In Saturday's finish in Lugo, Alessandro Petacchi led his Milram team-mate Erik Zabel to the line, but tired legs saw the latter lose Petacchi's wheel before the final sprint, and ended up sixth.
"Unfortunately the finish wasn't easy," said Zabel in a team statement. "The guys of the Team Milram did a lot of work and in the end, Petacchi led me to the front because I had slipped too far behind. He [Petacchi] did a very good job because the speed was high and he led me to the first riders with 300 metres to go; unfortunately, they started the final sprint immediately and I was already tired."
"I saw Erik too far behind and I brought him to the front of the group," explained Petacchi, "but the last kilometre was hard, which saw Vinokourov win. I'm getting and, for the moment, that's enough for me."