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On Thursday, April 20, Quick.Step's Paolo Bettini has reconnoitred the third stage of Giro d’Italia which will finish in Namur on Monday, May 8, 2006. Together with teammate Juan Manuel Garate, the Italian classic specialist climbed the final ascent of the Citadelle (2.3 km) twice.
"The final is perfectly suited to my characteristics," Bettini said. "The pavé road will make the climb more difficult. It will be important to begin the climb in the first positions."
'Il Grillo' put attention to detail during the reconnaissance. "In these arrivals it’s important to underestimate nothing," he said. "Every meter is important because the climb will be fast and you cannot make any mistakes. The last 500 meters are on asphalt. I believe that the race result can be decided by the last right curve up to the finish line."
Bettini also called his teammate Nick Nuyens about the climb, as the Belgian has won twice at the Citadelle in the G.P. Wallonnie. "Nick's suggestions will prove valuable," Bettini concluded.
Meanwhile, Quick.Step has announced that Kevin De Weert won't take part in Liège-Bastogne-Liège next Sunday. "After the injuries to my left shoulder I tried to quickly recover to be ready for the Vuelta al Pais Vasco," de Weert said. "But at the Flèche Wallonne I understood that I’m not at 100 percent yet, which is why I decided to leave my slot to a teammate in better condition than me." Young Swiss rider Hubert Schwab will join the team in Liège this evening to take the start in the Doyenne this weekend.