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, "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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