Climbing nothing new to Petacchi

Ale-Jet Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini) lets the bubbly flow

Ale-Jet Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini) lets the bubbly flow (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

While some observers were amazed to see Alessandro Petacchi dominate the uphill finish of Giro d'Italia's stage three to Valdobbiadene, the Italian explained that climbing is nothing new in his repertoire.

"Don't forget that I've won Milan-Sanremo, I've come second overall in Tirreno-Adritico, I've won the Valenciana Week... there have been some moments of my career when I've climbed decently," said Petacchi, who was keen to illustrate this his abilities are no different in his Giro comeback than when he last rode the event in 2007.

That year he was the race's best sprinter, and this year has started much in the same vein. "But let's don't exaggerate, I'm not going to keep the pink jersey tomorrow," he explained.

Stage four will be the seventh day in Petacchi's career he's wore the maglia rosa after wearing it for six days during the 2003 Giro. On that particular occasion, he reminded Giro fans what he's capable of when he preserved his 17-second advantage on general classification at the uphill finish of Terme Luigiane that marked the end of stage three in the 2003 Giro.

"With that incredible effort, I lost four years of my life", he recalled. "I was third up that climb! Stefano Garzelli won it significantly but Francesco Casagrande - who was second - only beat me by an ultimate 'hair's breadth'."

The likes of Franco Pellizotti and Gilberto Simoni finished behind Petacchi, and Marco Pantani had a five-second deficit to the Ligurian.

At 35 years of age, Petacchi also spoke about his future and repeated that he's considering finishing his career on Mark Cavendish's side. "I want to ride for one more year or two for winning myself, after which I'd like to do the same thing as Erik Zabel who put himself at my service at Milram," he speculated. "For three years I haven't done an entire season. I don't feel old."

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