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Petacchi calls injury worst of his career

5/9/2006

NAMUR, Belgium -- Italian cyclist Alessandro Petacchi withdrew from the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France because of a broken kneecap.

"It's my worst career injury," Petacchi told the Italian news agency ANSA. "My season goal was to do well at the Tour [de
France]. Instead I must give up."

Team Milram officials said Petacchi was expected to be sidelined
for about two months.

The Italian cyclist injured his left knee in a crash during the third stage of the Giro on Monday in Belgium. He reached the finish line nearly 15 minutes behind the main group with the help of his teammates.