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Zabel getting better, but Petacchi too fast

Sitting pretty in fourth wheel behind Alessandro Petacchi and his last two lead-out men with a kilometre to go, T-Mobile's Erik Zabel appeared to be in the best slipstream of all on Stage 9 of the Giro from Firenze to Ravenna. But in the end, the finishing speed of Petacchi resulted in a victory won by over two bike lengths from his nearest competitor, Paolo Bettini (Quick.Step), while Zabel ended up fifth.

Said his sporting manager Valerio Piva on the team's website, www.t-mobile-team.com: "Erik was well-positioned in the finale, and the team did a good job at leading him out. But when Petacchi got going, there was nothing you could do. Petacchi is just too fast at the moment!"

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