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Alessandro Petacchi at the 2010 Giro d'Italia presentation
Giro d'Italia offers seven sprint stages for Italian sprinter
Italy's Alessandro Petacchi is looking forward to the 2010 Giro d'Italia and a possible duel with Brit Mark Cavendish. Petacchi attended the unveiling of the 2010 route Saturday in Milan, a race with seven possible sprint stages.
Cavendish, "is yet another rival and I hope he races. If he is there it's better," said Petacchi. "The more sprinters there are the more chances we have for a sprint. We have to take the chances for a sprint finish when we can because the last week doesn't present many possibilities."
Giro organiser RCS Sport presented a traditional route, one with high mountain climbs in the third week. The race, May 8 to 30, will take the riders up the Zoncolan, Plan de Corones, Mortirolo and Gavia climbs in the final week. However, there are up to seven days that could end in a sprint: Utrecht, Middelburg, Novi Ligure, Cava de' Tirreni, Bitonto, Porto Recanati and Brescia.
Petacchi has 19 career stage wins in the Giro d'Italia, but lost the sprint duel to Cavendish this year. Cavendish won three stages and held the leader's maglia rosa jersey for two days. Petacchi won two stages and had the jersey for one day.
His move from LPR Brakes to Lampre could provide a strong lead-out train in the final kilometres. He took up the lead-out train tactic from Italy's legendary sprinter, Mario Cipollini, and uses it do fight off the explosive sprint of riders like Cavendish and Robbie McEwen.
"Having a lead-out train suits me," said Petacchi. "I need riders ahead of me in the last kilometres, unlike Cavendish or McEwen. Those guys can look after themselves."
The team change will allow Petacchi to return to battle his rivals at the Tour de France and Vuelta a España. Lampre is a ProTour team that usually receives invitations to the top races.