September 11, 2006
Petacchi out with self-inflicted injury
So the Gentleman Sprinter wasn't too happy with how the sprint worked out in Sunday's stage at the Vuelta. Gerolsteiner's Robert Förster took the sprint, head of Stuart O'Grady, Danilo Napolitano, and Thor Hushovd. Milram's Alessandro Petacchi found himself boxed out by a late left-hander and didn't factor. After leaving the Giro early with a knee injury and missing the entire Tour de France, it was just too much to take.
Frustrated, Petacchi took a punch at the team bus. Unsurprisingly, the bus won. As a result, Petacchi is out of the Vuelta, and will miss the world championships in Salzburg in 2 weeks.
"I was very angry," explained Petacchi. "After being injured so many months, I had the concrete possibility to finally return to success. I wanted to give my season a sense at all cost, after I had to abandon the Giro d'Italia early because of my accident.
"In any case, I admit it was a stupid gesture. I'm sorry and I ask my teammates and the team management to forgive me. But the anger was so intense that I couldn't control myself. I condemn my gesture very severely, but I am just a man, not a machine, and sometimes men make mistakes. Today I made a mistake, no doubt."
Petacchi joins a number of (typically headcase) athletes who have missed action for outburst-related injuries, including the NBA's Latrell Sprewell in 2002. Might even break into this baseball-only version of the stupidest sports injuries ever, alongside Jason Isringhausen, who similarly broke his hand in a frustrated punch.
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I still think that Gus Frerotte's headbutt of the Redskins endzone wall in 1997 was crazier...and he wasn't even mad then. lol
Posted by: Steve at Sep 11, 2006 3:47:54 AM
OK, while Petacchi's snit fit might not quite rank up there with the Darwin Award given to the guy who was crushed to death by the vending machine he was trying to shake a Coke out of, nonetheless, it's still pretty damn funny.
Let's listen to the Ring Announcer: "...In the red cornarr, wearing the lycra tights with gel-filled 'nad pad, the challengarr, Alessandro 'The Animal' Petaaaaaaaaaaaacccccccchhhhhiiii... (polite applause) ... And in the blue cornarr, wearing the Aluminum skin with Team Milram logo, the undefeated, undispayuuted heavyweight champion of the Vuelta, Volvo 'The Bus' Buuuuuuuuussssssssss... (crowd roars)."
Posted by: ewmayer at Sep 12, 2006 12:32:21 PM
Whoops, in my previous post, that should read the Lampre Team Bus.
In any event, result is the same:
Lampre Team Bus WKO1 A. Petacchi
Without the bus having to throw even a single punch - very impressive.
Posted by: ewmayer at Sep 12, 2006 2:11:57 PM
Perhaps it was 'roid rage?
Posted by: JB at Sep 13, 2006 10:17:55 AM