Motivated Bennati aiming to chase success in all three Grand Tours
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Monday, December 27, 2010

Motivated Bennati aiming to chase success in all three Grand Tours

by Shane Stokes at 9:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

Daniele BennatiItalian sprinter Daniele Bennati will soon get his first season underway with the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project, and said that he is looking forward to having strong support in the sprints and to riding all three Grand Tours.

The 30 year old is moving to the squad from Team Liquigas and feels very positive about things thus far. “This is a great opportunity. I feel valued, sought, desired,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “They expect much from me. I am the number one sprinter in the team. And who would argue against the Giro, Tour and Vuelta, winning [there]?”

Bennati is likely to start all three Grand Tours for a number of reasons, with the nature of next year’s world road race championships being a big a factor. The Giro is a no-brainer for an Italian sprinter, with the race being one of the most important of the year; the Tour is simply the biggest, and victories there count for most. As for the Vuelta, the flat parcours in Copenhagen mean that the 2011 worlds will be the aim of any ambitious galloper in the bunch, especially as you have to go back to Zolder in 2002 to find a course that is so clearly in line with their attributes.

Taking the rainbow jersey would be a major dream for Bennati, and so riding the Vuelta will put him in the best possible shape.

Before then, he has plenty of targets. The Luxembourg team will be led by Andy and Frank Schleck, who will be aiming to hit top shape in the Tour de France. Fabian Cancellara will also be part of the squad and he will most likely aim for the April Classics before chasing results in the Tour and other races. It is likely to be the sprinters who have the best chance to take some early results, and Bennati would certainly like to be one of the first to top the podium.

He laid out his likely programme, with a couple of notable omissions on the list. “Qatar and Oman, to begin racing,” he said. “Then Strade Bianche, Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-Sanremo, to start winning. So too Gent-Wevelgem, the only Northern Classic.

“No Flanders nor Roubaix. I’m sorry, but that’s my choice. Flanders and Roubaix are races that I really like, but in the last two years the cobblestones and muurs have caused some Achilles tendon problems. If I want to race the Giro as a protagonist, I cannot afford to do them. The rest [of the programme] I’ll think about along the way.”

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