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Last Updated: Monday, 8 September, 2003, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
Petacchi claims sprint victory
Alessandro Petacchi
Italy's Alessandro Petacchi won the third stage of the Tour of Spain on Monday.

The Fassa Bortolo sprinter claimed the 154.3-kilometre run from Cangas de Onis thanks to a storming sprint finish in Santander.

Germany's Erik Zabel finished second, with Belgian Tom Boonen third. Spaniard Joaquin Rodriguez of the ONCE team retained his overall race lead.

After a four-man breakaway in heavy rain was reeled in close to Santander, a bunch sprint became inevitable as the sprinters' teams took control at the front of the peloton.

Petacchi has been the dominant sprinter in world cycling all season, winning six stages in the Giro d'Italia and four in the Tour de France.

And he became the first rider since Italian Pierino Baffi in 1958 to secure stage victories at the Giro, Tour de France and Tour of Spain in the same year.

"I'm very happy because I wanted to win in the three big races and give this win to the team," said Petacchi.

"I don't have anything left to prove now. If I win it's not because the level of the other riders had dropped."


Results of the 154-km third stage of the Tour of Spain:
1. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Fassa Bortolo, 3 hours, 24:13 minutes
2. Erik Zabel (Ger) Team Telekom, same time
3. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step, s.t.
4. Julian Dean (NZ) Team CSC, s.t.
5. Giovanni Lombardi (Ita) Domina Vacanze, s.t.
6. Angel Edo (Spa) Milaneza, s.t.
7. Jan Svorada (Cze) Lampre, s.t.
8. Alexandre Usov (Bel) Phonak, s.t.
9. Francisco Gutierrez (Spa) Labarca, s.t.
10. Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Phonak, s.t.

Overall Standings:
1. Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) ONCE, 7 hours, 24:00 minutes
2. Igor Gonzalez De Galdeano (Spa) ONCE, s.t
3. Isidro Nozal (Spa) ONCE, s.t.
4. Marcos Serrano (Spa) ONCE, s.t.
5. Manuel Beltran (Spa) US Postal, at 10 seconds
6. Roberto Heras (Spa) US Postal, s.t.
7. Aitor Osa (Spa) iBanesto.com at 24 seconds
8. Unai Osa (Spa) iBanesto.com, s.t.
9. Francisco Mancebo (Spa) iBanesto.com, s.t.
10. Juan Miguel Mercado (Spa) iBanesto.com, s.t.



SEE ALSO
Perez claims victory
07 Sep 03  |  Cycling
ONCE set Vuelta pace
06 Sep 03  |  Cycling


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