Valverde in new 2006 Colors

Valverde Inverview: Building with Advice

bicyclinghub.com Ad
How not to fix a flat

How not to fix a flat, Cyclepassion Calendar

Training on Carbon Pinarello Paris

Pinarello or Mercedes? Valverde Inverview

Boonen Over Petacchi

Tom Boonen Redeems ... Barely

De Rosa with Acqua & Sapone thanks to Ferretti

De Rosa - The Acqua & Sapone Connection

Eddy and Ugo Talk Shop

Eddy Merckx and Ugo De Rosa Talk Shop

The Beautiful Dual HF

Raw and Beautiful, the De Rosa Dual HF

Vino with Liberty

Liberty Seguros-Würth Presented: Vino!

Ultimi 30K

2006 Milano-Sanremo: Ultimi 30K

Brambilla and Minoli share secrets

Brambilla and Minoli, Accordo Bianchi - Ducati

bicyclinghub.com Ad
Bayliss with Bianchi

Bayliss Represents Ducati in Joining Bianchi

Scott and Simoni Together at Saunier Duval-Prodir

Scott and Simoni Together at Saunier

Matxin, M Algeri, Simoni, P Algeri

Simoni, Scott and Saunier Duval-Prodir

RulloBike Ad
Giro Coverage

Giro Coverage - Bromley Pantani DVD

Back Side

Pantani - The Pirate, DVD Review

Daniele Bennati, Lampre-Fondital

20 February 2006

A Winning Start

 
Bennati Aiming to the Ronde Van Vlaanderen

Bennati Aiming to the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, photo: Lampre-Fondital

Daniele Bennati is a rising force of sprint and overall strength. In 2005 he finally put his marker down with six solid wins, a third in Gent-Wevelgem and a second in Paris-Tours. Not limited to bunch gallops, he is also comfortable on the cobbled power-climbs of the Flanders. The 25 year-old Toscano, with added support from a close-knit Lampre-Fondital squadra, is on track for a prosperous 2006. BiciRace.com stopped Benna between races and asked him a few questions ranging from hammering the pavé to flavors of gelato. Enjoy...

La Partenza with Cipollini

Bennati Focused for 2006

Bennati Focused for 2006, photo: Capture-The -Peloton.com

BiciRace.com:  Ciao Daniele. Thanks for joining BiciRace.com in an interview. Have you visited BiciRace.com? Do you like the website?
Daniele Bennati:  Yes, the site is very nice looking. I like it a lot.
BR:  Thanks for surfing the site. So tell us, how did you discover cycling? Was cycling in the family?
DB:  Yes, my father raced up through the Dilettanti [amateur] category. And my brother also raced through the junior category. So yes, cycling is a passion within my family.
BR:  Through your family is a great way to learn. And when was your first?
DB:  My first race on the road was in 1990 and I won.
BR:  That was a great way to start! Which was your first as a professional?
DB:  I turned pro in 2002 and immediately raced in the Tour of Qatar.
BR:  Did you also win your first pro race?
DB:  I did not win there but the race went well overall.
BR:  So since Qatar, in the last four years, which riders have taught you the most?
DB:  Well, without a doubt the rider that taught me the most was Mario Cipollini.
BR:  Right, you turned professional in 2002 with Acqua & Sapone, Cipollini's team. Was it a good experience in those two years that you rode with him?
DB:  Yes, certainly it was Cipollini who helped me in those years.

2005 - l'Avenue de Grammont

Bennati 2nd at Paris-Tours

Bennati 2nd at Paris-Tours, photo: Lampre-Caffita

"It is the best result that I have ever obtained in a one day classic. ... I hope that this result is a good omen." - Benna, after finishing second in Paris-Tours.

BR:  An excellent way to start your pro career, under the guidance of Cipollini. ... Congratulations on last year's fabulous season. What was your last race for 2005?
DB:  Thanks. My last race in 2005 was Paris-Tours.
BR:  So, Paris-Tours is famous among the sprinters and you finished 2nd. What are you memories of this battle with the likes of Zabel [1st], Davis [3rd] and McEwen [4th]?
DB:  I remember how I arrived second, and only a few centimeters behind. This still stings me a little bit, nonetheless it was a great result for me.
BR:  That race came down to the wire... It was very exciting to see you almost get one over on Zabel. What were you using up front? Did you use a 54 big ring?
DB:  I used a 53 by 11 combination for that sprint.
BR:  In 2005 you also had three wins in the Deutschland Tour and two in the Tour de Pologne. After winning one stage was it easier to win the others?
DB:  Yes ... True. After the first stage I am unblocked, and also mentally. So I managed to be right on target for the other two stage wins.

2006 - La Classicissima

Bennati 3X at Deutschland Tour

Bennati 3X at Deutschland Tour, photo: Capture-The -Peloton.com

BR:  Which races are on your program for the first part of 2006?
DB:  I just fished the Gran Premio Costa degli Etruschi, Tour Méditerranéen and Laigueglia. From here I will take part in [Vuelta Comunidad] Valenciana, Giro di Lucca, Tirreno-Adriatico and then Milano-Sanremo.
BR:  Will you captain Lampre-Fondital for Sanremo?
DB:  Yes, I believe this will be the case.
BR:  Which teammates will you want for the race?
DB:  I think [Alessandro] Ballan, [Daniele] Righi, [Paolo] Fornaciari, [Claudio] Corioni, [Ruggero] Marzoli ...
BR:  The race is mostly a flat affair but with the hills arriving at the end. What do you think makes the Cipressa and Poggio so difficult?
DB:  Right, they are climbs that are not that hard on their own but after the distance of 250 kilometers they then become very hard.

Palmarès

BR:  What are your first memories of the races up North, like Flanders? Did you watch them on TV as a child?
DB:  Yes, the earliest memories of those beautiful races were watching them on TV.
BR:  You have made Flanders one of your key goals for this season. Who do you think will be your key rivals?
DB:  Oh, without a doubt it will be Boonen, Ballan and Van Petegem ... And I also hope Bennati.
BR:  So is it the Tour of Flanders, or another race that you would most love to add to your palmarès before the end of your career?
DB:  The World Championships.

La Bici Wilier

BR:  Lampre-Caffita has changed to Lampre-Fondital. Also the bicycles have changed from Cannondale (Six13) to Wilier. How do you like the Wilier?
DB:  Yes, we changed from Cannondale over from last year. The Cannondale was a great bicycle for me. Now I am racing with the Wilier and I am finding it just as great.
BR:  Which model do you ride? Le Roi?
DB:  Yes, in fact I just raced for the first time on the Le Roi at Laigueglia.
BR:  The Wilier Le Roi is an all-carbon model but will you have a special frame from Wilier for Flanders and Roubaix?
DB:  For Flanders I think that I will just use the Le Roi while for the Paris-Roubaix I will have a different frame. I will have a special Wilier frame in steel.
BR:  In addition to a steel frame do you prefer a special wheelset for the pavé?
DB:  I prefer traditional wheels with 32 spokes with low profile rims. Tubulars for both races... For Flanders a 23 tire and for Roubaix a 26.

Chianina Steak ... Vita Arezzo

Bennati Protected at Lampre

Bennati Protected at Lampre, photo: Capture-The -Peloton.com

BR:  OK, when you are not hammering the pavé or training, what do enjoy?
DB:  I like to be with my wife Chiara and my purebred Cocker ... His name is Pepe.
BR:  And do you have a favorite plate of food? A special Arezzo plate?
DB:  My favorite plates are pizza and Chianina steak. [Chianina beef is a huge white oxen raised in the Val di Chiana, near Arezzo.]
BR:  We love the pizza here in Italy. And do you have a favorite flavor of gelato?
DB:  I prefer nocciola [hazelnut] and pistachio.
BR:  Good combination! Daniele thank you for taking time out of your schedule for a BiciRace.com Interview. Good luck with the start of the season. Ciao!
DB:  Alright, see you soon.

Liquigas Ti Frames

Celeste Bianchi Factory: Liquigas Ti Frames

Smeraldo Steel Classic

Smeraldo Steel Classic at Bianchi Factory

Capture The Peloton
Pinotti at Team Presentation

Pinotti: Teammates, Sun and Competition

Ballan and Martinelli Celebrate

Ballan Gunes 'em Down in Trofeo di San Valentino

Team by Bus

Lampre-Fondital's New Pullman

The Blue-Pink Pullman

The Blue-Pink Pullman of Lampre-Fondital

Di Luca Explains Season

Liquigas Presents The Killer

bicyclinghub.com Ad
Bianchi FG Lite for Di Luca

Liquigas Presents The Killer and FG Lite

February Looks Great Thanks to Cyclepassion

February Looks Great Thanks to Cyclepassion

Beauty and Passion of Cycling

Cyclepassion Calendar: Beauty and Passion

Bianchi Factory Visit

Passione Celeste ... For Gasparotto

Pantani Tour de France Frame

Pantani Tour de France Frame, Passione Celeste

RulloBike Ad
The Italian Champion at Eneco

Il Campione Italiano, The Interview

Flecha Powers in Gent-Wevelgem

Tuned-In To Classics: Flecha Interview

bicyclinghub.com Ad