Bennati to miss Tour, build season around worlds
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bennati to miss Tour, build season around worlds

by Conal Andrews at 7:42 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Italian sprinter Daniele Bennati is likely to miss the Tour de France, choosing instead to ride the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España in 2010 in order to have the best chance possible of becoming world champion.

Along with Alessandro Petacchi, the Liquigas rider is one of the fastest sprinters in the world and should have dual leadership in the worlds in Australia next year. The road race course is regarded as the flattest since Zolder in 2002 and many are predicting that it could come down to a bunch sprint.

With that in mind, Bennati forsees that his season will be structured with a busy start, and easing back after the Giro to build back up again in August.

"I am a rider who can get in shape quickly, without major problems,” he told Tuttobici. “But the season is very long and I want to focus on Sanremo and Tirreno [Adriatico], to continue until Flanders. Then maybe I’ll hold back a bit to better prepare for the Giro d’Italia.”

Bennati took three stage wins in the 2008 Giro d’Italia, at times getting the better of Mark Cavendish, en route to the points classification. He’s also netted two stages in the Tour de France, achieving those results in 2007, and has four career victories plus the points ranking in the Vuelta a España.

The latter race will be a target once again. “The second half of my season will instead focus on the Vuelta [rather than the Tour], an excellent preparation for the journey to Australia.”

Of course, Cavendish will be regarded by many as the one to watch in next year’s worlds. Bennati agrees that he’s the fastest man out there, but nevertheless will aim to come out on top when it really matters.

"Right now, Cavendish is the number one in the sprints,” he stated. “He has the strongest team and for this reason, it is very tough to beat him.”

However the fact that the Briton won’t have his Columbia HTC team at his disposal in the worlds will help things for other nations.  Italy, with the likes of Bennati and Petacchi, will surely be amongst the most dangerous.

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