“Daniele had fever after the stage yesterday and his temperature didn't go down in the evening and the night, on the contrary,” said RadioShack-Nissan doctor Nino Daniele. “It's not wise to race with fever, so there wasn't really another option but to withdraw."
After finishing 3rd in the bunch sprint behind Mark Cavendish on stage 5, Bennati had begun feeling the effects of the illness on the road to Porto San’Elpidio the following day. On Saturday, he reached the summit of Rocca di Cambio in the final group on the road, over 23 minutes down on stage winner Paolo Tiralongo (Astana).
Bennati, who had suffered from food poisoning at the tail end of the classics campaign, had arrived at the Giro with hopes of shining in the sprint stages later in the race, and had also expressed the desire to test himself in the final time trial.
“We're very sorry for Daniele,” directeur sportif Kim Andersen said. “He is of course disappointed. We'll look now how we can modify his race program so that he's back at the races as soon as he's better.”
Dennis Van Winden (Rabobank) finished in the same group as Bennati at Rocca di Cambio, and although he managed to start stage 8 in Sulmona on Sunday, he abandoned after 30 kilometres of racing. The Dutchman had been suffering from a knee injury in recent days.