Italian Daniele Bennati is surprisingly disappointed that his compatriot and rival, Alessandro Petacchi, may not be lining up for the Tour de France when it starts this Saturday in London. The Lampre sprinter enjoys the high and smooth pace of Petacchi's team Milram lead-out train but he may have to go without it as Petacchi is currently under investigation that prohibits him from racing.
"It will be worse," responded 'Benna' in a recent interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport regarding if Petacchi's absence would help him win his first Tour sprint. "With his team making the lead-out, the sprint becomes simpler, more regulated, cleaner. A speed of 60 to 65 kilometres per hour is ideal for me. Without Petacchi I will have to make my own arrangements."
Bennati will count on teammate and friend Alessandro Ballan. "If it lets off there is Ballan that who is able to lead-out, and there is [Claudio] Corioni that is able to work well in the finale. I will improvise."
The team also has another sprinter in the form of up-and-comer Danilo Napolitano. Bennati sees the winner of the Giro stage to Lido di Camaiore as second card of play for Team Lampre. "We have different characteristics but the stages suit us the same. It would be ridiculous for each one of us to do our own sprint."
Bennati has ambitions for the Maillot Jaune. "If I don't lose much time in the prologue then I have to have the opportunity for the first sprint. Anyway, the problem [of two sprinters] is not mine but the directeurs."
For more on sprinter 'Benna' read Cyclingnews' interview Gunning for green.