Alessandro Petacchi (LPR Brakes) has revealed that he has been working hard to find a way to beat British sprint rival Mark Cavendish (Columbia-Highroad).

Petacchi out-foxed and out-gunned Cavendish in the finale of Sunday’s stage two of the Giro d’Italia to take the win. The Italian clung on to Cavendish’s wheel as the Manxman’s Columbia team-mates wound up the pace to lead him out, and then jumped around the side to seal the win.

“I?ve been trying to work out how to beat Cavendish for two days,” said Petacchi. “I studied photographs of him winning in Qatar and tried to work out how he does it. I?d never beaten him in such a big head to head sprint like this.

“I decided to surprise from a long way out and it worked. I went at 250 metres to go. I could have been passed before the line but I held him off. I surprised him and got up to speed before he did. He didn’t get past because I did a good, long sprint.”

“I?m really happy to do today because it?s my son’s first birthday,” revealed Petacchi. “I think it?s a pretty good birthday present. It was a good day for the team. They all worked really well and we took home a big win.?

“I’ve had to look after myself in sprints sometimes and I did it again today. I haven’t got a strong lead out train because we lost Bernucci and Ongarato due to injury. They looked after me on the climb but then I told them I’d look after myself. I got on Mark’s wheel and followed him until I jumped away.

“I didn’t do the Giro last year and it’s not nice to watch it on television. This is one of the best sprint wins of my career.”

Petacchi last won a stage of the Giro in 2007, but these results were stripped from his palmares when he tested positive for excessive levels of banned substance Salbutamol during the race. Petacchi has always maintained his innocence, and blamed his use of an asthma inhaler for which he has an exemption certificate. His last valid stage win in the Giro was back in 2005.

Full report for Giro d’Italia stage two>>

Giro d’Italia 2009 links

Stage reports
Stage two: Petacchi denies Cavendish the stage win
Stage one: Cavendish in pink as Columbia prove their point to Garmin

Photo galleries
Stage two photo gallery
Stage one photo gallery

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2009 Giro d’Italia guide and features
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2008 Giro d’Italia archive
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Giro d’Italia 2008 preview

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