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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."

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