating with the LPR, I was just very pleased," said Danilo Di Luca, "not only because we are friends. His arrival is very important, since he is the strongest sprinter in the world. For the rest of this year, we will be even stronger with him. For next year having Petacchi will be an advantage for me, too, because he is a man who assures 15 to 20 wins per year so we will have a more relaxed first part of the season. He can only help the team be stronger."
Petacchi spoke highly of his interactions with the team from the time they first spoke through his signing and Team Manager Fabio Bordonali called Petacchi's signing "icing on the cake".
Petacchi was suspended from racing though August 31 after being found positive for excess use of Salbutamol (asthma drug) during the 2007 Giro d'Italia. (For more details of the Petacchi read Innocently Guilty – the Petacchi case.) He previously rode for Team Milram.