World Champion Paolo Bettini is resting his body for an additional day before returning to training. The 33 year-old Italian from La California was involved in two crashes over the last weekend of racing in Belgium; the first, in Omloop Het Volk, was without consequence, but the second one, in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne was more serious. 'Il Grillo Livornese' pulled out of the race at kilometre nine and complained of soreness.
"My back and shoulder are still giving me soreness," the Quick Step rider confirmed to La Gazzetta dello Sport after a training ride yesterday that was quickly aborted. "I prefer to wait until tomorrow [today - ed.]. I hope that it is only a question of hours, enough time to reabsorb the knock."
Bettini will make his racing return with a series of races in Italy: Monte Paschi Eroica (March 8), Tirreno-Adriatico (12 to 18) and Milano-Sanremo (22). The white gravel roads around Siena that form the parcours of Eroica have 'Il Grillo' worried, "Eroica, with its gravel, will certainly not be the best way to relax," he confirmed. "However, this is a race that I like a lot. A year ago, I was there as a spectator, this time I asked to my team to participate, but I will hold back on some hazards because I don't want to jeopardise other appointments."