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Vuelta News for September 9, 2003

Edited by Jeff Jones

Petacchi equals Poblet and Baffi

Alessandro Petacchi
Photo: © AFP
Click for larger image

In winning the third stage of the Vuelta yesterday, Italian sprinting ace Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo) became only the third rider in history to win stages in all three grand tours in the same year. Only Miguel Poblet (1956, 8 grand tour stage wins) and Pierino Baffi (1958, 6 grand tour stage wins) have previously accomplished the feat, and Petacchi has surpassed their efforts with his 6 Giro wins, 4 Tour wins and 1 Vuelta win (so far) for a total of 11 stage wins.

"I certainly wanted to do it because it's not that easy to win in the three greatest races in the same year," Petacchi told Cyclingnews in an interview. "I didn't have to ride the Tour, but after the Giro I talked with my boss and we decided that I was going to compete in the "Grande Boucle" as it was better for me. I had already scheduled the Vuelta, but I was somehow tired. In the end I said "ok, ok, I'll go to the Vuelta". I like the Spanish race, I like to compete here and I like to win in the sprint if possible."

Despite this prolific burst of success, Petacchi will have to work harder to become the rider who has won the most grand tour stages in a single year. That honour belongs to Belgian sprinter Freddy Maertens, who won a record 13(!) stages of the Vuelta in 1977 as well as an additional 7 in the Giro d'Italia that year, for a total of 20 grand tour wins in 1977. He also won 8 stages in the 1976 Tour de France.

Grand tour stage win records in one year

Tour de France
 
8 Charles Pélissier (1930)
8 Eddy Merckx (1970)
8 Eddy Merckx (1974)
8 Freddy Maertens (1976)
7 Gino Bartali (1948)
7 Bernard Hinault (1979)
 
Giro d'Italia
 
12 Alfredo Binda (1927)
10 Learco Guerra (1934)
9 Alfredo Binda (1929)
9 Giuseppe Olmo (1936)
8 Constate Girardengo (1923)
7 Freddy Maertens (1977)
 
Vuelta a España
 
13 Freddy Maertens (1977)
12 Delio Rodriguez (1941)
8 Delio Rodriguez (1942)
8 Delio Rodriguez (1947)
8 Rik van Llly (1965)
7 Laurent Jalabert (1994)

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