Brice Feillu replaces injured Bennati in Leopard Trek Giro line up
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Monday, May 2, 2011

Brice Feillu replaces injured Bennati in Leopard Trek Giro line up

by Ben Atkins at 10:04 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Sprinter replaced by climber as team’s race strategy changes

brice feilluDaniele Bennati’s first stage crash in the Tour de Romandie saw the Italian sprinter break four ribs and his collarbone, ruling him out of the Giro d’Italia, which starts in the city of Turin on Saturday. The absence of the rider who won the points jersey in the 2008 edition of the race necessitates a change of tactic for the team from Luxembourg, which has replaced him with French climber Brice Feillu.

“Without Bennati, winner of the points classification at the Giro in 2008, we lose the opportunity to go for the red points jersey,” said Sports Director Luca Guercilena. “We are confident in both Wouter Weylandt and Davide Viganò. They have shown good condition recently, and we believe they can be competitive in the sprints.”

Brice is the younger of the two French Feillu brothers; he left sprinter elder brother Romain behind after he left the Vacansoleil-DCM team this year, having not enjoyed his time there. In 2009, as a young rider on the now-defunct Agritubel team, the lanky climber won the prestigious Ordino-Arcalis stage of the Tour de France, taking the polka-dot mountains jersey for a day at the same time.

“We go to the Giro to make the most of breakaway opportunities,” said Guercilena. “We want to show that we are fighters. This is one of the most important parts of our identity as a team: we fight and dig deep. This is the first Grand Tour for Leopard Trek in the history of the team, it is natural that we want to show our full capacity.”

Leopard Trek team for the Giro d’Italia:
Brice Feillu, Dominic Klemme, Bruno Pires, Thomas Rohregger, Davide Viganò, Fabian Wegmann, Wouter Weylandt and Oliver Zaugg


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