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Petacchi fractures hand

Milram's Alessandro Petacchi will quit the second Grand Tour this year because of a broken bone. The sprinter, who had just recovered from a knee fracture he suffered at the start of the Giro d'Italia - ruining his racing program from May to August - broke his hand after stage 15 on Sunday.

After the finish in Almussafes, Petacchi slammed his right fist into the team bus of Danilo Napolitano's Lampre squad, out of anger and frustration because he felt that Napolitano had obstructed him in the sprint earlier on. After unsuccessfully appealing to the race jury, Petacchi went to the Lampre bus to complain to Napolitano, and broke a finger of his hand when he burst out.

"I was very angry," explained Petacchi. "After being injured so many months, I had the concrete possibility to finally return to success. I wanted to give my season a sense at all cost, after I had to abandon the Giro d'Italia early because of my accident.

"In any case, I admit it was a stupid gesture. I'm sorry and I ask my teammates and the team management to forgive me. But the anger was so intense that I couldn't control myself. I condemn my gesture very severely, but I am just a man, not a machine, and sometimes men make mistakes. Today I made a mistake, no doubt."

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