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"When I won in 2009 it was different. Today I waited to start my sprint because I didn't understand if they wanted to go left or right," Petacchi sais

Photo: Sirotti






10.04.2014 @ 11:33 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

In 2009 when he was still at the top of the sprinting hierarchy, Alessandro Petacchi won the Scheldeprijs, the race known as the world championships of the sprinters. In the absence of Mark Cavendish, he got a rare chance to swap his lead-out role with the one of lead sprinter in yesterday's 2014 edition of the race but despite a perfect lead-out he could only manage 4th.


Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team executed the leadout for a bunch sprint at 200km Scheldeprijs on Wednesday. With about 2.6km to go the final rider of the original breakaway of the day was caught, and OPQS immediately took control on the front.


Approaching 1.9km to go, OPQS still had five riders on the front, led by Tom Boonen. In the final kilometer it was left to Gert Steegmans to drop off Alessandro Petacchi in perfect position. Steegmans accomplished his job and Petacchi was in great position. However, so was Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) directly to their right. He launched early, and Petacchi tried his best to catch back to the German rider. But the power of Kittel was too much for everyone in the peloton, and he won the race for a third time.


Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) was 2nd, and Danny Van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing) was 3rd. Petacchi finished 4th. 


"I tried to do the podium, after five years," he told Cyclingnews. "When I won in 2009 it was different. Today I waited to start my sprint because I didn't understand if they wanted to go left or right. I wanted to go left, but I waited for Gert to go right because it would be early because of the wind. Kittel started before me but for sure the same would win.


"This morning the team asked me to try the sprint. After the cobblestones I told the guys OK, I try. Today I had a really good team. In the last lap the break had too much.


"Normally I train always for Mark for the lead-out. After Sanremo I was a little sick, like many guys, because of the cold. I'm happy with my condition now."


He now plans to go the Tour of Turkey and the Giro.


"If I go to the Giro I'll try some sprints because Mark is not in the Giro," he said. "Afterwards it's really important to ride the Tour in good condition for Mark. In the Tour, for sure with me, Mark, Steegmans and Renshaw we have a big team."



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