Giro Stage 3: Return of Ale-Jet

I've never seen a rider so happy to win as Alessandro Petacchi, audibly sobbing in his return to the front of the sprint. After almost a year of healing from a fractured kneecap in last year's Grio, today's win gives Ale-Jet twenty Giro d'Italia wins. It was a messy win for Petacchi as he was forced to win without his usual leadout train.

Ignatiev (Tinkoff) and Visconti (Quick Step) gave panic to the sprinter teams and Petacchi was forced to burn his leadout men as part of the chase. The breakaway was caught with 2.5km to go but Milram was further used up as Quick Step counterattacked with Tosatto. That attack was also nullified but things became really chaotic in the final kilometer.

Credit Agricole's Nicholas Roche launched an attack and Thor Hushovd went down in a crash (post-crash photo of Hushovd's welt), taking a small number of riders with him (possibly Cunego and Simoni). Petacchi launched his sprint with 300m to go. Robert Forster tried to come up his left side as Maximiliano Richeze fell off Petacchi's wheel. Robbie McEwen was boxed in behind Lampre's Napolitano and couldn't get around in time. JJ Haedo was nowhere to be seen and finished 77th, most likely as a result of Hushovd's crash.

related articles: Giro d'Italia 2007
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