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Benna and Pippo face-off in Gent-Wevelgem

Pippo in De Ronde

Pippo in De Ronde (Image credit: Sirotti)

Wednesday is the running of the 69th Gent-Wevelgem, a Semi-Classic that could see the head to head sprint of two Italians, Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Fondital) and Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas).

'Pippo' Pozzato will count on an in-form Luca Paolini but will be without the services of Manuel Quinziato and Murilo Fischer. The two riders were involved in crashes last Sunday in the Ronde van Vlaanderen; Quinziato fractured his collarbone and Fischer has wrist and left knee pains. Joining the green team for the race will be Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) and Magnus Backstedt (Liquigas).

"My condition is there," said Pippo to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I will look to take advantage of the right moment."

Paolini, third in De Ronde notwithstanding a crash, will race in Gent and Roubaix. "Then I will race Amstel, Flèche and Liège," said the rider from Milan.

Daniele Bennati, without Ballan racing, will be the clear captain of Lampre-Fondital. 'Benna' won a stage in the recent Three Days of De Panne and in last Sunday's Ronde proved spectacular.

"I am good, and Gent-Wevelgem will be more adapted to my style of riding than Flanders, even if this time, on the bergs I thought that I went well," said Benna.

His teammate Ballan attacked on the Muur before going on to win the race. Bennati explained how he played a key role in Ballan's victory. "On the Muur I took Boonen's wheel and I did not let go, then I tried to control the situation."

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