Defending Olympic champion Paolo Bettini is also looking forward to the Olympic road race on Saturday. Italian national coach Franco Ballerini was certain that the last kilometres of the event were "perfect" for the double world champion, who has another Classics specialist, Davide Rebellin, at his side.
"Especially the light uphill finish is good for me," said Bettini to HLN. "Valverde will certainly be a dangerous rival. It could very well end up in a Spanish-Italian match once again."
Still, 'Il Grillo' didn't count out a number of possibilities for the race. "There is no race course as unpredictable as this one," he continued. "There could be a thousand attacks, and the race will be very hard to control. Besides the Spaniards, there are also the Luxembourgers with the Schleck brothers and Kim Kirchen, the Germans with Schumacher and Voigt."
But Bettini remained confident in his abilities. "I am really happy with my form and with the team that surrounds me. All things necessary for success on this really hard circuit are here."