Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) took part in his first race for 93 days on Wednesday, riding the first half of the GP Castelfidardo race on the Italian Adriatic coast.
Petacchi fractured his left kneecap in a crash during the third stage of the Giro d?Italia and was forced to miss the Tour de France after using crutches for 40 days. He started training on July on July 6 but has been careful to work on rebuilding his weakened leg muscles to avoid future injuries and imblances.
?I?ve never been out of action for so long and I couldn?t wait to race again,? Petacchi said.
?I?d hoped to ride for even longer but two short climbs made the racing hard and so it wasn?t easy to stay in the peloton. However I?m happy with how things went because 100km was my first objective.?
?My knee didn?t bother me under effort and so I can say I?ve made another step forward on the road to recovery. I know I can?t rush things because the circumference of my left leg is still three centimetres smaller than my right leg but it?s good to be back.?
?I?ve got about a 70% chance of riding the Vuelta but it will all depend on how I feel in the next two weeks. I?ll probably ride two races in Germany this weekend and then the Regio Tour (August 16-20). After that we?ll know exactly how fit I am and how much training and racing I can handle. On things is for sure, I haven?t forgotten how to win sprints and will eventually be back to my best.?
The GP Castelfidardo was won by Italy?s Paolo Bossoni of the small Tenax team. He was part of a break of 12 riders and then beat Alessandro Bertolini (Selle Italia) and Eddy Serri (Miche) in a sprint. On Tuesday Andrea Tonti (Acqua & Sapone) won the first race of the two-day series in a similar sprint.
Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.
Bikes of the Atlas Mountain Race 2023: from comfort gravellers to speed weapons, here’s what caught our eye
Covering 1,300km / 800mi of Morocco’s gravel roads and mountain passes, the Atlas Mountain Race demands a tech-heavy approach for its 3+ days of bikepacking racing
By Stefan Abram • Published
British champion Cameron Mason hoping for rain at Cyclo-cross World Championships
British national champion says patience will be the key in what’s expected to be a fast race in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands
By Tom Thewlis • Published