Alessandro Petacchi was dropped in Coppi e Bartali's team time trial, the second of two stages for the day. The Milram sprinter suffered in the opening day's heavy rains and from last Saturday's Milano-Sanremo effort. According to the team, he wants to save himself for a chance at winning Belgian Semi-Classic Gent-Wevelgem, April 11.
"I'm not in love with the rain; this was a difficult day," confessed the 33 year-old to La Gazzetta dello Sport Tuesday evening. The organizers actually stretched the time limit (25% of the winning team's time) to keep 'Ale-Jet' in the race.
"I felt tired and empty," continued the rider from La Spezia. "Maybe up to now I have raced a lot, and that I am paying from the stress and delusion of Sanremo. If I continue to have this hard time then maybe I will not start [in the next stage]. I have not yet talked to my team manager, [Gianluigi] Stanga."
In 2006 Petacchi finished third in Gent-Wevelgem, which often viewed as a sprinters' classic.