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Freire earns first-stage victory by outsprinting Petacchi

Updated: March 12, 2008, 5:49 PM ET

CIVITAVECCHIA, Italy -- Oscar Freire of Spain won the first stage Wednesday of the weeklong Tirreno-Adriatico, edging out Italian sprint specialist Alessandro Petacchi.

Freire, who rides for Rabobank, finished the 100-mile course in 4 hours, 10 minutes, 1 second. Petacchi and the main group of riders finished with the same time.

Thursday's stage is the course's longest at 126 miles.

Petacchi, who rides with Team Milram, had won his last six sprints but his late surge was not ...

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