Bettini in form for season

Two-time World Champion Paolo Bettini has passed a relaxing winter to ready himself for the 2008...

Two-time World Champion Paolo Bettini has passed a relaxing winter to ready himself for the 2008 season, on the roads in his rainbow jersey. The 33 year-old Italian put on some extra weight this off-season, but now the Quick Step rider is ready to battle, starting with his season debut in the GP Etruschi on Saturday.

"This winter I exaggerated a little bit and found myself nine kilograms over my inform weight," noted Bettini to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "It was almost double body fat [59 to 68kg, 7 to 13% body fat - ed.]. However, when it is a party, it is a party."

Ever professional, Bettini was already back down to 63kg during the Quick Step training camp, thanks to five hour rides without as much as an energy bar. Often he will not eat or drink in training to simulate emergency racing conditions.

During racing and training Bettini prefers fruit over bread-based snacks, and at the table he is particular. "I don't even want to see chestnut marmalade on the table. Fish, away from home, is avoided. If it is not how you are used to it is not good. ... I prefer a light pasta dish."

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