A professional since 2002, Bennati has raced for Acqua e Sapone, Phonak, Lampre, Liquigas, Leopard Trek and Tinkoff and will now continue in the peloton for a 16th season in the colours of Movistar.
Bennati began his professional career as part of Mario Cipollini’s lead-out train and then became a lead sprinter in his own right during his spells at Lampre and Liquigas, where he won a brace of Tour de France stages in 2007 and three Giro d’Italia stages the following year.
The switch to Tinkoff (then Saxo Bank) at the beginning of the 2013 season marked a change in emphasis for Bennati, as he rode in the service of Alberto Contador and later Peter Sagan.
The 35-year-old’s 2016 season began with a stage win at the Ruta del Sol but was then interrupted by a crash at Milan-San Remo that left him with broken vertebrae. Bennati returned to action in July and went on to claim stage victory on the opening day of the Tour of Denmark.
Bennati is Movistar’s first signing for the 2017 campaign and is the 12th Tinkoff rider to confirm a team for next season. Peter Sagan has signed for Bora-Hansgrohe, Roman Kreuziger is going to Orica-BikeExchange and Manuele Mori has joined the new Bahrain-Merida team, while Alberto Contador is set to join Trek-Segafredo, though the move has yet to be officially announced.