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Petacchi, Ventoso and Hondo abandon Giro d'Italia

Giro d'Italia stage winners Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) and Francisco Ventoso (Movistar) will not be at the start line of the 13th stage of the race today. The sprinters join HTC-Highroad's Mark Cavendish in heading for home instead of up the remaining Giro mountains.

Petacchi, who was leading the points competition, said that his main goal at the Giro was to ride in support of the team's GC candidate Michele Scarponi. “I did it with pleasure and I also had the satisfaction of battling for personal objectives. I obtained one victory and other good results, honouring the race in every stage.

“The next stages won’t give me the chance to give my support to the team. So, also considering that my season is full of other important events, I chose to quit the race”.

Danilo Hondo, who prepares the sprints for Petacchi, is also leaving the race.

Petacchi won the second stage of the Giro, and finished second in the sixth stage. He was third in the eighth, tenth and twelfth stages.

Spaniard Ventoso was also pleased with what he had accomplished. “I reached my goal, which was to win a stage and that makes me very proud. Being back after a four-year absence couldn't be better,” he said in a statement.

"I am delighted with the team that worked really well and sure to top off a great final Giro. On the other hand I am sorry to leave the race for my teammates, because I can not pay back all the work they have done for me. It makes sense not to continue, because with the upcoming mountains, I won't be of much help. "

The Spaniard won the sixth stage and was second on the tenth stage.

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