GP Costa degli Etruschi - NE

Italy, February 4, 2001

Sacchi opens his Italian account

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Sacchi wins it
Photo: © Roberto Bettini

Saeco's Fabio Sacchi continued on from where he left off in the Tour Down Under by winning the first race on the Italian calendar, the GP Costa degli Etruschi in Donoratico. The ex-Polti rider beat Tacconi Sport's Gabriele Balducci and Wladimir Douma (Panaria) in a photo finish at the end of the 171.6 kilometre race.

Although he said afterwards that he "raised his arms a little to soon" he still managed to win with a few centimetres to spare. He added that his second victory of the year was just as meaningful as his Tour Down Under stage win, although this was in a non-UCI ranked event. "To win it is always difficult - every time has a special meaning."

The race was fairly flat along the Tuscan coast between San Vincenzo, Cecina and Livorno. Sacchi made the critical 18 man escape with 80 kilometres to go, which was driven along by several Fassa Bortolo riders. However, despite having Alessandro Petacchi along, they couldn't finish it off and Sacchi took the win from under their noses.

Results - 171.6 km

1 Fabio Sacchi (Ita) Saeco-Macchine per Caffè       4.02.00 (42.54 km/h)
2 Gabriele Balducci (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
3 Wladimir Douma (Ukr) Ceramica Panaria-Fiordo
4 Roberto Petito (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
5 Filippo Casagrande (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
6 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Fassa Bortolo
7 Diego Ferrari (Ita) Tacconi Sport-Vini Caldirola
8 Denis Lunghi (Ita) Team Colpack-Astro                0.04
9 Ivan Basso (Ita) Fassa Bortolo		       0.15
10 Mirko Celestino (Ita) Saeco-Macchine per Caffè