Petacchi may miss Milano-Sanremo
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Petacchi may miss Milano-Sanremo

by Samuel Morrison at 6:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Milan-Sanremo
Lampre's sprinter: 'I can not breathe, I'm full of phlegm'

Italy's Alessandro Petacchi may miss a chance to win Milano-Sanremo six years after his first in 2005 due to a cold.

"I thought I was going better," Petacchi told La Gazzetta dello Sport, "then after an hour and half training ride [yesterday] in the rain – sick."

The 37-year-old sprinter battled Danilo Hondo and Thor Hushovd to win the 2005 Milano-Sanremo. Last year, he won two stages and the green sprinters' jersey at the Tour de France. He has suffered this year with asthma problems, though, he challenged Tyler Farrar for a stage win at Tirreno-Adriatico last week.

"Physically, I'm not bad. The problem is that I cannot breathe, I'm full of phlegm. I refused to take antibiotics, since up to twenty days ago, I was filled with asthma medication, which destroyed me."

Petacchi will decide today after a training ride if he will race the 298-kilometre Milano-Sanremo.

"If I am in condition, as I hope, good; otherwise, I will have to renounce it. I don't want to be dropped on the Mànie climb. It's also a question of respect for the team."

Team Lampre-ISD may rely on Damiano Cunego and Michele Scarponi to make an attacking race.

"Cunego could attack on the Cipressa and blow apart the race, Scarponi on the Poggio," said 2002 winner, Italian Mario Cipollini. "Perhaps they could pull it off with the help of [Philippe] Gilbert or [Alessandro] Ballan. They are the only ones who can change the destiny of the race."


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