Nibali, Bennati and Pellizotti to lead Liquigas-Doimo charge in Tirreno-Adriatico
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Monday, March 8, 2010

Nibali, Bennati and Pellizotti to lead Liquigas-Doimo charge in Tirreno-Adriatico

by Conal Andrews at 5:47 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics

The lime green-clad riders of Liquigas-Doimo will head to Tirreno-Adriatico aiming for a three-pronged attack on the race. Daniele Bennati will be their man for the bunch sprints, while Vincenzo Nibali and Tour de France mountains jersey winner Franco Pellizotti will have the possibility of contending for the overall classification.

It is an important race for the team, given that it has Italian sponsors and also because the riders are building form and confidence prior to Milan-San Remo.

Nibali said that he has had good sensations of late, and feels that he can be one of the contenders. "After my last race, I have gained sharpness and changes of pace,” he said. “I know the race well, as regards the finishes. On Saturday I rode the Eroica and I could compare myself with the riders for this Wednesday. I will challenge…I feel [like I am] at their level, and I will try to make use of the Apennine hills to make a difference."

The trio will be supported by Valerio Agnoli, Francesco Bellotti, Daniel Oss, Manuel Quinziato and Fabio Sabatini, with Stefano Zanatta and Paolo Slong acting as directeurs sportifs.

Bennati has the speed to fight for stage wins, but he also has the additional goal of preparing for Milan-San Remo. Tirreno-Adriatico will help him in that regard.

“My condition is growing and I have acquired a good base of strength,” he reported. “During the Tirreno-Adriatico I will have the opportunity to compete with some of the contenders to the Classicissima: it will be useful to see their level of form."

Bennati emerged as one of cycling's top sprinters in 2007 and 2008, but last season saw the Tuscan struggle with his jump to the line.  He went winless from February 2009 until his stage victory last month in the Tour of Qatar. He went on to put on a strong performance at the Tour of Oman, and this week will be an important test for his ambitions to win Milan-Sanremo.

“I will race without worrying about the outcome, but my performance will not be lower [as a result]. The "Tirreno" is a top-level race and a success there would be a major confidence boost."


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