Italian sprinter leaves Liquigas
Daniele Bennati will ride for the Luxembourg team featuring the Schleck brothers, he has announced on his Twitter site. He has signed a two-year contract.
The Italian, who turns 30 on Friday, has been with Team Liquigas since 2008. This year he won the second stage of the Tour of Oman and the third stage of Tirreno-Adriatico. The sprinter most recently rode the Vuelta a España, where he brought in second-place and third-place stage finishes.
The Luxembourg team is being directed by Brian Nyborg and Kim Andersen, formerly of Team Saxo Bank. Andy and Fränk Schleck are joining their home-country team, as are a number of their former teammates from the Danish team. The new team has not yet announced its roster, name or sponsors.
Bennati turned pro in 2002 with Acqua & Sapone, where he helped prepare sprints for Mario Cipollini. In 2004 he joined Phonak but missed much of the year due to a virus. From 2005 to 2007 he rode for Lampre, where he finally became a top sprinter, moving to Liquigas in 2008.
He has won two stages at the Tour de France, four stages and the points classification (2007) in the Vuelta a Espana, and three stags and the points classification (2008) at the Giro d'Italia. He has also won the points jersey at the Tour de Suisse (2006, 2007), Deutschland Tour (2005), Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana (2007) and the Tour de Romandie (2008).