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Bettini swaps Italian national team for new Alonso squad?

By:
Cycling News
Published:
December 29, 2013, 11:23,
Updated:
December 29, 2013, 11:09
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, December 29, 2013
National coach Paolo Bettini says hello

National coach Paolo Bettini says hello

  • National coach Paolo Bettini says hello
  • 2007 Worlds: Paolo Bettini (Italy) wins the world championship in Stuttgart, Germany, for back-to-back world titles
  • Italian manager Paolo Bettini was on hand in Tuscany.
  • Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso was on hand at the start of the elite men's world championship race

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Two-time World champion said to be going to new 2015 team

Paolo Bettini has resigned as coach of the Italian national road team and is said to be moving to the new team sponsored by Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso, according to reports in the Italian media. The 39-year old took over the national team in June 2010, but was never able to lead the team to a world title.

Bettini has turned in his resignation to Italian federation president Renato Di Rocco, according to the Gazzetta dello Sport. The announcement of his partnership with Alonso is expected to be made on January 7. The Spanish race driver is setting up a WorldTour team for 2015, with a sponsor rumoured to be in Dubai.

Di Rocco must now appoint a new national coach, and according to Tuttobiciweb.it, has two candidates at the top of his wish list, Davide Cassani and Stefano Zanini. Zanini, 44, rode from 1991 to 2007, and since then has worked as a directeur sportif at a number of teams, most recently Astana.

Cassani, 52, rode professionally from 1982 to 1996, and since then has worked as a commentator for RAI Sports. He was responsible for starting the controversy around Michael Rasmussen at the 2007 Tour de France, when he mentioned seeing the Dane training in Italy when his whereabouts claimed he was in Mexico. Rasmussen ultimately was removed from the Tour, which he led, and was ultimately given a two-year ban.

Bettini was named to head the Italian men's national team in June 2010, to replace the deceased Franco Ballerini. “I was a great athlete, but I don’t know if I will succeed in being a great manager. Certainly I will give everything to achieve great results,” he said at the time.

The results never appeared. The best that his riders were able to do were off the podium, with Filippo Pozzato finishing fourth in Geelong in 2010 and Vincenzo Nibali fourth in Firenze in 2013.

Uncle John 9 months ago
Tendered his resignation !
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thelowerdepths 9 months ago
Cassani was the one that made the allegations that Cancellara was riding Roubaix with a motor in his seat tube … sharp cookie there … should do well as national coach …
nuvolablu 9 months ago
False! He never said anything about Cancellara, he just talked about the motor and its possible practical use in pro races. I hope he'll stay as commentator for RAI. He's one of the best, never miss a rider name!! He is a legend!
Michele 9 months ago
He never said that Cancellara was using the motor, he simply reported the news to the media. If you want to talk about being cookie, you could point out his days at Ariostea which had a famous team doctor.
thelowerdepths 9 months ago
true that (Cancellara was big enough to laugh it off in an interview or two) but it was the allegation that was spurious and should have been avoided by a serious journalist, but then again he covers cycling (snicker snicker) and this allegations made the UCI spend time, resources and money that could have been better spent looking less like buffoons … regardless, just thought it was weird that he's a serious contender for the Squadra Azura … you'd think there'd be a wealth of great Italian ex-cyclists qualified and ready … but good luck to Paolo for sure
Reemmo 9 months ago
I think this is great news. Good luck to Paolo, and best wishes to Fernando. Once this gets rolling, maybe the media will get over the Euskaltel debacle. Fernando may be a newbie to the cycling world, but he was smart enough that he didn't get suckered into that bum deal with Euskaltel. Alonso's effort may turn out to have a stellar cast right out of the starting gate! That would be a nice shot in the arm for cycling!