Bennati joins Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank

Daniele Bennati has signed a contract with Danish team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank for the next two years. After a difficult season at RadioShack-Nissan during which Bennati nevertheless won Vuelta a España stage 18, Bjarne Riis has added the Italian sprinter to his outfit for a number of reasons.

"I see Daniele as a great asset for our team," Riis commented. "He is experienced and strong and can prevail in both tougher one-day races and stage races. He showed in this year's Vuelta he is capable of sprinting with the best and still get results on his own. But he can also be a great help for his teammates, when it comes to the battle of positioning in the peloton and in team time trials. I'm looking forward to welcoming Daniele to the team."

Bennati's palmarès since the start of his career in 2002 includes 11 stage victories across all three Grand Tours, as well as the overall points classifications of the 2007 Vuelta a España and the 2008 Giro d'Italia. The 31-year-old sprinter who has previously ridden for Lampre and Liquigas is also looking forward to the new challenge.

"When Bjarne contacted me, I immediately had an excellent feeling, and it's a dream come true for me to be able to ride for at team like Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank," said Bennati, whose contract with RadioShack-Nissan runs out at the end of this season.

"2013 will be a very important year. I would say it's the start of my 'new' career after a tough season, where I couldn't deliver as usual due to some health issues. I'm an experienced rider, and I'm convinced I still have a lot to give to a team like Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank, to myself and to cycling in general. I can't wait to start on this new experience," he added.

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