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Cycling News
Scroll down to read the following articles covering the Tour de Valence in Spain from L'Equipe,
the largest sports publication in France.  Translated by Walt Ballenberger.  
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Petacchi  the Winner-2/26/05
Flecha in a Sprint- 2/25/05
Aragana Separates-2/24/05
Petacchi- True to Form- 2/23/05
Petacchi the Winner-2/26/05

Without surprise, the Italian Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo team) won the 63rd edition of
the Tour of the Community of Valence.  As a bonus, he also won the last stage of the event,
raced Saturday around Valence, by sprinting past the Spaniard Francisco Ventoso (Saunier-
Duval team) and the Frenchman Geoffroy Lequatre (Credit Agricole team).

“For me, with my sprinter emphasis, it is very difficult to win a small tour like this one, but I have
felt good since the beginning of the season, and I knew I could ride a good tour”, declared the
sprinter Petacchi, winner of three of the five stages of the event (1st, 2nd, and 5th).

With the victory of the Spaniard Juan Antonio Flecha in the 4th stage, the Italian team Fassa
Bortolo had four stage wins in all in the 63rd Tour of the Community of Valence, which was
held under difficult weather conditions.
2/25/05- Flecha in a Sprint
The fourth stage of the 63rd edition of the Tour de Valence, raced between Alcira and Vallada
(156km), was won in a sprint by the Spaniard Juan Antonio Flecha (Fassa Bortolo team).  His
teammate, the Italian Alessandro Petacchi, in second, keeps his overall leader’s jersey.  He
could win the event after the fifth and final stage, to be raced on Saturday.

This fourth stage, more difficult than the others, should have been the most important for the
final victory, in particular because of the climb up the Camello pass.  But rain and snow forced
the organizers to change the race course, to the delight of the sprinters, and of Petacchi.

Accompanied by his compatriots Xabier Zandio and Rafael Caser, Flecha succeeded in
escaping from the peleton at 50 km from the finish.  The trio built up a lead of three minutes
over the pack.  Several kilometers from the finish, the peleton reacted and was able to melt
the lead of the future winner of the day down to 9 seconds at the end.
2/24/05- Aragana Separates
Andoni Aragana (Kaiku team) won the 3rd stage of the Tour de Valence, raced Thursday over
151.5 km between Sagunto and Alcira.  The Spaniard showed himself to be faster than his
companion in the escape from the peleton, David Blanco (Community de Valence team).

This victory allowed Andoni Aragana to break the domination from the start of the tour of the
Italian Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo team), who won the first two stages and was the
overall leader.  But the Italian team showed itself to be tough, really exerting themselves to
protect their leader and finished by substantially reducing the time gap of the two escapees
who at one point had a lead of 15 minutes ahead of the peleton.

Alessandro Petacchi finally won the group sprint, arriving 3 minutes and 45 seconds after the
two men and kept his overall lead, with 13 seconds in front of the Spaniard Constantino
Zaballa.  Despite his stage victory, Aragana is only in 58th place overall.  The fifth stage will
be on Friday over 161 km between Alcira and Alto del Campello.
2/23/05- Petacchi True to Form

The Italian Alessandro Petacchi (team Fassa Bortolo), already the winner of the first stage
Tuesday, sprinted to victory Wednesday in the second stage of the 63rd edition of the Tour
de Valence, raced over 178 km from Javea a Puerto to Sagunto in Spain.

After 4 hours, 27 minutes and 40 seconds of racing, Petacchi went by the Spaniard Isaac
Galvez (2nd) and the Brazilian Luciano Pagliarini (3rd).  The racer from Fassa Bortolo took
advantage of great work on the part of his teammates in the last third of the stage.

The Italian team maintained a fast pace to overtake a group of escapees in the last
kilometers.  The talent of the finisher Petacchi did all the rest.  The Italian, thanks to time
bonuses, put himself into the leader’s position.  The Spaniard Constantino Zaballa is second
at 9 seconds behind, with his compatriot, Miguel Perdiguero, in third and trailing by 17
seconds.

Thursday, for the third stage of 151.5 km, the racers will depart from Sagunto and will arrive
in Alzira.
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