Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) won his second-straight stage at Tirreno-Adriatico, beating former world champion Mario Cipollini in the race to the line at the end of Thursday’s 184km second stage into Maddaloni on Thursday.
The 30-year-old Petacchi continues as overall race leader after also winning Wednesday’s first stage.
French riders Stephane Auge and none other than Jacky Durand made the first break at the 40km mark but failed to build up sufficient distance and were quickly caught with French Cofidis rider Mederic Clain taking up the challenge with German Danilo Hondo.
Some 50km from the line Credit Agricole rider Sebastien Hinault of France made a break before being caught by the peloton of sprinters with Fassa Bortolo moving to the fore with 13km to go.
Petacchi clinched his fourth victory of the year, ahead of Cipollini and Brazilian Luciano Pagliarini of the Lampre team, putting him in a comfortable position ahead of Friday’s 179km third stage goes from Isernia to Paglieta.