Italy's world and Olympic champion Paolo Bettini will line up this weekend to defend his 'other' jersey, that of the Italian national champion, but has warned he may instead ride for his teammates. The Quickstep rider doesn't have high hopes of keeping the tri-coloured jersey though, having spent time away from the bike since the Giro d'Italia.
"It is going to be difficult to defend my title, after the Giro I haven't spent a great deal of time on the bike," he admitted.
Bettini sees himself as a helper to his other teammates taking part in the event, a role he has played many times in the past, albeit it more in the start of his career. "I have spent the last 10 days riding easier, and luckily it is starting to go better now," he added. "I will, as always, do my best this weekend, but don't be surprised if you see me working for my younger teammates Giovanni Visconti and Alessandro Proni, who have over the past few weeks shown good form."