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Italian sprinting star Alessandro Petacchi continued his 2008 winning ways in the Tour of Turkey (UCI 2.1/April 14-20). He won the first stage from Izmir to Kuþadasý in a photo finish, for his seventh win of the season. Second, by a hair, was the Argentinian Ruben Guillermo Bongiorno (CSF Group-Navigare), and third was Spaniard Javier Benitez Pomares (Benfica). The stage win also gave Petacchi the overall lead.
Team MILRAM had the whole 132 kilometer stage under control. It let three escapees, including Christoph Meschenmoser of Team Ista, get away, but not too far away. The MILRAM riders remained calm even in the final phase, as numerous riders tried to get away, and six km before the finish, all escapees were again captured. In the sprint finale everything went as planned. Marco Velo brought Petacchi to the 200 meter mark, and the captain finished it off on his own.
The Tour of Turkey began on Sunday, April 13, with a 76.2 km long criterium in Istanbul, the results of which did not count towards the overall classification. After a transfer from the city on the Bosporus to the harbor city of Izmir, the first of seven stages from the west of Turkey to the south was held on Monday, April 14. The Tour ends on Sunday, April 20, with a flat 136 km stage from Antalya to Alanya.
The stages 2008:
13.04. Criterium: Istanbul (76,2 km)
14.04. 1st Stage: Izmir – Kuþadasý (132,7 km)
15.04. 2nd Stage: Kuþadasý – Bodrum (165,9 km)
16.04. 3rd Stage: Bodrum – Marmaris (166,8 km)
17.04. 4th Stage: Marmaris – Ölüdeniz (177,7 km)
18.04. 5th Stage: Kalkan – Finike (100,1 km)
19.04. 6th Stage: Finike – Antalya (115,8 km)
20.04. 7th Stage: Antalya – Alanya (136,6 km)
Total length: 1071,8 km
The MILRAM line-up in the Tour of Turkey: Alberto Ongarato (ITA/ Servazzano), Alessandro Petacchi (ITA/ Lido di Camaiore), Artur Gajek (GER/Bergisch Gladbach), Christian Kux (GER/Chemnitz), Elia Rigotto (ITA/Creazzo), Marco Velo (ITA/Mazzano)
Directeur Sportif: Leitung: Vittorio Algeri (ITA)