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Who else? Petacchi scores win at Tirreno-Adriatico opener

Super sprinter Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) won the first stage of the 39th Tirreno-Adriatico as it finished in Sabaudia on the Mediterranean coast on Wednesday. The 30-year-old sprint specialist was the fastest in a bunch sprint, crossing the finish line of the 169km stage in 3:55:31. German pair Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) and Danilo Hondo (Gerolsteiner) were second and third respectively. Petacchi said his 60th career victory and his third of the season owed much to the performance of teammate Guido Trenti. "Trenti guided me very well and although I thought I went a little early in

By VeloNews Interactive, Copyright AFP2004

Super sprinter Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) won the first stage of the 39th Tirreno-Adriatico as it finished in Sabaudia on the Mediterranean coast on Wednesday. The 30-year-old sprint specialist was the fastest in a bunch sprint, crossing the finish line of the 169km stage in 3:55:31. German pair Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) and Danilo Hondo (Gerolsteiner) were second and third respectively.

Petacchi said his 60th career victory and his third of the season owed much to the performance of teammate Guido Trenti.

“Trenti guided me very well and although I thought I went a little early in the final 200 meters I felt very strong,” he said. “It was a tough ride and I was worried at the end because Zabel came at me fast, but I managed to hold on.”

Thursday’s second stage is a 164 kilometer ride from Latina to Maddaloni.

Italy’s second biggest stage race, the Tirreno-Adriatico will end in San Benedetto Del Tronto on the Adriatic coast on March 16 and is an important warm-up to Milan-San Remo, which takes place on March 20.Stage 1, Sabaudia – Sabaudia
1. Alessandro Petacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo, 160km in 3:55:31 (40.76kph)
2. Erik Zabel (G), T-Mobile
3. Danilo Hondo (G), Gerolsteiner
4. Luciano Pagliarini (Bra), Lampre
5. Stefano Zanini (I), Quick Step-Davitamon, all s.t.

Overall, after stage 1
1. Alessandro Petacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo
2. Erik Zabel (G), T-Mobile
3. Danilo Hondo (G), Gerolsteiner
4. Luciano Pagliarini (Bra), Lampre
5. Stefano Zanini (I), Quick Step-Davitamon