All smiles from Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini) on the podium after his win in stage three of the Giro d'Italia, which gave him the leader's maglia rosa.
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Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi with top-level Lampre team for two years
Italian sprinter, Alessandro Petacchi, has signed a contract with Lampre-NGC for the next two years. He will leave Fabio Bordonali's LPR Brakes team one year earlier than scheduled.
"I am splitting with LPR and Bordonali on good terms, but I couldn’t compete in races I wanted to," Petacchi told La Gazzetta dello Sport Saturday.
His wins and Danilo Di Luca's second overall were a success for the second-division team of Fabio Bordonali. But Bordonali struggled with non-invites to several important races and the recent news that Di Luca doped during the Giro. Di Luca faces a likely two-year suspension for using banned blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO) - CERA.
Petacchi won the sprinters' classic Paris-Tours in 2007 and a total 19 stages of the Vuelta a España, but LPR Brakes will miss both races this year.
"Up until after the Giro I had a good season, and won 10 races. I was competitive," said Petacchi. "Not being invited [to the big races] is belittling."
Lampre-NGC is a first division ProTour team and races all of cycling's top races. Petacchi believes he can win races for the team in the next two years despite emerging sprinters like Mark Cavendish and Tyler Farrar.
"I’m looking forward to the next two world championships, Melbourne and Copenhagen. Mario Cipollini did not win [Worlds] until he was 35."
Petacchi has been Italy's leading sprinter since the retirement of Cipollini. He has won 21 Giro d'Italia and four Tour de France stages, in addition to his Vuelta a España stages. He won Italy's biggest one-day race in 2005, the Milano-Sanremo.
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