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Sprinter Alessandro Petacchi won a frenetic bunch sprint in the 101st Paris-Tours. Behind the Milram rider, Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas) was second, while Rabobank?s Oscar Freire was third. Freire lost ground when he bounced off Robbie McEwen, who had pulled his foot out of his pedal and swerved across the Spanish rider.

The Italian?s victory came after a late escape by Philippe Gilbert (FDJ), Karsten Kroon (CSC) and Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas) was closed down with 800 metres to go on the finishing straight of the Avenue de Grammont. Petacchi took advantage of a perfect lead-out from team mate Erik Zabel, crossing the line a length in front of Chicchi.

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Edward Pickering is a writer and journalist, editor of Pro Cycling and previous deputy editor of Cycle Sport. As well as contributing to Cycling Weekly, he has also written for the likes of the New York Times. His book, The Race Against Time, saw him shortlisted for Best New Writer at the British Sports Book Awards. A self-confessed 'fair weather cyclist', Pickering also enjoys running.