Stressful start for Petacchi

For the first time in his twelve years as a professional, Alessandro Petacchi made his debut in the Tour of Qatar. Monday's stage 2 was the first sprint of the season for him and his key rival, Tom Boonen. The two used their sprint men, battling to the line, where Boonen came out on top; making the score Boonen 1 to Petacchi 0.

"Disappointed? No, not really. I have not done a sprint in a long time [September 10, 2006 - ed.]," said the 33 year-old from La Spezia to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "But I had the confirmation that the condition is good, and at a certain point I had believed I would win."

It was Steven De Jongh who launched his Quick-Step teammate to victory, while the Milram train worked to set up their leader. "Maybe the train departed too soon, and stayed on too long, but overall I am content, also with the movements of the team [in the train].

"I have to say I was hoping for a softer start to the season. This is a course that really takes a lot from you and is stressful; because of the wind and also some are taking absurd risks. But I think it will serve me in the future. Overall, I am ready to retry again. Right away."

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1