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“I think everyone could see that Benna (Bennati) was in excellent shape throughout the race and especially on the top of the final climb and it’s really frustrating to be held back by a freak accident like this," Guidi says

Photo: Sirotti

DANIELE BENNATI

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MILANO - SANREMO

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NICKI SØRENSEN

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24.03.2014 @ 11:40 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

All the way up Cipressa and Poggio, Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff-Saxo) looked like one of the strongest riders in yesterday's Milan-Sanremo but the Italian finished far back in 18th in the sprint finish. Having touched wheels with another rider in the crash in the final corner, he missed the chance to sprint for a podium place.

 

The rain was pouring down relentlessly throughout today’s 294 kilometer long Italian classic, Milano-Sanremo with temperatures down to 2 degrees. but that did not keep 7 riders from breaking away from the bunch forming today’s break.
 
Jan Barta (NetApp), Nicola Boem (Bardiani), Antonio Parrinello (Androni), Nathan Haas (Garmin Sharp), Maartin Tjallungii (Belkin), Matteo Bono (Lampre) and Marc de Maar (UnitedHealthCare) split up entering the finale while the combined forces of Cannondale and Katusha shaved down the gap by punching away in the front of the pack.
 
The intense pain was painted in their faces as the cold took its toll on the riders who normally seem carved out of wood but the wet and cold conditions can turn the powerful legs into mashed potato. Hitting the foot of Cipressa, Cannondale took the reigns of the peloton and quickly reduced the group to the favorites and as Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) launched an attack, the pressure made the back of the pack crumble.
 
Soon, Nibali caught the front group and went straight past them on the descent from Cipressa and powered off to the foot of the final climb, Poggio but he was swept up by the speeding group of favorites including Tinkoff-Saxo’s Daniele Bennati who wass elegantly supported by Nicki Sørensen. Halfway up the climb, Gregory Rast (Trek) and Enrico Battaglin (Bardiani) had luck with creating a gap but close to the top, they were reeled back in.
 
A big group thundered towards the finish line, Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) had the driest powder in the guns and he beat everyone in the bunch sprint. Tinkoff-Saxo’s Bennati touched wheels with another rider and instantly lost position:
 
“I think everyone could see that Benna (Bennati) was in excellent shape throughout the race and especially on the top of the final climb and it’s really frustrating to be held back by a freak accident like this. He truly deserved a spot in the top-5 today but that’s life. Also Nicki (Sørensen) was showing great shape and supported Benna all the way across Poggio. Even though we lost the battle today, the boys’ strength gives me hope that we will see more of both Nicki and Benna during the classics,” said Tinkoff-Saxo DS, Fabrizio Guidi.

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