March 14, 2006

Dekker takes Tirreno-Adriatico overall | Holland's Dekker wins Tirreno-Adriatico cycling race

Petacchi coming up to speed
Petacchi coming to speed
AP Photo/Sandro Perozzi
Alessandro Petacchi avenged his two recent sprint losses in Tirreno-Adriatico, perfectly timing his finishing kick to nip Robbie McEwen, Paride Grillo, and Thor Hushovd for the Stage 7 win. It was his 3rd stage win of Tirreno-Adriatico.

Thomas Dekker takes the overall, for the biggest victory of his career. Not Thomas Dekker the Jacobean dramatist, nor the 18-year-old TV actor (“7th Heaven”), but the 21-year-old Dutch Rabobank who was 2nd in last year's Criterium International.

Petacchi said this one was especially sweet:

"I wanted this win," Petacchi said after his 166-km stage victory on Tuesday. "I'm feeling good and this win came just at the right time for both me and the team."

"The other day (Saturday) when I lost to (Norway's Thor) Hushovd I was very angry. Today I was more determined, everything went perfectly and my team mates did a great job."

Dekker trails Floyd Landis by only one point in the new ProTour standings, but Landis isn't riding the spring classics, and plans to throttle back soon to build for another peak in July.


Eurosport | Dekker wins race, Petacchi stage | Dekker wraps up title at Tirreno-Adriatico | Petacchi scores in T-A, Dekker takes overall glory

Photos: | Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 7 (also: picture of Discovery's Viatcheslav Ekimov back in the peloton)

Posted by Frank Steele on March 14, 2006 in Alessandro Petacchi, Thomas Dekker, Thor Hushovd, Tirreno-Adriatico '06, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 09, 2006

Bettini again at Tirreno-Adriatico, O'Grady out 4-6 weeks | Deja vu for Bettini

Quick Step's triple world champion Paolo Bettini is 2-for-2 at Tirreno-Adriatico, after a 2nd stage win in Frascati on Thursday.

Said Bettini:

CSC's O'Grady broke 5 ribs and his collarbone
O'Grady hurting
Fotoreporter Sirotti/

"I'm not thinking about the general classification, I'm taking things on a day by day basis. Tomorrow's stage is one that I have already won twice, in 1999 and 2003. We'll have to see if I can make it three."

Bettini closed almost 30 seconds on Daniele Contrini in the last 2 kms, passing him in the last 500 meters and outsprinting Milram's Erik Zabel (again). It was Zabel's 9th 2nd-place on the young season. LPR's Mikhaylo Khalilov was 3rd. That's how the overall shakes out, so far, since both stages had the same 1st and 2nd-place riders.

Stuart O'Grady, now riding for CSC, was victim to a pothole, and broke five ribs and his collarbone.

Overall Standings
1) Paolo Bettini, Quick Step, in 8:11:54
2) Erik Zabel, Milram, at :08
3) Mikhaylo Khalilov, LPR, at :16
4) Thor Hushovd, Credit Agricole, same time
5) Alessandro Ballan, Lampre, and about 50 other riders, at :20

Eurosport | Bettini does it again | Bettini doubles up at Tirreno

Photos: | Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 2 photo gallery

Posted by Frank Steele on March 9, 2006 in Erik Zabel, Paolo Bettini, Stuart O'Grady, Thor Hushovd, Tirreno-Adriatico '06, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 08, 2006

Bettini takes 1st stage at Tirreno-Adriatico | Cycling-Bettini wins first stage of Tirreno-Adriatico

Bettini wins Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 1
AP Photo/Andrew Medichini
Paolo Bettini seized the day, saying he's intent on competing for the overall title at Tirreno-Adriatico.

Bettini outsprinted Erik Zabel, the eternal 2nd, and Thor Hushovd on the slightly uphill finish. Zabel had the leadout services of teammate Alessandro Petacchi, who felt the finish suited Zabel better than himself:

"The only way we could win was to make Quick.Step work because we knew that Paolo (Bettini) was the man to beat. In any case, Erik rode great today. With 1km to go, he was a bit behind and came up fast. Yes, he lost, but he lost to Bettini who is the best in the world for this kind of finish. So I'm willing to do what it takes to help my teammate win."

Bettini has seemingly made a career on finishes too tough for the pure sprinters. He won the overall here in 2004:

"I'm not going to hold back. This year's route is tough. The stage five time trial and the uphill finish at San Giacomo on stage six will decide the race," Bettini said.

"Levi Leipheimer and Stefano Garzelli are the big favourites but I've thrown my hat into the ring and I'm going to give it a go."

Longtime Lance Armstrong nemesis Filippo Simeoni took a very long flyer today, jumping out with only 4 kilometers ridden, being joined soon by two other riders, dangling almost 10 minutes off the front, then being caught with less than 3 kilometers left on the stage.


Eurosport | Bettini on song, Zabel second | Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 1: Bettini is the best

Photos: | Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 1 photo gallery

Posted by Frank Steele on March 8, 2006 in Alessandro Petacchi, Erik Zabel, Levi Leipheimer, Paolo Bettini, Tirreno-Adriatico '06, Top Stories | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack