Vuelta News forAugust 20, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones
Petacchi chases Baffi Senior's record at Vuelta
By Tim Maloney, European Editor
Alessandro Petacchi crossing the
finish line just ahead of Erik Zabel
Photo ©: AFP
When Alessandro Petacchi took the sprint in the 185 kilometre first
stage of the ENECO Ronde van Nederland between Middelburg and Rotterdam
on August 19, it was his 18th win of the 2003 season for the Fassa Bortolo
rider. Petacchi has had a breakthrough season in 2003 with multiple stage
wins in the Giro and Tour and may now be headed to the Vuelta a España.
"After riding many criteriums in Holland and Belgium after the Tour,
which was a great experience, I'll see at the Tour of Holland what my
real condition is," declared Petacchi. "I have to decide if I'm going
to do the Vuelta or not...if I'm feeling really good, I want to ride since
I really like the Vuelta."
Should Petacchi win stages in the Giro d'Italia, Tour De France and
Vuelta a España this year, he will be only the third rider in history
to manage that exceptional feat.
45 years ago, riding for the Chlorodont team in 1958, Pierino Baffi,
father of Adriano Baffi, won six stages in Grand Tours that year; Stage
12 of the Giro, Stage 10, 16 and 24 of the Tour as well as the 3rd and
14th stage of the Vuelta. Also Miguel Poblet won stages 4, 8, 14, and
16 of the 1956 Giro, Stage 8 of the Tour de France that year, and stages
3, 5, and 6 of the Vuelta. "It would be great to leave my mark on all
three Grand Tours this year," said Petacchi.
Perhaps the Fassa Bortolo man will renew his match with Mario Cipollini
at the Vuelta, as the World Champion will likely ride the Spanish race.
"If Mario is (at the Vuelta), the sprints will be even more spectacular.
That won't be my main reason for riding the Vuelta, but it will give me
extra motivation if Mario is there."
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