Vuelta a España: Bennati aiming to win stage three while in race lead
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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Vuelta a España: Bennati aiming to win stage three while in race lead

by VeloNation Press at 6:30 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Leopard Trek rider wants to seize chance for double success

Daniele BennatiGrabbing the race lead thanks to his team’s winning performance in yesterday’s time trial plus his solid sixth place on today’s second stage of the Vuelta a España, Daniele Bennati has taken over in the race leader’s red jersey. The Italian sprinter said after the stage that he would savour the moment, but also had a clear goal for tomorrow.

“Tomorrow I have another opportunity to win. It would be nice with the red jersey,” he said.

Moving into the lead is a big moment for him and ensured some podium time this evening. He’d have preferred a different outcome, though. “I’m happy to be the leader of a Grand Tour. It’s not the first time that I get the jersey though but the fifth one,” he said. “But it’s clear that it would have been better to win the stage. That was my real goal today. After the difficult season I’ve had with the injury that prevented me from riding the Giro, it’s not too bad to finish sixth here today. But for sure, I could have done better.”

The reason why he wasn’t closer to the win was that he made his move too soon, tracking Quick Step’s sprinter when he went too early in the complicated finale. “I was on Tom Boonen’s wheel when he stopped his effort and as I got the head wind in my face, I didn’t feel like opening the sprint 300 metres away from the line,” he explained. “I could have taken the risk, but let’s be patient. Today it was a complicated finale with a few dangerous corners from 3 to 2km to go and a downhill. It was difficult to read the race. I’m not disappointed.”

Tomorrow’s stage to Totana is mainly flat, although it features two category three climbs towards the end. The second of those, the Alto de la Santa, tops out less than 15 kilometres from the line and will shake things up. It’s still considered likely that things should come together, though, giving Bennati his chance to try to win the stage in the red jersey.

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