What's Cool In Road Cycling

Petacchi: The Record Maker

Sportmen all over the world know that the records are there to be beaten, Petacchi is fully aware of this and that is why he has achieved so many victories in the three major Tours in the world. Six at the Giro, four at the Tour and two at the Vuelta so far. He became part of the history of Cycling in Santander and increased his list of achievements in Zaragoza. He won quite easily in a day highlighted by the wind, the high speed and the audacity of four men who did not give in until the 53rd kilometre.

All the riders were slightly afraid of todayґs stage; the peloton had already shown in stages near the river Ebro that they usually reach a very fast speed. The battle started in Soria. The first kilometres were so frantic that even Oscar Sevilla lost the control of the situation and had to be helped by his experienced team mate Paco Cabello. The Granada-born rider managed to take his leader back into the peloton and what could have been a disaster was just a fright.

Igor Astarloa, Mariano Piccoli, David Navas and Karsten Kroon tried to break all the predictions. They worked as a team from the very first moment and they managed to get an advantage of six minutes. Although they hoped to arrive in Zaragoza alone, the strong team did not allow their dream came true.

When the cross-wind started to blow, when Fassa Bortolo and Telekom decided to work only for Petacchi and Zabel, the dream of the adventurers started to vanish. The advantage was decreasing little by little in the same way as Pecharromбn was losing his strength. He withdrew from a race that would have meant his chance to become a cycling star and he chose to wait for next season and for another team..

Petacchiґs power was clearly seen at the finish line. Even though the final sprint was not spectacular due to a fall, Angel Edo carried out a perfect pursuit. He followed him very close until the very end, but he was unable to overtake him at any moment. Petacchi is such a brilliant sprinter that very few can beat him.

Isidro Nozal did not disappoint anyone in the leaderґs role. He controlled all the dangers and did not allow anyone snatch the Gold Jersey out of his hands. Once-Eroski and Banesto behaved as very professional riders. The stage was a very complicated one so all those who were able to reach the finish line deserve to be congratulated.

Osvaldo Menйndez/Prensa La Vuelta

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