Mirco Lorenzetto of Lampre-NGC took the win in Giro di Sardegna's opening stage over his old captain, Alessandro Petacchi. With the help of his teammates, the Italian was able to win the 184.2-kilometre stage in Olbia over the rider he used to lead out for two years at Milram.
"Even if Petacchi wins less he remains the best," Lorenzetto told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
The win was Lorenzetto's fourth victory in six years as a professional. He formed part of Petacchi's lead-out train at Milram in 2006 and 2007, but he was not able to find a place in his new sprint train.
Team Lampre gave him the support he needed for the win. Paolo Tiralongo and Volodymyr Zagorodny pulled back an early escape. World Champion Alessandro Ballan worked in the final kilometres (finishing 8th) and Enrico Gasparotto (3rd) did the final pull to ensure Lorenzetto's victory over Petacchi (4th) and Daniele Bennati (6th).
"This winter I worked specifically on improving my power. And I need the help of a team, like in this occasion."
Lampre appears to be on track for Italy's big one-day Classic, Milano-Sanremo, March 21. They have many options for the finale with the trio of Ballan, Gasparotto and Lorenzetto.