Monday's international news round-up
Alessandro Petacchi wins 2010 GP Costa Degli Etruschi
Alessandro Petacchi gave his new Lampre team another win by taking his sixth consecutive victory at the one-day GP Costa Degli Etruschi in Italy on Saturday.
The Italian sprinter out-paced compatriots Alberto Loddo (Androni Giocattoli) and Fabio Sabatini (Liquigas-Doimo) on the traditional race-ending bunch gallop.
"I'm very happy I could add another vitory in the GP Costa degli Etruschi to my palmares", Petacchi said after the race.
"I was willing to obtain this victory and dedicate it to my new team: my team mates supported me in a very good way, so I had only to focus on the sprint. Now I'm going to stay in training camp for the next two days, then I'll be at home for some days and then I'll be back to race in Trofeo Laigueglia."
Petacchi's team-mate Damiano Cunego used the race to make his season debut. The 2004 Giro d'Italia winner finished in 86th.
Alessandro Petacchi wins the 2010 GP Costa Degli Etruschi
McEwen finds his mojo in Mallorca
Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen won his first race since suffering a severe knee injury at the Tour of Belgium in May last year by taking the opening event in the 2010 Challenge Ciclista a Mallorca.
The Katusha rider took a convincing win over sprint rivals Koldo Fernandez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Oscar Freire (Rabobank) to claim the 116km Trofeo Palma de Mallorca.
"Back with a win! Trofeo Palma in Mallorca. 73.1km/h in sprint. Have missed that winning feeling. Don't we love it!" McEwen commented on his Twitter internet page.
McEwen made his 2010 debut at the Tour Down Under. Although he didn't win a stage, he was certainly in the mix during the fast bunch finishes, coming third on stage two.
The Challenge Ciclista a Mallorca consists of five days of racing on the Spanish island. It's not a stage race as such, as the riders can elect to miss out individual days if they wish. In recent years it has served as a good warm-up event for the pros before they hit the colder climes of northern Europe.
Blythe's 2010 debut
While McEwen brought home the riders in the Trofeo Palma de Mallorca, British pro Adam Blythe finished safely in the bunch in his first 2010 professional outing for the Omega Pharma-Lotto team.
Blythe came 42nd at the same time as McEwen. Blythe's British team-mate Charly Wegelius was 183rd.
Blythe was invited to ride as a staigiare for the Silence-Lotto team in mid-2009, and the renamed squad has signed him up for a full pro contract for the 2010 season.
Blythe had been part of the British Cycling Olympic Academy programme before leaving in February 2008 to pursue a career on the road in Belgium.