After three of his fellow Lampre
riders had set the pace over the final kilometre to put Petacchi in a strong position, the veteran Italian moved to the front with the finishing line in sight and held off challenges from Mark Cavendish and Juan Jose Haedo to take the 20th stage win of his Vuelta career.
team's Italian cyclist Angelo Furlan was the second to complete today's stage, while Claudio Cucinotta from the Italian team De Rosa was ranked the third and Italian cyclist Mattia Gavazzi came the fourth.
Few teams have been willing to work at the head of the peloton, and if it hadn't been for the Lampre
team, there may well have been more successful breakways.
The finish, featuring a fast descent into the historic town of Rouen, seemed likely to feature all five but eventually boiled down to a 30-somethings battle between Kirsipuu, 32, from the Ag2r Prevoyance team, CSC-Tiscali's 34-year-old Dane Michael Sandstodt, and 38-year-old Belgian Ludo Dierckxsens, from Lampre
3, Roberto Ferrari, Italy, Lampre
Merida, same time.
Then, in the last kilometre, the massive pile-up left Lampre
rider Petacchi a relatively easy sprint victory ahead of about 20 riders who were able to avoid the spill.
Arvesen held off AG2R's Martin Elmiger and Alessandro Ballan of Lampre
in a sprint finish to give CSC their first stage win of the 2008 Tour.
team rider Bennati claimed glory on the Champs-Elysees in a frantic sprint finish with Norway's Thor Hushovd and Germany's Erik Zabel second and third respectively on the day in the final act of a Tour that has been beset by doping scandals.
5km): 1 M Wust (Ger) Festina 6hr 2min 50sec, 2 G Lombardi (Ita) Deutsche Telekom, 3 S Smetanin (Rus) Vitalicio, 4 S Knaven (Ned) TVM, 5 J Svorada (Cze) Lampre
, 6 F Guidi (Ita) Polti, 7 G Raimondi (Ita) Liquigas, 8 J Dean (NZ) U.
team rider Bennati held his nerve to delay his sprint as long as possible and claim glory on the Champs-Elysees.
sprinter took the honours on Stage 17 as Scotland's David Millar had his best day so far, finishing fifth.
But Bertogliati, from the Italian Lampre
Daikin team, surprised everyone by breaking from the pack to make a solo bid for glory.