As a winner of 48 Grand Tour stages and a Monument, there can be few
better faster landlords to look up to than Alessandro Petacchi.
The 2005 Milan-San Remo winner owns an apartment in Lido di Cameiore in Tuscany, Italy, and he has chosen to rent it out to one of cycling’s brightest young sprinters: Fernando Gaviria.
The Quick-Step Floors rider, who already counts 13 professional wins to his name including two this year at the Vuelta a San Juan, is to move into Petacchi’s apartment after the Volta ao Algarve – and the landlord is delighted that his new occupant is someone who he feels could emulate Peter Sagan.
“Fernando wants to base himself in Italy. I’m close friends with his Quick-Step Floors teammate Fabio Sabatini and he asked if my place was available,” Petacchi told Gazzetta dello Sport.
“I also spoke to Gaviria’s agent Giovanni Lombardi and it was all arranged quickly. I understand he wants to have his family there.”
The reigning omnium world champion, Gaviria has been impressing for the past two years and his best win was arguably his victory in the Paris-Tours last year, when he attacked in the final kilometre, catching an unaware peloton off guard.
Petacchi is excited by the Colombian’s talents, and believes he could dominate the Giro d’Italia‘s flat stages. But before that, the Milan-San Remo offers him the opportunity to win his first Monument – the race in which he crashed in last year.
“I think he’s the new Sagan, he’s phenomenal,” he proclaimed. “I really like his natural talent, the way he moves in the peloton.
“I’m sure he’ll be a protagonist this year [in Milan-San Remo] and in the sprints at the Giro d’Italia. He’s a year older, he’s more confident in his ability and has the support of a really strong team.
“I’d picked him as my favourite last year because I’d see how well he was riding at Tirreno-Adriatico. With the finish back on the Via Roma, the rising road suited him perfectly.
“He closed a gap on his own in the last kilometre and so had the legs to win. I worked out why he crashed: he was on the right but wanted to be on the left to avoid being closed, and to use the width of the road for his sprint.
“When he moved, he touched Van Avermaet’s wheel. He cried afterwards because he knew he could have won it.”