Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) will target the points classification at the 2012 Tour de France and has admitted that he is likely to forgo the Giro d’Italia in order to reach July at the top of his form.
With Lampre’s Giro squad likely to be built around Michele Scarponi’s overall aspirations, Petacchi is set to miss the corsa rosa to prepare for a tilt at regaining the green jersey he won in 2010.
“We have the rider who finished second in the Giro in 2011 and so the team should be all for him,” Petacchi told Gazzetta dello Sport. “If I skip the Giro, I can do the Tour of Belgium. Then I will do Suisse in order to get to the Tour in peak condition, the kind I normally had in Italy. The aim is to win the green jersey again.”
In a new departure, Petacchi will begin his season at the Tour Down Under and he will travel to Australia early in order to get in some warm-weather training miles. On his return from the Antipodes, he will ride the GP Costa degli Etruschi, the Giro di Sardegna and Tirreno-Adriatico as build-up to Milan-San Remo. “I’ve never raced so early,” he said. “I’m leaving on January 4, so before racing I’ll be able to train for ten days. I’ll arrive at Down Under fairly prepared.”
Petacchi’s winter preparation up to now has seen him intersperse his training rides with a series of gym work in a bid to regain the power he feels was lacking at times in 2011. “I’ve used weights to do pure strength and resistance work,” he said. “I wanted to rebuild the muscles of my legs because I had slimmed down excessively, partly because of having raced too much.”
While the fruits of his labour are not yet wholly apparent, Petacchi is confident that his preparation will pay dividends later in the season. “I’ve trained less on the bike than in recent years and for now I feel heavier and wooden, but it’s work that will stand to me further on.”