Petacchi leaves Vuelta for Italy, doping investigation waits

Alessandro Petacchi wins stage, Vuelta a Espana

Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) abandoned the Vuelta a España today during the stage to Alcoy, Spain. He will return home to La Spezia, Italy, where he is involved in a doping investigation.

"I'm in a deep s**t", he told the Vuelta a España's press service. "I feel like a dead man. My arm is painful. I've had a bad night. I have no morale. I don't know how much more I can ride my bike."

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.