Schleck loses RadioShack Nissan team-mate Bennati to fever
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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Schleck loses RadioShack Nissan team-mate Bennati to fever

by VeloNation Press at 6:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Injury
Team’s sprinting chances impacted by withdrawal

Daniele BennatiOne of the strongest Italian sprinters in the Giro d’Italia has pulled out of the race, with fever causing Daniele Bennati to end his participation today.

The RadioShack Nissan rider was a strong third behind Mark Cavendish (Sky Procycling) and Matthew Goss (GreenEdge) on stage five to Fano, and was also eighth on stage two.

Bennati started feeling weak the day after his third place, conceding over fifteen minutes on the road to Porto Sant'Elpidio. Yesterday was even tougher, with the ailing Italian crossing the line in the last group of the road, losing 23 minutes 27 seconds.

The tank was empty, and things didn’t improve afterwards.

"Daniele had fever after the stage yesterday and his temperature didn't go down in the evening and the night,” said doctor Nino Daniele. “It's not wise to race with fever, so there wasn't really another option but to withdraw."

Directeur sportif Kim Andersen said that Bennati’s race programme would be modified to enable him to return to competition as soon as he has recovered.

The news is a blow to the team, and also to its GC leader Frank Schleck. He showed strong form on yesterday’s first summit finish, placing third and improving to twelfth in the overall standings.

He looks set to make further progress in the days to come, but will miss a rider who could have helped him on the flatter roads. Italian spectators will also rue the withdrawal of someone who could potentially have clocked up a stage win.


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