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"And it was really a clever move by Mørkøv moving up in the opposite side of the road towards the finish line but Demare got hang of Bennati’s wheel and opened two seconds before Daniele and secured the win," D...

Photo: Tinkoff-Saxo






14.02.2014 @ 18:44 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff-Saxo) proved that he may return to the sprinting elite in 2014 when he finished 2nd behind Arnaud Demare (FDJ) in a highly capable sprinting field on the final day of the Tour of Qatar. Having been excellently led out by his teammate Michael Mørkøv, the Italian completed a successful week for the team.


After a disappointing first season with his current team, Tinkoff-Saxo's Daniele Bennati has stated his intention to return to his winning ways in  2014. Once one of the fastest sprinters in the world, the Italian has claimed to be feeling much better than he did one year ago and has vowed to start his season with a band.


Based on his performance in the Tour of Qatar, the first win is not far away. Having overcome intestinal problems that cost him his GC chances, he showed excellent condition in the windy 2nd stage before finishing 3rd - ahead of a certain Fabian Cancellara - in the time trial.


Yesterday he proved that he is still a very classy sprinter when he finished 4th in the difficult crosswind sprint and today he was again up there, taking 2nd in the fast sprint in central Doha on the final day of the race.


The result came by virtue of some splendid teamwork. When the Lotto Belisol train hit the front, all was set for a repeat win for André Greipel but Tinkoff-Saxo changed the script. Michael Mørkøv powered down the road in the opposite site of the road with his Italian teammate on his wheel, closing the door for Greipel and opening it for Bennati.


“The team really wanted to show that we have had a dedicated and strong teamwork this week, so everyone contributed and allowed Michael (Mørkøv) to do a phenomenal lead-out for Daniele (Bennati) setting him up for the sprint in the final 125 meters," sports director Lars Michaelsen said. "And it was really a clever move by Mørkøv moving up in the opposite side of the road towards the finish line but Demare got hang of Bennati’s wheel and opened two seconds before Daniele and secured the win."


The runner-up spot ends a successful week for Tinkoff-Saxo that has been one of the strongest teams in the crosswinds. The team scored three podium spots - two for Bennati and one for Mørkøv - and had Mørkøv in 5th on GC.



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