Bennati hot for Milano-Sanremo, recons route
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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Bennati hot for Milano-Sanremo, recons route

by Bjorn Haake at 9:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Milan-Sanremo
 

Daniele Bennati is quite motivated for Milano-Sanremo on March 20. He did a reconnaissance ride with his Liquigas teammates Vincenzo Nibali, Valerio Agnoli and Fabio Sabatini on Tuesday. Winning a stage in the Tour of Oman - after almost an entire year without victory - came at the right time and has re-motivated the Italian sprinter.

Bennati showed that he is capable of being there in the end of the longest classic in the season, as he finished sixth in Sanremo in 2009.

"I wanted to refresh my memory to prepare for the 'Classicissima' in the best possible way," Bennati said about his 130km training ride. "I'm motivated and ready to ride as a protagonist."

The Liquigas quartet rode from Aleassio to Sanremo under the guidance of directeur sportif Mario Scirea. There won't be any surprises. "The route is the same as in 2009 with two critical points," said Bennati. "The two descents from the Poggio and the Cipressa." Small gaps especially over the Poggio can make or break the Milano-Sanremo winner, although the course change from a couple of years ago can favor a regrouping.

Bennati knows that he and the team will have to be alert on other points as well. "We have to pay attention as well near the uphill to Le Manie, a point of the route where we have to be in the front of the group."

Bennati knows that a big group like last year, when Mark Cavendish outsprinted everyone, is not a given. "Milano-Sanremo is well known as a sprinter's race but - as has happened in the past - a finisseurs could change the finish." Bennati wants the pure sprinters to be tired for the final. "I hope for a hard and strongly contested race, to be able to make a selection. I would like to arrive with a small group at the final sprint."

The Liquigas-Doimo team used the ride to figure out the details for that scenario. "Yesterday we picked out where we could lead the race and reach our goal. I'll face Tirreno-Adriatico next to refine the condition and arrive at March 20th at the top-level."

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