Sanremo: Bennati pleased even with fifth
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sanremo: Bennati pleased even with fifth

by Samuel Morrison at 3:04 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Milan-Sanremo

Italian Daniele Bennati finished off Liquigas-Doimo's work in Milano-Sanremo yesterday, but unfortunately, he did not have enough to stop the surge of Oscar Freire. He started the sprint first after a lead-out by team-mate Daniel Oss, but ended the day, satisfied, with only fifth post.

"It is not like I lost it," he told "I tired, I was pretty tired though. Oss did a huge amount of work for me today, but we were too far out [when starting the sprint]. I had to start or else one of the others would have anticipated my sprint. It was far out, oh well, it's too bad."

Oss' work came after the work of Franco Pellizotti, Vincenzo Nibali and Fabio Sabatini. Their performance yesterday showing their good form gives Bennati reason to smile. Bennati is happy that his physical problems from last year are behind him and happy that he has already won twice this year, including stage three of the Tirreno-Adriatico.

"My physical problems are all behind me," he continued. "This winter I worked more on my base fitness than my sprint.

"It's the first time that I have arrived feeling so well for such an important race. I believed in myself, but even [Mario] Cipollini needed 14 years to win his first Sanremo. It's normal."

Bennati still has yet to win a Milano-Sanremo after trying for eight years, but he has won stages in all three Grand Tours: Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España. In fact, he is aiming for a one-day classic, like Milano-Sanremo.

"I don't have intentions to be in all the sprints. After my wins in the Giro, Tour and Vuelta, I am missing a big classic. Sanremo, Flanders.... I am working on it."

He is also working on leading the Italian team for the World Championships. The battle has already begun, not with his rivals, but with another Italian. Filippo Pozzato said that the Geelong course, "doesn't seem suited to sprinters like Mark Cavendish and Alessandro Petacchi, but more for riders like me and Philippe Gilbert."

"Pozzato will say that the course is more suited to him," continued Bennati. "He wants to lead it and knows if I am there then I ruin his chances. Champions are not made on words, but on wins."


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