Daniele Bennati pinpoints Classics and Tour de France as top season goals
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Daniele Bennati pinpoints Classics and Tour de France as top season goals

by VeloNation Press at 4:58 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Italian sprinter believes there’s room for improvement after Saxo Tinkoff move

Daniele BennatiWith his season debut fast approaching in the Tour of Qatar, Italian rider Daniele Bennati is determined to step up his game in 2013.

The 32 year old moved to Team Saxo Tinkoff after two years with the Leopard Trek/RadioShack Nissan setup and believes there is room for improvement under team owner Bjarne Riis.

“My goal is to do well in the spring Classics but I also wish to be able to get a place in the Tour de France line-up to help Alberto [Contador] to the overall victory,” he said. “In addition, I want to get better and stronger than previous years and I'm confident that Bjarne can help me in reaching my goals.

“When he contacted me to talk about the future, I instantly knew what to say to him. Now, I'm just looking forward to getting started with the season.”

Although he’s probably best known as a sprinter, Bennati has shown a versatility beyond that role. He was second in Gent Wevelgem in 2011 and also finished as runner-up in the Tour of Denmark. The results suggest that he can indeed aim higher in the years to come, perhaps with the Classics as a viable target.

Still, his best memory thus far is linked to his sprinting ability. He’s taken nine Grand Tour stage victories in all, and one of those is particularly vivid in his mind.

“So far, I have fifty victories as a professional and it's really hard to point out a single unique win as every win is special to me for different reasons,” he said. “But the final stage of the Tour de France 2007 on Champs Elysées where I opened a long sprint and won the stage has been burned particularly deep into my memory.”

Bennati will don a race number for the first time this season on February third when the Tour of Qatar gets underway.

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