Lampre-Farnese Vini crash woes: Petacchi in, Bole out
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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lampre-Farnese Vini crash woes: Petacchi in, Bole out

by Steve Jones at 6:37 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Paris-Nice

Alessandro PetacchiThe Lampre-Farnese Vini team has had its share of bad luck in recent days, with both Alessandro Petacchi and Grega Bole each taking their turn hitting the pavement. Yesterday's incident with Petacchi involved an encounter with a stray flower pot on a training ride, while today's crash that took out Bole was in the final meters of stage two in Paris-Nice.

Petacchi, the Italian team's evergreen sprinter, was concerned that his injuries would force him to miss Tirreno-Adriatico, which begins tomorrow in Livorno. He was taken to Don Bosco Hospital in Viareggio, on the Tuscan coast, where doctors stitched up his chin and treated his other injuries to his leg, ankle and groin.

After an excellent start to the season, including two stage wins in the Giro della Provincia Calabria, his fifth victory in the GP Costa Etrusca and a stage of the Giro di Sardegna, the Tuscan determined not to let a few stitches, bruises and scrapes derail his train to Milan-Sanremo.

"Today I tried pedaling on my bike," said Petacchi. "I still have pain in my right ankle and I don't think it will get better any time soon, the same for the wound on my chin, but my will to ride is strong," he explained. "Tirreno-Adriatico is a fundamental part of my path to Milano-Sanremo, so I'll try to race the best that I can. [There] I will evaluate if my condition will allow me to pedal in a proper way [to continue]."

Lampre sports director Fabrizio Bontempi is concerned about his star rider, but agrees that, if Petacchi wants another win in the coveted La Primavera, the road to victory will be through Tirreno-Adriatico.

"We will be at the start anxiosly awaiting the situation with Petacchi's health," Bontempi admitted. "Alessandro is not doing too well but, with Milano-Sanremo so soon, it is important that he tries to recover [by racing]. We will evaluate the situation as it develops day by day, hoping that the pain will lessen."  Even if Petacchi decides not to ride for the sprints, Bontempi has confidence that Danilo Hondo, who won a stage in the Giro di Sardegna while the Tuscan was ill, will still give the team chances for sprint victories this week.

In France today, second place finisher on the previous day's stage, Grega Bole, wasn't as fortunate. The sprinter was again at the sharp end of the race in the final meters when he touched wheels with the rider in front of him. The contact sent the Lampre rider crashing to the pavement while the peloton was in full flight, giving the riders behind no time to avoid a collision.

The three riders toppling over Bole added insult to injury with the Slovenian taking the fast track to the hospital in Limoges for examination. "No fracture or internal damage, but only a minor pneumothorax [collapsed lung] that won't need to be drained," detailed Doctor Beltemacchi. "Soon Grega will be authorized to leave the hospital so he can join the team at the hotel." The team's doctor said that his injures will prevent Bola from taking the start in tomorrow's stage.


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