Although Fassa Bortolo did its usual excellent job of controlling the bunch in order to lead out Alessandro Petacchi for a potential victory in Stage 1, the wheels fell off with 800m to go when Paolo Bettini attacked on the climb to win the stage. Petacchi finished up in third place behind Bettini and McEwen, with the latter looking like he has the condition to challenge Petacchi in the coming stages. But Petacchi wasn't too concerned, as he explained afterwards:
"It was a stage made to measure for Bettini and he did not fail. I tried, because in this race, there was not only the stage win, but also the maglia rosa. Unfortunately it went - deservedly - to him. I felt in good form and perhaps I was a bit indecisive when Bettini attacked. It's clear that I didn't have his legs, but if I reacted immediately, his advantage at the end of the climb wouldn't have been as great. Instead, I waited for Velo to come back to the front so he could lead me out. However, the advantage was too big then.
"In the final part of the stage, the possibility of victory vanished and I lost concentration for a moment and McEwen beat me for second place. However, I'm satisfied with my placing because the finish was really difficult and this means that the condition is excellent, likely better than last year. But the routes are varied like the characteristics of the riders."
Petacchi will try to extract revenge in today's second stage from Catanzaro to Santa Maria del Cedro (182 km), which is almost certain to finish in a bunch sprint. Follow the stage live on Cyclingnewsfrom 14:30 CEST