Veteran sprinter Alessandro Petacchi is a legend of the sport, with a phenomenal palmares that includes some of cycling’s greatest prizes. He has won 53 Grand Tour stages in his career and is one of only five men to have topped the points classification in all three. But lining up for the first stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, there was one omission from the 40-year-old Italian’s list of career achievements – he had never previously won a team time trial.
In his post-race interview with British former pro, Daniel Lloyd, Cavendish revealed Petacchi had been nervous before the stage – a remarkable admission considering all he has achieved. His nerves did not show however with a solid contribution to Omega Pharma-Quickstep’s impressive performance, that made AleJet the sixth of the Belgian team’s riders across the line. There is a first time for everything.