Bettini shooting for gold
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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Bettini shooting for gold

by Steve Jones at 3:18 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

"We have the responsibility once again to to give a medal to Italy." Strong words from an AP interview with reigning Olympic and World Champion Paolo Bettini.

While he's not content with his performance yesterday at Clásica San Sebastian, he's shown his form is good for the Olympic showdown on August 9th.

The race favorite has to be Spaniard Alejandro Valverde. Valverde has proven time and time again that he can survive the climbs and is capable of putting out a sprint that, at times, rivals that of the pure sprinters.

Il Grillo will have his work cut out for him, but few riders can match the class of Bettini when he sets his mind to something.

Last year when World's organizers tried to stop him from defending his World Champion title with a legal injunction, the rider from La California fired a shot back with a win after the case was dismissed. If he wins it will be a rare feat having won back-to-back Olympic and World Championships.

The good news for Italy is that Beijing bound Davide Rebellin, Paolo Bettini and Franco Pellizotti finished third, fourth and fifth respectively yesterday in the San Sebastian which should bode well for their medal quest.

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